Putting aside Donald Trump, a candidate who’s shown himself to be lacking in both policy knowledge and in human decency and someone who voters of all ideologies should reject, Hillary Clinton is one of the most overwhelmingly qualified candidates for president in history and would be regardless of her opponent.
And that’s why I’m voting for her.
Though I tentatively backed Clinton from the beginning, I was still eager to hear other candidates’ proposals. Bernie Sanders’ plan for combatting economic injustice and the flaws within our electoral process was valuable and inspiring, but it was also underdeveloped and overly-ambitious for a country that still can’t swallow something as meager as Obamacare.
Having served both as a governor and as a congressman, John Kasich appeared to be someone with a résumé equal to Clinton’s. His call for moderation and compassion was appreciated – making it that much more unfortunate to discover that social policies in Ohio don’t reflect his rhetoric.
Neither Sanders nor Kasich, nor any of the other candidates were able to surpass the wide breadth of experience and policy bona fides that Clinton possesses.
She’s visited 112 countries, brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and negotiated international sanctions on Iran. She fought to ensure that every child in America had health insurance and that 9/11 first responders had the care they deserved.
Her highly-detailed, center-left agenda totals more than 100 thousand words and includes paid family leave, a “public option” as part of the Affordable Care Act, debt-free public college, stricter background checks on gun purchases, campaign finance reform, raising the minimum wage, moving to renewable energy, making investments in infrastructure and cybersecurity, reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses, taxing the wealthy at a higher rate and defending women’s rights, disability rights and LGBT rights.
Abroad, she wants to stabilize the Middle East, halt Russian aggression in eastern Europe and hold China accountable economically.
It’s surprising to hear many say that Clinton will only work to maintain the status quo, because her agenda is in reality large and ambitious. Of course, she doesn’t pretend to be a revolutionary or the idealist that she was in her youth. Clinton describes herself as a “progressive who likes to get things done,” focusing on what’s achievable and what will have the maximum impact on people’s lives.
She’s learned the hard way that sometimes you can’t get exactly what you want, so you have work hard to get as close as you can. She doesn’t see compromise as a defeat; she sees it as a virtue of a strong democracy, something that people across the country — not just those in Washington — seem to have forgotten.
With her grit, her experience and her thoughtfulness, she’s managed to impress everyone that she’s worked with, including business-minded independents, national security experts, members of the armed services, those on the left-wing of the Democratic Party and even her Republican colleagues in the Senate.
This election, I’m lucky. There’s a candidate present that’s both qualified for the job and that shares my views on many issues.
But I’m aware that it won’t always be that way. Voting isn’t about picking individuals that perfectly align with your own ideology and principles. It’s not about choosing a lovable icon for the country, or even about “sending a message.”
It’s a hiring decision, which means that while there are many considerations to weigh, in the end, it’s about choosing someone who’s shown themselves to be ready to perform the job. Clinton is ready.