Donald Trump's campaign has stooped lower than any presidential campaign in modern history. The Republican Party is in complete disarray. The national media are consumed with optics rather than substantive assessment of the candidates. And Hillary Clinton calmly carries on, crafting and releasing solid policy plans for the nation.
Clinton continuing to put out serious policy proposals even as we drown in memes and rage is probably the best argument to vote for her.
— ana marie cox (@anamariecox) October 11, 2016
Hillary Clinton faces an opponent who has confessed to groping women without their consent, who has twice incited violence against her, and who presides over rallies at which people call for her imprisonment and execution.
The Republican Party continues to pursue her with partisan fishing expeditions, and Trump promises to jail her if he is elected.
Large swaths of the corporate media, meanwhile, engage in false equivalencies, dehumanization, and questions like, “Why don’t people like you?” to attempt to hurt her on camera and capture her pain.
And yet Hillary Clinton simply carries on, with unflappable dedication to the people she hopes to serve as president.
In addition to building a comprehensive campaign infrastructure to respond effectively to voters’ needs, she continues to roll out serious policy proposals for voters to assess what her presidency would look like.
It is a strategy with little short-term reward, given that there has been scant coverage of policy, even during the debates which Trump has endeavored to turn into policy-free slugfests. But Clinton is not in this race for short-term rewards.
This week alone, she has put out two crucial policy documents.
Campaigning with Al Gore in Florida, a state already feeling the effects of climate change, Clinton put out a detailed factsheet on her “Plan for Combatting Climate Change and Making America the Clean Energy Superpower of the 21st Century.” It is long on ideas, and short on tolerance for treating climate change as an issue that does not demand immediate attention.
Clinton also unveiled new details of a middle-class tax cut plan, which will “help lift families with children out of poverty.” It is an audacious plan, described by Vox’s Dylan Matthews as “arguably among the most important policies she’s announced during her entire presidential campaign.”
It is an ambitious but politically attainable plan that will lift huge numbers of families with children out of poverty. It is targeted exclusively at the poor, and the extreme poor in particular, with no money spent on the middle class or rich.
…An analysis by Chuck Marr and Chloe Cho of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that Clinton’s plan will lift 1.5 million people above the poverty line, and bring another 9.4 million closer to the poverty line. It would increase the incomes of 5.2 million people living in deep poverty.
This is not the work of an “establishment candidate” who is “beholden to Wall Street.”
Clinton is running against an opponent who has scammed working people his whole career, avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades, and who boasts about his charitable giving but refuses to release his tax returns because they may very well indicate otherwise. She could, quite easily, merely say, “I’m better than this guy.” And she would be right.
But she wants to clear a bar significantly higher than the lowest of low bars set by Trump. She wants to make a meaningful difference to the lives of people who need help from their national leaders.
Indeed, this is “probably the best argument to vote for her.” That she continues to put out serious policy, and that the policy she offers is not just an alternative to her opponent, but to the status quo his party tolerates.
(Peter Daou contributed to this article)