With little more than two weeks to go in the 2016 election, 19-year-old Milo Beckman pens an insightful and well-argued essay about why the left should vote for Hillary Clinton. But his point isn't just about the left; it's about the qualities that would make Clinton an exceptional president.
The NY Daily News described Milo Beckman as a “genuine genius.” He attended Harvard at 15 and constructs crossword puzzles for the New York Times.
Beckman took to Medium to explain his strong support for Hillary Clinton and to address the misgivings of some of his peers. It is a brilliant closing argument for the woman who is poised to shatter a 227-year barrier.
I consider myself to the left of Sanders on nearly all domestic issues, and I lean heavily towards non-intervention in foreign affairs, particularly in the Middle East.
I voted for Clinton not to preserve the center-left establishment, but because I believe she’s the single person best positioned to co-opt the existing institutional framework and advance my values in the world.
If we play our cards right, historians will remember the sixteen years from 2009 to 2025 as a period of profound change in American society. That change will be largely credited to two outsize personalities — Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — and their progressive coalition of young voters, people of color, and urban whites with college degrees.
Then this powerful point:
Did you know that in 1974 she wrote an article for the Harvard Educational Review called “Children Under the Law” which is one of the most widely-cited works on children’s rights? It’s not exactly the most thrilling piece of election news, sure. But based just on her legal writing and tenure at the Children’s Defense Fund, historian Garry Wills called her in 1992 “one of the more important scholar-activists of the last two decades.”
This is who Hillary Clinton is: a gifted political theorist with an activism kick. Which is why it drives me crazy when some guy at a party tells me (and yes, it always seems to be a guy) exactly what she did wrong in X country and what she clearly should’ve done. Well, gosh, if only you’d been Secretary of State instead! If only she’d heard your three-sentence criticism, she might have recognized her folly!
The Children’s Health Insurance Program she salvaged from the failed health bill cut the uninsured rate for children in half, mostly by covering children of color who were previously uninsured. The Clinton Foundation has provided low-cost HIV/AIDS medication to over 9 million people, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. And on a smaller scale, her decision to join the Children’s Defense Fund out of college, her work providing legal assistance to Arkansas’s (largely black) poor, her undercover investigation of a segregated school — all this points to a consistent pattern of providing effective help to those who need it most.
You don’t need to consider her a role model to see that she is an extremely powerful ally. It’s an inconvenient reality that for every MLK you also need an LBJ — someone who knows the gears and levers of Washington inside and out, who collects notes from hundreds of meetings with activists and academics and turns them into policy, who builds coalitions and woos opponents, who sits at the damn desk and signs the damn bill.
There’s so much more. Read it here. You may not agree with all of it, but there is no denying that Beckman makes an incredibly compelling case.