As an artist I am an idealist. Idealism is integral to making art. In the landscape of one’s mind one is always striving for something beyond the edges of the possible. In making art there is no compromise, for compromise is a form of defeat. But even in this quest for the ideal, there are parameters. In sculpture, for example, there is gravity. If you want to make an object that exists in the physical world, you must consider it. If you don’t, your object will fall down.
In the realm of social change, I am also an idealist. I believe our government should be more fair and generous. However, here, too, there are parameters since social change does not happen in a vacuum. There are always other people who do not share the same view of what would make our world a better place. We are each other’s gravity.
I see Obama’s legacy as part of a work in progress. Given the parameters of a democracy’s competing views he has accomplished a lot---even if it isn’t everything. Although Obamacare is imperfect, it is a start We can improve it. Consider that prior to Obamacare a young person could not remain on their family’s insurance. Now they can until age 26. If you had a pre-existing medical condition, you were out of luck. Now an insurance company must cover you no matter what.
For me, being a progressive means making progress towards the ideals that will make our world a better place. For this reason, I am supporting Hillary Clinton. I believe she shares the same ideals as Bernie Sanders, but has the understanding of our democracy’s form of gravity and will better know how to materialize the possible. I am a idealist for a realist, because I think this is the best way to build upon Obama’s legacy. The stakes are huge. The leading presidential candidates on the Republican field are so scary. If in our desire for the perfect, we let go of the good, we potentially let the horrible take charge. This possibility keeps me up at night.