Why I'm with Her

*There’s an old adage professing that one should never discuss politics or religion. I disagree. I think the only way we can work through our differences as a country, or as a planet for that matter, is to have those difficult discussions. And those discussions must be had with goals of empathy and understanding. They should not be attempts at conversion of “the other side”. We are all Americans, we are all human. That being said, I welcome discussion here, but it must be civilized and constructive. Anything else will not be tolerated.*

Let’s get one thing out of the way. I don’t like Hillary Clinton. I never have. I didn’t like her when she was the First Lady in the 1990s. I thought she was trying to enact policy without having been elected. Michelle Obama, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan all walked that line perfectly. They developed programs, became spokespeople, and cared for our country. But Clinton reached too far. This is not an anti-woman opinion I have either. I would expect any First Husband to conduct himself the same way too. I think the issues surrounding Whitewater, Benghazi, and her personal email server have painted her as an overstepping career politician who thinks the rules don’t apply to her. Of course, there are plenty of other elected officials who exude these same traits. One could even argue that these traits are what help those officials achieve success.

However...

I don’t believe Hillary Clinton is a racist. I don’t think she advocates hate. I don’t think she rebukes our allies to appease our enemies. She has not advocated committing potential war crimes. She has not suggested assassinating her opponent. She respects the political process and the position of the presidency. I believe Donald Trump is a racist and a sexist who professes hate, endangers the safety of this country, advocates war crimes, threatens his opponents with violence, and thinks this is all a giant joke and/or publicity stunt. He is a clown, a caricature.

I do not think Trump actually believes that, “All men are created equal.” He is not what the United States of America represents. In fact, he represents what our founders rejected. Whether they were original colonists or the hopeful immigrants who have travelled here over the centuries, all who came to the United States were escaping tyranny and oppression, not running towards it. And yes I believe a 2016 election of Donald Trump would mirror the 1933 election of Adolf Hitler.

I am terrified by what might befall minorities in this country if Trump is elected. In this nation, when has the broad judgment and exclusion of any large group of people been viewed favorably by history? Not the enslaving of African-Americans. Not the relocation of the Cherokee Indians. Not the oppression of Irish immigrants in the middle 1800s. Not the ban on Chinese immigrants in late 1800s. Not the oppression of women and African-Americans during the 1900s. Not the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II. And most recently, not the alienation of the LGBTQ community. So why should fear, hate, and exclusion be the right answer for the strained relations with Muslims? Inclusion always wins in the end. Inclusion and freedom are the principles on which this country was founded.

I am writing this post to exercise my first First Amendments rights. I am writing it to make my voice heard. I am writing it because something inside compels me. And I am writing it because years from now, when my children ask me what I did to prevent disaster, I will have an answer.