Hillary's the one
[I mean no disrespect by adopting the common habit of referring to Hillary Clinton by her first name. Given that Bill Clinton remains a prominent figure, just calling her "Clinton" would be ambiguous, and her own campaign is called "Hillary for America".]
Here's Charles Pierce (found via Progressive Eruptions) explaining what's at stake:
If she is elected, she unequivocally will accept the science of anthropogenic climate change and treat it as a crisis. This cannot be said of any of the Republican candidates, real or potential.
If she is elected, she unequivocally will support marriage equality, and oppose discrimination against our fellow citizens based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This cannot be said of any of the Republican candidates, real or potential.
If she is elected, she will not destroy the Affordable Care Act, an article of faith among all the Republican candidates, real or potential.
If she is elected, and despite her closeness to certain Wall Street interests, she will not destroy the Dodd-Frank reforms, another article of faith among all the Republican candidates, real or potential.
To get elected, she does not have to wink at state's rights, up to and including incidents of armed resistance.
To get elected, she does not have to equivocate on the science behind the theory of evolution as does any Republican candidate who seeks the votes of Republicans in Iowa.
To get elected, she does not have to peddle the snake oil of supply-side economics, nor does she have to peddle scare stories about the oncoming caliphate, nor does she have to create bogeymen about jackboots coming to steal your guns.
That is to say, Hillary thinks and functions in the real world as opposed to being committed to dangerously-delusional policies. I'd add that she won't put any more theocratic nutcases like Scalia on the Supreme Court. And she will build on the progress Obama and Rouhani have made on bringing Iran out of isolation to the point where it has a stake in the international system, and will continue working with amenable Middle Eastern groups and governments to fight violent extremism, as opposed to the Republican strategy of "when in doubt, bomb and invade and hope for the best".
This raises another crucial point. To those who doubt that it's absolutely essential to prevent a Republican President, my chief argument has always been the Supreme Court. Hillary would appoint more Kagans and Sotomayors, perhaps even Obama himself; but a Republican, any Republican, would mean more Scalias and Thomases. If you can't see what a huge difference that makes, you are beyond rational argument.
But there's an even more important reason. As American voters we have a responsibility to the rest of the world. Any Republican President would take office beholden to the insanity that has dominated that party since 2009. We cannot afford to let that get its claws on this country's vast military power. Great numbers of innocent lives would be at risk -- in Iran, their bogeyman du jour, and God knows where else once the return to Republican know-nothing, bull-in-a-china-shop tactics had thrown half the Middle East into the kind of chaos where Islamist radicalism festers. If this happens, and if you as an American voter didn't do what you could to prevent it (because Hillary wasn't ideologically "pure" enough for you or whatever), then that blood will be on your hands.
In this connection, we're fortunate that Hillary is almost certain to be our candidate, because she brings a crucial advantage which other Democrats would not -- voters trust her on national security. Please read Kirsten Powers on this point. On national security, incredible as it seems, voters favor Republicans over Democrats by a 23-point margin, the largest in the history of polling on this issue (and national security is of growing importance to voters). Too many Americans know almost nothing about Islam, the Middle East and its recent history, terrorism, or the relationships among those things -- and feel reassured by simplistic Republican tough talk. But Hillary is viewed far more favorably on this issue than the Democratic party as a whole:
.....while Bush was "too hot" and Obama was "too cool," the swing voters seemed to think Clinton was "just right." It turns out that the former secretary of State has her own brand on national security not synonymous with the Democratic brand. Participants described her as "more experienced," "quicker to make decisions" and more confident than Obama. And compared with Democrats overall, Clinton is viewed as more hawkish and authoritative.
This assessment of Obama is of course wrong and unfair, but the point is, in the general election Hillary would benefit from the national-security issue, whereas any other Democrat would be hurt by it. For what it's worth this far ahead of election day, polls show her beating any Republican by solid margins. The few polls I've seen of Warren or Biden show them losing against likely Republican opponents. And winning the general election is imperative.
Hillary's the one.