The Pioneer

Tim Kaine is the right choice

Illustration by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Illustration by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Samuel Salisbury,
Contributor

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When Hillary Clinton became the first female nominee for the President of the United States of America on July 26, many Democrats still said “Bernie or Bust,” clinging to Bernie Sanders, the more left-leaning candidate that they truly wanted.

I was never in this camp. I was always firmly in the camp of “anybody but Republican nominee Donald Trump.”

On July 27, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine accepted the nomination for Vice President.

I did not know very much about Kaine when I first heard about him, but it turns out he’s an unexciting moderate Democrat, especially compared to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who many saw as the more progressive vice presidential choice. Virginia is a swing state, and Kaine has never made waves in the Democratic establishment there.

Kaine has voted Democratic in the senate fairly consistently. Though he is a devout Catholic, he said in a July CNN article that he is a “strong supporter” of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law that legalized abortion in the U.S.

He voted yes on Senate Bill 815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, which prohibits businesses from not hiring and firing people due to sexual orientation or gender identity. In the same year, he voted against senate amendment 1197, which would have required the completion of a Mexican border fence.

Kaine is not the ideal pick for liberals, compared to Warren, who many hoped would be Clinton’s running mate. He is certainly more conservative than most progressives.

However, due to the extreme nature of Trump, this is an election in which it should not matter how liberal the Democratic candidate is. Trump is one of the most unlikeable candidates since Richard Nixon and one of the least progressive candidates in American history.

Trump has had very conservative views this election. He has said that women should be punished for having abortions and has promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and that Mexico will pay for it.

Last month at the Republican National Convention, he recently picked a fight with the family of a fallen Muslim soldier. These extreme conservative views conflict with everything that progressives stand for.

One thing that drew voters to Sanders was his hardline stance against the Iraq War, which both Clinton and Kaine voted yes on. Trump made his stance known in a Fox interview on March 21, 2003 when he told Neil Cavuto, “Well, I think Wall Street’s just going to go up like a rocket even beyond and it’s going to continue and – you know we have a strong and powerful country and let’s hope it all works out.”

Clinton and Kaine should not have voted for the war, but I would much rather have a president who was informed about the war instead of one whose only concern was what the stock market would do in response to it.

Many Bernie or Bust people think that Clinton and Kaine are not liberal enough.

However, if people do not vote for Clinton, it increases Trump’s chances of winning, because many on-the-fence Republicans have already accepted Trump as their candidate.

Many esteemed Republicans, including house speaker Paul Ryan, former Republican candidate Ben Carson, and former vice president Dick Cheney have all come out in support of Trump, according to The Atlantic.

“It’s not just a choice between parties or policies, the usual debates between left and right,” Barack Obama said at the Democratic National Convention on July 27.

“This is a more fundamental choice about who we are as a people.”

No matter how moderate or progressive Clinton or Kaine is, this election is ultimately a choice between Trump or no Trump.

Clinton and Kaine may not be as liberal as I might like them to be, but they’re no Trump, so they have my vote.

 

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