Hillary Clinton for President of the United States

Vote For HillaryThis bad hombre just voted for the nasty woman. In the words of President Obama, “there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.” I have observed Hillary over the past two decades, not only as First Lady and Secretary of State, but as my home state Senator, where I was proud to vote for her in 2000. I have read extensively about her background, from both friendly and antagonistic sources, and also conversed with people who have personally worked with Hillary, and have come to the conclusion that she is fundamentally a pragmatic bridge-builder. Many of her Senate Republican colleagues have observed how diligent she worked in trying to find common ground with them, and how effective she was at getting things done.

Hillary as Secretary of State

Most people understand very little about Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, and can only speak of two phenomenon, which the opposition has used to to attack her: her private emails and Benghazi. While I agree that her private email use was a careless, poor choice, it was by no means unprecedented. Her two predecessors also relied on private email for official State Department communications – clearly a bad choice for communications security. The blame for the Benghazi attack falls squarely on the terrorists who perpetrated it, not on any American politician. What happened at Benghazi is sadly the kind of risk our brave civil servants face around the globe. Once again, Hillary’s political adversaries turned a tragedy into a political football. No one ever speaks of the 13 embassies and consulates that were attacked during the previous administration, and the over 60 people who died in those attacks. More importantly, a Republican-led House Intelligence Committee investigation concluded that there was no wrong-doing by the Obama Administration (including Hillary’s State Department) in the run up to, and during the Benghazi attack.

As Secretary of State, Hillary helped bring about the democratization of Burma, which had been run by a military junta for decades. She brokered a cease-fire between Israel and HAMAS in 2013. She was an outspoken supporter of the Bin Laden raid in the run-up to Bin Laden’s demise. She helped negotiate the toughest-ever, multi-lateral sanctions against Iran, which laid the ground-work for last year’s historic nuclear deal with Iran that effectively put an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. She helped build momentum for a global deal on preventing and mitigating climate change, which culminated in last year’s historic Paris Agreement. Hillary helped to rebuild America’s image with our allies and worked to regain U.S. influence at various international bodies, where it had declined.

My vote for Hillary Clinton is not merely a vote against Donald Trump. As Former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said, “I have to say she’s a very impressive public servant… I haven’t been around too many people as professional; as well-briefed, as good with people at all levels of life… she’s a very, very capable person.”

#NeverTrump

On the flip side, Donald Trump is arguably the worst major party nominee in our nation’s history. Any other candidate who repeated or did just one of the horrific things Trump has said and done would have seen their campaign implode long ago. Trump attacked Mexicans as rapists and murders, and said that an Indian-born Mexican judge could not do his job because of his ethnicity. He coopted and led the racist birther movement against our nation’s first black president. He called for an unprecedented ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. and mocked a Muslim Gold Star family. He retweeted anti-Semitic memes from prominent white supremacists. He ripped off many small businesses that contracted at his hotels, and scammed students through his fraudulent university. He used his sham charity to purchase expensive portraits of himself and to pay for his own legal fees.

He publicly mocked a disabled man, and bragged about being able to sexually assault women because of his fame. He encouraged violence at his rallies and joked about assassinating his political opponent. He boasted about his tremendous wealth on the one hand, and said he was smart, on the other, for not paying federal taxes for over a decade. Perhaps even more troubling are Trump’s unabashed support of Russian President Putin, a tyrant who kills journalists and his political opponents. Trump has praised Putin, ignored Russia’s conquests in Ukraine and Syria, while undermining allies who form the foundation of our post-WWII national security strategy. Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has emboldened terrorists, and lent credibility to their recruiting narratives that the West is at war with Islam. ISIS has made recruitment videos featuring Donald Trump. Recognizing this danger, the former Director of the US National Counterterrorism Center wrote an unprecedented article demonstrating that ISIS is rooting for a Trump victory.

I do agree with Donald Trump on a couple of things. Speaking of Hillary Clinton’s performance as Secretary of State in 2012, Trump said, “I think she really works hard and I think she does a good job.” More recently, at the second presidential debate, Trump said, “[Hillary] does fight hard, and she doesn’t quit, and she doesn’t give up. And I consider that to be a very good trait.”

I am proud to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton as 45th President of the United States.

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