Why It’s Hard to Vote Hillary
You would think that with the GOP electing Trump, the decision between candidates would be simple. Instead, Clinton’s character complicates it.
By Tim Philbin, College of the Holy Cross
In many ways, this Presidential election should be a slam-dunk for the Democrats.
The Republican Party has had a virtual implosion, resulting in the nomination of one of the most unelectable candidates in recent memory, and President Obama’s approval rating is about as high as it has ever been in his two terms as President. With a fear-mongering egomaniac at the helm of the GOP, all the Democrats had to do is sit back and not do anything stupid. And then they nominated Hillary Clinton.
If you’re at all like me, then you find the decision of who to vote for in the 2016 Presidential race a nighmarishly difficult one. On the one hand is the brash, arrogant and ever self-contradictory enigma known as Donald Trump.
There is no doubt in my mind that Trump would be an awful President. He simply has no redeeming qualities. Every single word he utters only convinces me further that he is supremely unqualified to be the President of the United States. I should find it extremely easy, therefore, to vote for the Democratic nominee. But, then again, there are a number of concerns about Hillary Clinton that give me pause.
For one, it is a matter of well-documented and indisputable fact that Hillary Clinton is a serial liar. Such a claim might seem disrespectful or even slanderous to certain readers, so allow me to explain. Throughout her career, Hillary has displayed a propensity for holding one position at one time, and then completely switching that position when it became politically convenient to do so.
Take her stance on gay marriage for example. In the early 2000s, when public opinion was largely against gay marriage, she took a strong position against it, but when the tide shifted the other way, she did too. In the early stages of her campaign, in the space of just a few days she claimed to be both a moderate and a progressive. Earlier in her career, she supported a border wall on the Mexican-American border, but now that Donald Trump has said the same thing she is against it. I could go on listing examples, but we would be here a while. The point is this: Hillary consistently adapts her message to her audience, and consequently no one knows what she actually believes. This is concerning in a Presidential candidate. Without trust in a candidate, how can voters know what they will do in office? Hillary is experiencing a crisis of trust among voters, and it is costing her dearly.
Second, Hillary’s record as a politician is questionable at best. One of the catchphrases used by her diehard supporters is “She is the most qualified candidate ever to run for President.” For the love of God, please stop saying that. It’s just not true.
I will grant that Hillary has quite a bit of experience in various different governmental positions, but experience is not intrinsically a virtue. Government experience only qualifies someone for the Presidency insofar as it demonstrates their good qualities as a leader. Hillary’s experience in government is marked not by success and leadership, but by scandal and dishonesty.
Take the Benghazi embassy attack for instance. The Secretary of State is responsible for protecting the security of American diplomats abroad, and yet ambassador Chris Stevens died along with three other American citizens. It is a matter of established fact that Ambassador Stevens’ request for increased security went ignored. Would it have prevented the attack? The world will never know, but the point remains that Secretary Clinton ignored a plea for help and the consequences were disastrous.
Third, Hillary has been at times perceived as being corrupt, and not entirely without reason. An excellent and highly publicized example was the private email server scandal. Secretary Clinton had a private email server that she used to distribute classified information. Ignoring the pure imprudence of exposing classified information to such a security risk, there is a deeper and more sinister element to the scandal that has given it such a long life in the news. It reveals Hillary’s underlying attitude that “laws are for the peasants.” Hillary does not feel the need to follow laws like everyone else.
She made a private email server so that she would have control over who saw the emails. She deleted half the emails on the server before handing it over to the house committee investigating the scandal because they were “personal.” 32,000 “personal” messages. Over the span of four years, that averages out to 22 “personal” emails a day. Call me crazy, but that seems a little hard to believe. This is a level of paranoid corruption that borders on Nixonian. Intrinsically, the email scandal doesn’t bother me very much, but the expectation of a legal double standard does.
So to bring things back to my initial dilemma, I don’t think I can bring myself to vote for either Trump or Hillary.
True, Hillary has an advantage over Trump in that she’s not completely insane, but nonetheless I cannot bring myself to vote for her.
The bottom line is this: Hillary Clinton embodies everything wrong with American politics right now. Her most prevailing characteristic is her untrustworthiness. I have no confidence that she would do what she thought was right for the country if elected President. On the contrary, it seems like she would do or say anything to maintain public support, and that’s the last thing we need right now. I want to be able to vote for Hillary, but I can’t; I simply cannot trust her.