Reasons to Elect Hillary Clinton

clinton

Recently, my wife said to me, “All you ever write about is Donald Trump and it’s depressing me. Why don’t you write something positive, like why Hillary Clinton should be president?”

You know, she was right.

I will admit it is depressing writing about Donald Trump and contemplating the possibility of his becoming the “Leader of the Free World.” I believe that it is clear from my writings that I am not voting to elect Donald J. Trump.

But why am I voting for Hillary Clinton?

So with this post I will be positive. I will mention Donald Trump as little as possible so as to keep this writing positive. I found as I began to do some research that it was not difficult at all to write positive things about Clinton.

In September, political commentator Keith Olbermann wrote a piece listing 176 reasons Donald Trump should not be elected president. While my list is not as extensive as Olbermann’s, I believe that quality trumps quantity. I have tried to avoid duplications, so if you find any, I ask your forgiveness in advance.

That being said, here are my reasons to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States:

She is qualified. To say that Hillary Clinton is qualified is like saying that apple pie is delicious. Here is a short list of her qualifications:

  • Elected Senior Class President of Wellesley College
  • Graduated with honors from Yale Law School before completing another year of graduate studies
  • Worked on Presidential campaigns of Barry Goldwater (1964), George McGovern (1972), and Jimmy Carter (1976)
  • Took a “summer job” on Senator Walter Mondale’s committee for migrant workers in 1971
  • Chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee while husband Bill Clinton was Governor
  • Co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
  • Named one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 1988 and 1991
  • Served 8 years as First Lady of the United States
  • Served 2-terms as United States Senator from New York
  • She served on Senatorial committees, including Budget; Armed Services; Environment and Public Works; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and a special Committee on Aging
  • Served as United States  Secretary of State

She has championed some amazing causes.

  • One of Secretary Clinton’s greatest achievements is the Global Health Initiative (GHI), introduced in 2010. Designed to put a focus on maternal and infant health, the GHI has implemented strategy to improve medical facilities, reduce the spread of HIV, and lower infant and maternal mortality  rates.
  • Beyond individual achievements, Clinton has made it her life’s mission to ensure the world knows one simple thing: that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” In every position she has held, the former First Lady has fought to bring women closer to equality. Bringing issues like women’s health, equal pay, and domestic violence to the forefront, she has never stopped making cracks in the glass ceiling.

Her stance on the issues. One of the most important reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton (or any candidate) is that her views line up with yours. If you agree with her on the subjects below, you may have just found your candidate.

  • Is pro equal rights for LGBT Americans
  • Opposes using “religious freedom” to justify cutting access to healthcare and discrimination
  • Understands economic inequality – and wants to fix it
  • Thinks anti-vaxxers (vaccine) are stupid
  • Supports gun control, including comprehensive background checks and closing loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.
  • Knows the criminal justice system in this country is broken and wants to fix it
  • Wants to fix  Citizens United
  • Supports  other women in the climb toward equality
  • Supports American Workers
  • Is pro-choice
  • Secured a policy change that would “take into account” a country’s LGBT human rights record when distributing foreign aid
  • Worked with Ted Kennedy to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Directed the State Department to “champion a comprehensive human rights agenda” that included protection of LGBT human rights
  • Made the promotion of equality for gay people a core value of United States foreign policy
  • Declared that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights” to the international community
  • Launched the Global Equality Fund to support LGBT human rights advocates in partnership with eight countries
  • Fought Ugandan efforts to criminalize homosexuality, punishable by death
  • Played a vital role in the passage of the Turkish-American Accord
  • Launched the African Women’s Enterpreneurship Program to help women “get their own businesses in order, to learn how to better achieve what they’re hoping for
  • Launched the United States-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative to drive private sector investment into Africa’s energy sector
  • While a member of the United States Senate, sponsored or co-sponsored 713 pieces of legislation
  • As one of her first acts in office as Secretary of State, created equal benefits to domestic partners working for the State Department
  • Launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which has thirty-seven countries working to reduce methane emissions
  • Repeatedly co-sponsored the Clean Power Act
  • Was an original co-sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • In 2007, during debate over the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, introduced an amendment to reclassify the spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents as immediate relatives
  • Co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families advocacy group
  • Introduced the Heroes at Home Act  to help family members care for those with Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Worked to increase the military survivor benefit from $12,000 to $100,000, and co-sponsored the Support for Injured Service Members Act to extend benefits provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Fought to secure funds for medical assessment, referrals and outreach for 9/11 first responders and volunteers
  • Led efforts to rescue Chen Guangchen, the dissident who took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing
  • Co-Sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act
  • Initiated the creation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, protecting abused children and encouraging the adoption of children with special needs
  • Investigated health issues affecting veterans of the Gulf War, now commonly known as Gulf War Syndrome
  • Negotiated Iran sanctions, and brokered an agreement between Hamas and Israel that brought about a ceasefire and helped bring security to Israel
  • Created the Office on Violence Against Women in the Justice Department
  • As First Lady of Arkansas, she instituted cutting-edge early childhood and education programs
  • As United States First Lady, she worked with Congress and succeeded in passing a historic childhood health insurance program

It is about time. When a woman takes up the mantle of “Leader of the Free World,” our nation will cross a line, never to return. I am not saying that Hillary Clinton becoming president will magically create nationwide gender equality, because it will not. But when we join the ranks of twenty-two other countries such as Germany, Denmark, and Chile by placing a woman as our Head of State, a new generation will grow up with an altered view of what a woman can do. When women take on leadership roles, the way women are perceived and talked about changes. In just the last half-century, the way women are discussed in the media has changed dramatically.

She is a pragmatic Progressive. President Obama does not receive the credit he deserves for turning this country around after George W. Bush nearly put us into financial ruins. He stopped the great recession and has us headed in the right direction. Clinton will continue in that same direction. Her policies and governing style are very similar to his and many of her goals are to expand on Obama’s accomplishments like:

  • Comprehensive immigration reform
  • Legislative action on climate change
  • fixing and expanding Obamacare
  • expanding and strengthening Dodd-Frank financial regulations

If you have been able to handle President Obama for the past eight years, then you will be just fine with a President Hillary Clinton. They are both calculating pragmatic progressives. And the transition should be seamless. And a President Hillary will ensure Obama’s legacy, as well as forge one of her own.

She has experience. No one in our history has ever come to this office as ready on day one as will Hillary Clinton. She has served as Secretary of State, Senator of New York, First Lady of the United States, First Lady of Arkansas, a practicing lawyer, a law professor, and an activist over a very long and public career. Whether you like her or not, it is very hard to compete with her résumé. And because Clinton has been in the public eye for so many years, we have all seen her life play out before us. We have seen her accomplishments and her failures. We have also seen a Conservative movement attack her like no other. Yet somehow Clinton always remains standing. She is battle tested. There is nothing the Republicans can throw at her that has not already been thrown. And Hillary Clinton has proven herself tough enough to handle anything.

That toughness will help her lead this country. I think one of the mistakes that Obama made early on in his Presidency was that he underestimated the hatred that the Republicans had for him. Those same Republicans will have an equal amount of hatred for Hillary Clinton, but she will not make that same mistake.

People like to label her a “bitch.” Well, maybe in order to deal with some of the opposition right now, she will have to be a bitch – and she is just the woman to do the job.

Foreign policy is her forte. Simply put, there is no one who can touch Clinton when it comes to foreign policy. Her experience as Secretary of State was invaluable. She is more knowledgeable and respected on foreign affairs than anyone running. And trying to compare her with Donald Trump is hardly more than a joke. Henry Kissinger, who served as Secretary of State for Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, says Hillary Clinton ran the State Department in the “most effective way” he has ever seen, even counting himself.

Her foreign policy will be much like Obama’s. She is probably a bit more hawkish than Obama, but to call her a hawk is unfair, especially when you compare her to any of the Republicans. And if you take issue with Obama’s foreign policy and that is why you do not like Clinton’s, just think for a moment what would happen if Donald Trump won the White House – a man who has said that he “loves war, in a certain way,” and whose updated ISIS plan is “to bomb the shit out of them (the oil fields). I would just bomb those suckers, and that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left.”

Yes, her hawkishness is a concern; it is why I supported Obama in 2008. Clinton was wrong on Iraq. She supported intervention in Libya, which has not worked out well. But she supports the Iran nuclear deal, restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, and reducing the military budget. These are all important foreign policy issues.

Reproductive rights. She supports funding for Planned Parenthood, fact-based sex education, and widespread access to birth control (including emergency contraception). She has broken new ground by calling for an end to the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for poor women’s abortions.

Health care issues. As First Lady, Clinton worked to pass the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which funds health care for six million children. Now she wants to get resistant red states to expand Medicaid; add a public option to the Affordable Care Act; let those aged fifty-five and over buy into Medicare; and offer coverage to undocumented immigrants. She wants to rein in drug companies and their excessive prices on prescription drugs, and has detailed plans to improve access to care for HIV, mental illness, and more.

Voting rights. The Republican Party has been working hard to disenfranchise black, Latino, student, and other likely Democratic voters. Clinton supports automatic registration for all citizens when they turn eighteen; restoring the Voting Rights Act; extending voting rights to ex-felons; and setting a national standard of twenty days for early voting.

Immigration reform. Clinton supports a path to citizenship for Dreamers – the young people brought to this country as children by their parents. Unlike Obama, she does not support deporting undocumented immigrants, unless they are violent criminals or terrorists. This is huge: peace of mind for at least eleven million people.

Children and families. Hillary supports twelve weeks of paid parental and family leave; twelve weeks to recover from a serious illness; universal preschool; doubling Head Start; and affordable child care that costs no family more than ten percent of its income. She also wants to raise the pay of child-care workers and add quality child-care centers to college campuses.

Educational reforms. She supports debt-free public college and free community college, with debt relief for current borrowers. She has also pledged $25 billion for historically black colleges and universities and other institutions that serve minorities.

Criminal justice system. Clinton will support leg­­islation to end racial profiling and introduce sentencing reforms to end our shocking era of mass incarceration.

Workers rights. She wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour (not $15, I grant you), fight wage theft and other employer abuses, and strengthen unions’ bargaining rights. She opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership – another success for Bernie Sanders.

Our tax structure. Clinton wants to raise taxes on the rich, prevent them from avoiding estate taxes, and close loopholes for Wall Street and corporations. She debunks “trickle-down economics” – the conservative belief that obscene wealth in the hands of a few leads to prosperity for all, and that if you are poor, it is your own fault. That is oligarchical thinking at its worst.

Personnel are policy. The next president will nominate at least one and as many as four justices to the Supreme Court, and many judges to the federal judiciary. This alone would be reason enough to vote for Hillary Clinton. The White House controls thousands of appointments for the officials who actually run the government. Remember the many hapless and bigoted officials of the George W. Bush years? Clinton, who is superbly knowledgeable on a wide range of issues, will nominate and appoint progressive, competent people – many of whom are likely to have been Sanders supporters.

Everything but the kitchen sink. Clinton is for gun control, equal pay for women, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, and the Paris climate-change agreement. Yes, she believes in global warming!

President George H. W. Bush, also known as “41”, said that he is voting for Hillary Clinton. And lastly,

If Hillary Clinton wins in 2016 that means: Donald Trump will not be President!

 Some would say that is a pretty good reason in and of itself.

So you choose. I have.

 

 

 

 

 

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