Friends, I have kept silent this election, mostly in stunned bewilderment. I thought it was funny at first, that this hateful peach of a man was running for presidency. Yes, I laughed at the farce of it, at the way it pointed out the flaws in our political system. Yes, the corruption, yes, the humor.
But it has stopped being funny. It is now deadly serious in the most literal definition of this word.
I am going to do my best, reasonably and rationally, to argue that we all, regardless of political background, beliefs, or emotions must vote for Hillary Clinton this election. I know that my arguments will largely go unheard, will largely be ignored, that people who have emotionalized their politics are unlikely to listen. But still I need to make this effort, because I do not want to live in a world where Donald Trump is the president of the United States of America. And I want to say that I did EVERYTHING I could to ensure that it would not happen.
So, I will do my best to unravel the major arguments I’ve seen against Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump. Then I will scream into a pillow for a while since I’ve had to type that sentence.
1.) “I’m a Bernie supporter, and I’m so pissed off at the corruption of the political system that I’m going to vote for Trump just to prove a point”
I have a lot of very intelligent friends who I have heard make this argument. Largely spurred on by this article or articles like it. Which raises legitimate points about Clinton’s problematic past.
As with ANY politician in the United States government, Clinton has voted on bills that she and the country went on to regret. In specific the 1994 crime bill accompanied by the categorizing of young black men as “super-predators”. This is not something I take lightly. Everyone should read this article about Clinton’s track record with regards to African Americans. She needs to change, face up to her hurtful politics in the past, and listen to her constituents. All things I believe she is capable of doing.
However, it should be noted that most of the policies enacted were BILL Clinton and not Hillary. And anyone who is going to make the argument that Hillary is simply going to be another Bill may also remember the time when people argued not to give women the vote because they would simply vote for whatever their husband voted for.
Regardless, I do not expect that there is anyone with political expertise, who has been in politics as long as Clinton has will not have a unspoiled record. I also believe, perhaps most importantly, that Hillary will listen to advisors and constituents, that Hillary actually and fundamentally is trying. Yes, in the same way that your aunt who doesn’t quite understand about gender pronouns is trying. It’s still really incredibly hurtful, but at least you know that they are trying and that fundamentally they care about you.
Which leads to segment b. of this point. People voting for Trump to prove that the system is corrupt. If you truly believe that the system is corrupt, don’t vote at all rather than voting for Trump. If we elect Donald Trump as POTUS, we are giving up on the American experiment.We are saying that we have lost faith in our political system entirely, that we have given up on being a country that strives for equality and inclusivity.
But more importantly than some collective myth, if we elect DT, we are saying that we do not care for Latinx who have been called rapists and continually slandered throughout his campaign. We say that we do not care for women who have charged Trump with being an actual rapist. In addition to all the other horrible anti-women statements and actions that Trump has perpetrated. We say that we are willing to give up on all the positive changes we have seen because we couldn’t have the future we wanted.
2.) “At least Donald Trump is honest about being a bigot. At least he’s not a PC candidate.”
First, let’s talk about the idea and term of “political correctness”. Here’s the thing, I believe in honest and open conversations. I believe in getting to the uncomfortable truth of what is happening in this country. The prison-industrial complex, the support of rape culture, the Islamophobia, classism, racism, sexism. By all means, let’s talk about it. Let’s not shy away from difficult conversations.
But let’s have them be conversations based in respect, in a general willingness to listen and respond. Not a shouting match to see who can say the more hateful and idiotic statement. Political correctness is about recognizing and supporting people who have been continually traumatized by the verbal and physical hierarchy of our country. It is not about silencing people. It is about acknowledging that not all people experience language in a privileged way. All people should be protected from hate speech that has its roots in our violent past.
Secondly, PC is just a smokescreen. The same people who applaud DT for his “non-PC” methods are often the same who point out Clinton’s “super-predator” comment.
3.) “People are just voting for Hillary because she’s a woman. What a stupid thing to do.”
It’s very difficult to unpack this one for me. Partly because for me it is (somewhat) accurate. But here’s the thing, if you don’t believe that Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president of the United States, you aren’t likely to believe anyone is. I’m not saying she’s best. I’m saying she’s most-qualified. If you heard Obama’s killer speech at the DNC you know what I’m talking about.
Additionally, YES IT IS TIME THAT WE HAD A FEMALE PRESIDENT. It took us this long to elect a black president. Let’s not regress when we have a chance to move forward. We could make history again.
For every woman who has felt afraid to walk alone at night, who has been told she shouldn’t travel alone, that she won’t survive in a STEM field, that she is nothing more than her looks, that she should smile more, that she was asking for it, that she won’t be believed, that the world is too much, that she is too weak, that she is too aggressive, that she is the wrong kind of woman. For all those little girls out there with aching hearts, for all the women who fought for the right to go to school, to vote in elections, to be seen as people.
For all of them:
IT IS TIME WE HAD A FEMALE PRESIDENT.
And I’m not going to be bullied by the argument that it is somehow silly for me to vote based on gender, that it is irrational and irresponsible. People never vote for rational reasons. It has always been and always will be emotional. That’s why the candidates always go for either hope or fear-based arguments. Because they play our emotions, and they work.
4.) “I’m a Bernie supporter and I’m voting for no one. Because Hillary would ruin America and Trump would ruin America. It’s okay, Trump won’t win.” (Additionally, voting for Bernie/Jill Stein/etc.)
Please, I beg you, for me and for whatever future you hope to have for yourself, vote for Hillary Clinton. She will listen to her advisors, she knows how to compromise, she has the support of people whose opinions you respect. She is respected internationally, is not an alleged rapist, and can make it through multi-syllabic words. No, she is not perfect, but I believe she will move us in the right direction.
If DT becomes president we are saying goodbye to rights for our climate, black people, immigrants, Latinx, LBGTQ, lower SES, and international relations. You will essentially be giving up on the ideals you claim to espouse. You are saying that all the work that your candidates did was for nothing.
5.) “I’m a Trump supporter because he’s honest and he makes money and he is tough and he supports American values and gives us a vision. Etc.”
To read what white wealthy cis-male privilege sounds like, give this a read.
So if you believe that sort of stuff, I doubt you’d have made it this far through the article. But just in case you did. Trump does not have a firm grasp on reality. He has lied so many times, he has gone bankrupt so many times, he has relied on hatred and fear and demagoguery, and the long-ingrained idea that because there is (slowly oh so very very slowly) starting to be more inclusion of black Americans, Native Americans, Latinx Americans, Asian Americans, LBGTQ Americans, etc. in our society, that this somehow corrupts the pure white bread America we all know and love. He spouts hate and fear.
So, I guess if that’s what you believe to be the core of the United States: hatred and fear rather than hope and love, then, yes, vote for Trump.
The United States is not a perfect country. God knows I’ve cried this year. God knows I’ve been angry, unable to sleep more times than I can count. The shooting at Orlando, the Stanford rape case, the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. There is so much that I hate about this country, its history, its racism, its patriarchal capitalistic society.
But I believe it can change and grow. I am not ready to cast it, and myself and everyone around me, to the wolves just yet. I believe that we have made progress over the past 600 years, too little progress, yes, but still progress.
Hillary Clinton is not a perfect candidate. But I believe Hillary Clinton is also capable of overcoming her racist past, just as the United States is. I believe that she will listen to her advisors and to her voters, and that she will work for what we pressure her to work for. I’m not saying she’ll do it on her own, but I believe she will respond where we push her.
I cannot say the same of Donald Trump. I do not believe he has any idea of how to lead, to listen, or to be a decent human being, let alone the president of the United States.
If we do not go out to vote for Hillary Clinton, if we do not do our best to convince others to do the same, then we are giving up on all the progress that we and those we respect have made.
So, probably everyone will yell a lot of things at me. Which is fine. I’m posting my opinions on the internet. I don’t claim to know everything and this article may not speak to or for everyone. I also reserve the right not to respond, because I sort of have a life.
Yes, absolutely, I’m with her.