How Hillary Clinton Earned My Vote
It wasn’t that long ago that I found the idea of Hillary Clinton as President of United States unacceptable. In the aftermath of a divisive primary and the disappointment I felt in the end of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, when I said #ImWithHer, I meant Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Since then, I have done my due diligence and researched the third party candidacies of Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
While I have points of agreement with Johnson (decriminalizing marijuana, decreasing imperialism etc), his platform ultimately comes down to freeing the states and the private sector to act as they see fit and, given what we’ve seen transpire in some states (e.g. Michigan, Kentucky, Alabama) and corporations (e.g. the entire banking industry, Wal-Mart) and it’s hard for me to get behind a platform that preaches federal deregulation as its centerpiece.
And while I agree with Stein almost point-for-point on the issues, she has exactly zero experience in government and President of the United States should not be an entry-level position.
So that brought me back to Trump vs. Clinton. Clinton vs. Trump. Or, of course, not voting at all which, despite the exhortations, is a legitimate choice in a democracy. It just means that you are willing cede the choice between the viable candidates to others. And if you truly believe that both candidates are the same well, I can’t say I blame you.
And there is plenty not to like about both Trump and Clinton. How much you give weight to Trump’s bankruptcies or his characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists vs. Clinton’s “careless” decision to use a private email server while Secretary of State or her well compensated speeches to Wall Street are entirely up to you.
We believe what we want to believe. I guess it just boils down to what we find acceptable or unacceptable within that context.
I believe that much of what has been said about Trump AND Clinton has some truth to it.
But I also find Trump’s words (past and present), actions (past and present) and present policies about what he would do as President almost universally unacceptable.
Now I find some of Clinton’s past words and actions unacceptable too.
But I look at her policies and I see ideas and plans and initiatives that would genuinely help this country.
Contrast that with what Trump says he would do.
In other words, your choice isn’t just about what someone may or may not have done in their past.
We also vote based on what we believe someone will do in the future.
To be sure, we don’t always get everything we want out of an administration (see: Obama, Barack).
But let’s say that both Trump and Clinton get to do everything they’ve said they’ll do as President.
Four years from now, which country would you rather live in, Trump’s or Clinton’s?
What country would you rather your children and grandchildren live in?
With Trump, I see a wall on our southern border. I see the threat of war, both of the trade and nuclear variety. I see the rich getting richer. I see people losing access to healthcare. I see more death and destruction in Syria and no safe haven for refugees to turn to. I see minorities living in fear and more access to guns.
This isn’t rhetoric or media spin. This is what Trump himself says he’ll do.
With Clinton, I see immigration reform that balances enforcement with empathy. I see a desire to create and protect American jobs without provoking a trade war. I see an understanding of the humanitarian crisis born of war and a willingness to help those caught in the crossfire. I see gun control that doesn’t infringe on our rights but protects us from those who should not have them.
So I know how I answer that question and it isn’t even close. No, it doesn’t mean I find everything she (or her husband, but let’s at least acknowledge that he’s not actually a candidate) has done to be acceptable. I probably won’t find everything she does as President acceptable either (again, see: Obama, Barack. Also Clinton, Bill).
But I think I’m pretty clear on what each candidate stands for by now and what each of them considers an acceptable cost to achieve it. And #ImWithHer. Every time.
Randy writes about mindful living in a modern world for ByTheBodhiTree.com.