Why I’m Voting for Clinton

Man, what a mess.

You’d think this was an easy choice. And in the beginning, it was. It was the choice between a calm, capable, resolute woman who had decades of experience and a thin-skinned, xenophobic, racist man who had no concrete qualifications whatsoever. Total no-brainer to any reasonable person, I would think. I would hope.

As time went on, my view that Trump was unfit for presidency did not change. At all.

However, I do have to admit that my support of Clinton wavered. Perhaps not to the point where I would refuse to vote for her, but to the point where I considered voting for a third party candidate.

But no. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

Yes, even now, after all the accusations and the scandals, I am still with her.

Before you call me a shill and before you say that I’m recklessly supporting a war-mongering, hypocritical, corrupt criminal, let me say this first: oh, shut the fuck up please. Not every Clinton supporter is blind to her faults and follows her without question.

You’re describing a Trump supporter.

I’m kidding. You can’t paint an entire group of people with that wide of a brush. You know, you can’t say something like, I don’t know, maybe that all Mexicans are rapists. That would be a ridiculous thing to say. Unreasonable. Certainly not presidential.

Jokes aside, I actually don’t think that all Trump supporters are all the same or that they don’t see his flaws. If that were the case, the race would not be as dangerously close as it is now. In fact, I can understand why people would be attracted to a Trump presidency. I think that they’re misinformed and ultimately wrong, but I’m not going to hate them for it. I’ll explain that later.

But first, I’m going to go on a bit on all the problems that I have with Hillary Clinton and why, in the end, I would still pick her over Donald Trump. I welcome any counterpoints to my statements, besides “you’re a stupid gook who don’t know shit.” Those comments I will disregard.

Let’s start with the email controversy. From what I can see, the whole thing comes down to intent and almost nothing else. The facts are that Clinton used a private server while she was Secretary of State to send and receive both personal and work-related emails. And…that’s about it.

Any other information you try to find about the emails is going to be bogged down by biased reporting and wild speculation. Were some of the emails classified? Well, sure, some held classified information, but weren’t marked as such until years afterwards. Not to mention that there are reports that agencies tended to “over-classify” in order to cover their asses. Still, that doesn’t mean that she wasn’t careless with sensitive information. Did Clinton delete over 30,000 emails? Well, yes. But State Department employees do have the right to delete personal emails, so the real question is if any of those emails were work-related. Once we start going down that path, however, it’s just pure speculation again.

I could keep going, but I don’t want to because it seems like a waste of time. There’s so much that we do not and cannot know that everybody’s already made up their own minds and I doubt I’ll be able to convince anyone otherwise.

As for me, I think that this was a case of technological ineptitude and carelessness than anything malicious, which is basically what the FBI ruled. Given Clinton’s insistence on using Blackberries *shudder* throughout the years, I can very much believe that she is technologically illiterate and simply wanted convenience over security.

Admittedly, that’s not much better. We’re living in a time where the development of technology is quickly outstripping old laws about privacy, information, trade, and a plethora of other things. Net neutrality is a huge deal that will affect access to information, education, and arguably even freedom. I’m not all that tech-savvy myself, so I’m definitely leaving out a bunch of other issues. But the point is that we need a president who has at least a basic understanding of how a computer works.

So yes, the email controversy makes me a bit worried for a Clinton presidency. Not because I think she’s hiding something insidious, but because her inability to understand how modern technology works engenders recklessness.

Fortunately, Clinton has plenty of merits that help shore up her shortcomings on technological competency. She has decades of experience in both domestic and foreign policy, has shown an ability to work with people from across the aisle, and has forged connections with leaders damn near everywhere.

Now, my last point there brings up another issue: corruption.

The thing is, there’s a thin line between having connections and being corrupt that makes it difficult for me to take a definitive side. Connections are essential for getting shit done, especially for politicians. Hillary Clinton, with her decades of working in the government, has undoubtedly amassed a wealth of connections. It’s inevitable and necessary for her work. Therefore, I don’t think it’s surprising nor damning to find that she has connections in whatever panel or board she sits in front of, even if it makes me a little uncomfortable.

In regards to the Clinton Foundation, it’s been proven that they use 87% of their donations for charitable causes. I don’t find that disputable. As for where the donations come from, I’ll admit that that’s more of a cause for concern. It’s one of the main reasons why I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary. Clinton is beholden to the donors of Wall Street and other various groups that seem to only be concerned with lining their own pockets and have no care for the betterment of society. It’s a huge problem. In fact, that’s my biggest problem with Clinton.

And to be honest, I don’t really have a strong counterargument for that. I just have to hope that Bernie’s movement and influence will force her to start the process of getting money out of politics. I think that it’s highly unlikely that it will happen, but that’s all I’ve got.

Some of you may be thinking, “Wait, so you admit that Clinton is a puppet run by Wall Street and big companies, but you’re going to vote for her anyways? You’re a gahdamn hypocrite!”

Well, to be clear, I have my doubts about Clinton, but I still think that she’s a strong, capable leader who will do at least a decent job as president. But what’s making that decision even clearer is the alternative.

Donald Trump.

Now, I will be the first to say that I absolutely loathe this argument. “You need to vote for me because the other guy is worse!” It’s a smear campaign that also manages to be whiny and screams insecurity.

But…it’s Donald Trump.

And I understand that you don’t want to have to choose between the lesser of two evils, so you’re going with the third party option. I get it, I really do. Hell, if it was anybody besides Donald Trump (and maybe Ted Cruz) and the race wasn’t so damn close, I would probably do the same. But I can’t. I can’t because I believe that sometimes, choosing the lesser of two evils is absolutely necessary. Sometimes, you have to compromise your values, swallow your pride, and just do it because the alternative is so much worse.

Because it’s Donald Trump.

There seem to be a group of people who think that even if he does become president, he won’t be able to do much. Saying things like deporting all undocumented immigrants or barring all Muslims from entering the country is just talk. It’s not like he’ll actually be able to do it. Congress will block him. Right?

Umm…where were you the last eight years? Do you not remember how the GOP decided that their singular goal was to prevent Obama from doing anything? To oppose literally anything that he proposed? How they blocked an unprecedented amount of bills, shut down the government, and refused to even acknowledge his nomination for a Supreme Court Judge? And how, despite all of that, Obama still managed to get a bunch of shit done?

Seriously, it’s quite impressive how many things he managed to do in spite of the opposition. Even the GOP freely admit it. They constantly say that Obama has completely ruined our country, which means that he’s done something, right?

I mean, sure, there are checks and balances in place to stop the president from doing whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean that they’re powerless. They can veto bills, write executive orders, and start “military conflicts,” even if they can’t outright declare war. They are the commander-in-chief after all, and their powers would only expand with emergency powers if something like 9/11 happened again. Trump with access to a nuclear arsenal; now that’s a comforting thought. And don’t forget about the Supreme Court nomination that could affect our country for the next few decades.

But okay, maybe you think things will be different this time and we would be able to stop him from doing anything too stupid. Or you think that he’s just saying all of these outrageous things to get people to vote for him, but he’s not really racist, sexist, or a bully. He’s just saying these things to get into office and once he’s there, he’ll scrape out all the corruption and bring back the jobs and stuff.

Well, first of all, his policy plans are near to nonexistent, but I’m not going to go into that.

Instead, I want to talk about how even if he manages to get absolutely nothing done as president, just the mere act of him being elected into office is incredibly damaging to the country.

If Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, everything that he has said will be validated. Every time he stereotyped an ethnic group, every time he bragged about sexual assault, every time he mocked people with disabilities or encouraged violence against protesters or advocated torture, will be validated. They will be validated in the eyes of millions, regardless of whether or not he truly believes in these things.

I’ve heard the argument that actions speak louder than words and Hillary Clinton’s actions make her worse than Donald Trump’s words. And I would agree that most of the time, action is what matters more, not just talk.

However, that dynamic changes drastically when you become a public figure. Your words begin to have more power and influence. People like Beyonce could create a nationwide trend with a few words onstage. Justin Bieber in his prime probably could’ve made a bunch of teenage girls cut themselves if he wanted to. And those are just pop stars. Martin Luther King Jr. used his words to inspire hundreds of thousands to rise up and fight against injustice. Winston Churchill used his to guide his country through a time of war and despair. As they became leaders, the strength of their words grew.

The fact is that we look to the President of the United States for leadership and guidance. Even though many people disapproved of and shunned Obama, there were just as many, if not more, that looked up to him as a symbol of hope, a sign that we had begun the process towards equality and justice. We may still have a long ways to go, but his election was a validation for many people who wanted to believe that putting aside our differences was possible.

The election of Donald Trump will be a validation for a whole different group of people. It will be validation for the various white-supremacists, former KKK members, and other xenophobic bigots that have publicly stated their support for Trump. It will be validation for those who have threatened harm to other human beings simply because of their religion or race. It will be validation for those who believe that going back to the “good ol’ days” of oppression and injustice will make this country great again.

This is why Donald Trump cannot be president.

This is why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.

 

Man, what a fucking mess.

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