We need to talk about the future of our country. We need to talk about how far we’ve come. And we need to talk about Donald Trump.
I want to preface this by saying that I have closely followed both the Republican and Democratic primaries and watched both conventions in full.
Let’s start with Donald Trump.
Donald Trump cannot lead. Sure, he may own a business, but to be a true leader you have to admit your mistakes. You have to work with people, listen to them and come up with effective solutions. Sometimes, you have to compromise. Sometimes, you don’t get your way. Donald Trump cannot admit fault. Even when he is so clearly in the wrong, he cannot do it.
“I fully think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong.” – Donald Trump on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, NBC
He cannot apologize, because he truly believes he is always right. That’s not just egotistical. It’s dangerous.
Trump’s Art of the Deal ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, recently spoke out against Trump, citing “the limits of his attention span, which are as severe as any person I think I’ve ever met” as his chief concern (NPR). Schwartz says, “the idea of a president in an ‘incredibly complex and threatening world who can’t pay attention is itself frightening.'” (NPR).
A president isn’t supposed to create fear and division. They shouldn’t praise our enemies and reject our allies. The leader of our nation cannot defend his racist, misogynistic and bigoted rhetoric by denouncing political correctness. Words matter. Words matter because your choice of words reflect who you are and your perspective of the world.
Donald Trump thinks that he is a strong leader. By refusing to apologize for his mistakes (that he does not even view as mistakes), he thinks he presents himself as a force to be reckoned with. But he only shows cowardice. True strength, true bravery, comes from reflecting on your choices and acknowledging where you went wrong. (Hillary Clinton does, but we’ll get to that later.) Donald Trump doesn’t want to waste time dwelling on the past. But we need to look to the past to figure out how to create a better future, and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
We are living in a small moment in history that will shape who we become. The next president will appoint Supreme Court justices who will make decisions that will last for a generation. We cannot afford to let Donald Trump’s judgment impact our nation on such a large scale.
His ideology goes against everything we stand for as a nation:
- Banning certain press outlets at his rallies that he views as unfavorable
- Inciting violence against those who disagree with him
- Calling women “pigs” and “slobs”
- Retweeting comments that call Megyn Kelly a “bimbo”
- Doubling down on those comments, saying Kelly’s “been called a lot worse”
- Mocking disabled reporters
- Calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists
- Proposing a wall built between Mexico and the United States along with 11 million deportations
- Choosing a running mate who supports conversion therapy for gay individuals
- Calling for punishment for women who have abortions (later releasing a statement that doctors should be held accountable)
- Asking Russia to commit espionage against a political opponent for his own gain
- Praising leaders such as Kim Jong-un, Saddam Hussein, and Vladimir Putin
- Calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
- Escalating that policy to include a database for all Muslims
- Not ruling out a special ID for Muslim Americans to wear
- Refusing to disavow an endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke.
And people are like, “Hillary is a b*tch.”
Even Republican leaders criticized Trump for his comments on Judge Curiel–that Curiel was somehow biased because of his Mexican heritage and could not be impartial. Speaker Paul Ryan described it as “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Yet, many, including Ryan, continued to support him and his presidential campaign.
These are not ideas created by a liberal media. They are not lies. They are not just “things that Trump says, but he won’t really do anything about it when he’s in office.” This is the reality of Donald Trump. If we elect him as our president, we, as a country, validate what he has said and done to gain power. We affirm that the United States of America is not a country of hope and democracy and opportunity. We tell the rest of the world that we fundamentally reject everything that we have said we stand for.
Now, let’s talk about Hillary Clinton.
I do not think that Hillary Clinton is the perfect presidential candidate. Shocked? Let me explain.
Hillary Clinton has made mistakes. She is a human being who has lived under a microscope for 30+ years. Hillary has been in high positions of power within our government and her choices, just like any person in the same position, have had consequences. This does not make her unfit to lead our country. In fact, it makes her a better leader.
First, unlike Donald Trump, she knows how to apologize. She has apologized countless times for the email situation, saying, “That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility” (Business Insider). That matters. During Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential race, Hillary was under fire for continuing her law career as First Lady of Arkansas. She responded to a reporter’s question about her decision to keep working:
I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.
– Hillary Clinton
Hillary publicly apologized in a situation where she shouldn’t have had to apologize. She apologized for defending herself and her decision to continue her career. To rebuild her image after the backlash, she entered the first First Lady bake-off with Barbara Bush, a tradition seemingly out of the 1950s, that continues to this day.
Second, Hillary has dedicated her life to helping the American people, and people around the world. She’s worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, advocating for disabled children to gain access to education-and she won the fight. In 1995, she addressed the U.N. Women’s Conference and famously declared that “women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights once and for all.”
Hillary fought for universal healthcare as First Lady, but didn’t give up when she lost that fight. She served in the U.S. Senate, where she fought for the funds to rebuild New York after 9/11, and supported first responders when they had health issues after working at Ground Zero. As Secretary of State, she strengthened the sanctions against Iran to get them to the negotiation table. Hillary finds real solutions to real problems.
Her biggest strength? Listening to people.
In 1999, ahead of her 2000 Senate race, Hillary Clinton, still the First Lady of the United States, kicked off a “listening tour” that allowed her to interact one-on-one with voters. She heard the issues straight from the people they affected, took notes, and created plans.
It turned out that Clinton, in her travels, stuffed notes from her conversations and her reading into suitcases, and every few months she dumped the stray paper on the floor of her Senate office and picked through it with her staff. The card tables were for categorization: scraps of paper related to the environment went here, crumpled clippings related to military families there. These notes, Rubiner recalls, really did lead to legislation. Clinton took seriously the things she was told, the things she read, the things she saw. She made her team follow up.
– Understanding Hillary, Ezra Klein, Vox
During her current presidential race, she’s doing the same thing. Listening to Americans, and working for them.
Another one of Hillary’s strengths? Compromise.
Hillary has a track record of working across the aisle in the Senate to get things done, something that we don’t see often enough today. A former member of her staff said that there was not one person she would not work with, including members of the Senate who had launched personal attacks against her and her husband. To unite the Democratic party, and validate the work that Senator Bernie Sanders’ and his supporters did throughout the primaries, Hillary incorporated Bernie Sanders’ ideas into the Democratic platform, creating the most progressive platform of the Democratic party to date.
“When she hired me, she said, ‘There is nobody I won’t work with,’” recalls a former Clinton staffer. “I didn’t believe it. So many of the people in the Senate had voted to impeach her husband. But it was true. There was no one she wouldn’t work with.”
– Understanding Hillary, Ezra Klein, Vox
Her opinions on various issues, such as marriage equality, have developed over the years, leading people to accuse her of “flip-flopping.” Yet, her capacity for change and development are exactly what makes her qualified to be our president.
On the most basic level, based solely in logic, Hillary would remain true to her word because she wants to go down in history as a good president. For someone who has dedicated her entire life to public service, why would she throw it away when she reaches such a tremendous and historical point in her career? She wouldn’t. On the next level, she has dedicated her life to public service. She cares, and she has put in the work that proves she cares, over and over again.
After a hard-fought campaign in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama asked Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State in a testament to her qualification and true desire to serve her country. They had campaigned against each other, but Obama respected Hillary and saw her capacity for leadership in our government.
That leadership started early on in Hillary’s life.
In 1969, Hillary’s classmates selected her to be Wellesley College’s first-ever student commencement speaker.
But we feel, that for too long, our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible.
– Hillary Clinton, 1969 Wellesley College commencement speech
In 2011, ABC News reported that Obama and Clinton were named “most admired” in a Gallup poll: “Clinton tops the list of most admired woman for a record 16th time, trailed by Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin and Condoleezza Rice.”
Why is it that a woman so admired for so long could be so hated just five years later?
A 2010 Harvard study found:
When female politicians are perceived to be power-seeking, voters react negatively with feelings of moral outrage.
– The Price of Power: Power Seeking and Backlash Against Female Politicians
When Hillary seeks a position of power, her approval ratings drop. When she gets the position? They go back up. Why do they go back up? Because she does her job, and does it well.
Hillary Clinton will keep our country moving forward. She is uniquely qualified, and as President Obama stated in his 2016 convention speech: “There has never been a man, or a woman-not me, not Bill, nobody-more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.”
And you know she has color-coded binders full of detailed plans to solve our problems.
President Barack Obama’s full 2016 Democratic National Convention speech:
(Watch the entire speech. Speeches like this only come around a few times in a generation.)
Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic party’s nomination for President of the United States in a historic moment as the first woman to be chosen to run for president by a major political party:
This election is incredibly important and will not only affect us for the next four years, but for the next generation. The next president will shape the Supreme Court and their vision of America will set the stage for the years to come. Donald Trump paints an image of America that sounds like a dystopian novel in which he is the sole individual who can save the day. Hillary Clinton knows we have work to do together, but doesn’t take for granted how much we’ve been able to move forward as a nation.
Use your voice for Hillary Clinton like she has used her voice for us.
Visit hillaryclinton.com/issues to learn about her plans for the economy and jobs, education, environment, health, justice and equality, and national security.