I try to steer clear of politics on this blog, but as you all know, this election cycle has been a cyclone of political horror as the King of Bombast and Banality has faced off against the Queen of IPES (Inappropriate Personal Email Servers). So I can’t help it. I have to break my blog silence with a political post and explain why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton this year.
This year, the Republican party has been hijacked by someone who is morally and intellectually bankrupt. I’m speaking of course about Donald Trump. Long before his comments (revealed last week) about groping women without consent and hitting on married women, he had already proven himself to be unfit for the office of President, or any leadership position for that matter. If you are having trouble remembering who I’m talking about, you may recall that he is the Republican candidate for President who referenced his penis size during one of the Republican Primary debates.
Here’s an incredibly limited list of why this man must not become President of the United States:
1. He has an ignorance and disrespect for the men and women who have served and currently serve in our military. See his comments about John McCain’s status as a war hero for starters. If that’s not enough, his recent comments describing PTSD as “not being able to handle the stress of war” reveal an astounding ignorance around the real issues that military service members face when returning from fighting duty.
2. He is a con man, demonstrated by the online “university” he created that bilked money from elderly people and poor people in exchange for useless information. I’m surprised this hasn’t received more air time with the number of people who have complained about their experience with this.
3. He speaks carelessly and mocks people who disagree with him. The most glaring example of this is when he mocked a disabled reporter during the primaries. Imagine how he would handle the delicate nature of our foreign relationships? Recently, a group of former nuclear launch control officers signed an open letter saying they think Donald Trump should not be entrusted with the nation’s nuclear codes. Do you trust someone with his temperament and lack of political experience to have that kind of decision in front of him?
4. His foreign policy ideas are unethical and absurd. What presidential candidate has ever bragged about how he would torture people and kill the families of suspected terrorists? Are we OK with this? Killing children to fight terrorism? In light of this, I’ve wondered how Christians who continue to support him consider this the “Christian” vote?
5. He regularly demeans women for their appearance, and has shown no remorse or intention of changing. There are countless examples of this (including plenty within the past year).
6. His comments about his sexual forays and ability to take advantage of women would disqualify him from being hired for almost any position of leadership in almost any company, especially that of the highest office in the land. His response this week to one of the many accusations of sexual assault was to say that “she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.” Based on how I’ve heard him speak of women, I could not look at my son or daughter in the face and tell them that I endorsed this man with my vote.
I could go on with more, but even one or two of the points above would be enough for me to actively work to prevent him from becoming President. So, I am convinced that we must do everything within our power to prevent this man from becoming the President of this great country.
With that in mind, I am voting for Hillary Clinton, but not simply as an anti-Trump vote.
She is the candidate who is most likely to pass legislation that will increasingly protect our environment. Sadly, I doubt that she’ll move the needle very much on this important issue, but it will certainly move in the right direction. Along with the environmental concerns, I am also supportive of the direction that she would lead in a number of other important areas: tax structure, gun control, racial equality, health care, and the continuing effort to fight terrorism.
The big issue for many conservative Christians is abortion, but there are two major problems with making that the deciding issue for this election cycle. First of all, Trump has said that he is pro-choice and he has said that he is pro-life, depending on who is interviewing him, so he cannot be trusted to be the pro-life President that conservatives want. Second, it is very unlikely that there will be any change in abortion legislation in the next four years. And Clinton has shown an ability to create good policy compromises (an important quality for a President), so it’s doubtful that she would push for a new Supreme Court justice that was too far left of center in their views. Clinton has a moderate track record and will tend toward healthy compromise and gradual change rather than radical shifts that disrupt.
She is by no means a perfect candidate and I certainly have lingering concerns. She made some patent mistakes in the use of a private email server for government use and was in charge at the State Department during the mishandling of the situation in Benghazi. Clinton could have saved lives with better decisions there, but the Benghazi situation was complicated and comes down to more than just one person. There is a lot of speculation around the controversies that are attached to her name, and we may yet discover that there are serious offenses in her past that need to be uncovered. But so far, I’ve seen nothing that would prevent me from voting for her.
If we disagree here, that’s okay. You vote your conscience, and I’ll vote mine. But before that I hope you will take a clear-headed look at both candidates before election day. I don’t have the expertise or the time to create an ironclad argument for my vote. But Presidential elections are often about damage control, so we have to decide who will move the needle in the direction we want it to go. Just be sure your candidate is able to move the needle without blowing up everything around it.