In a recent post on Facebook one of the contributors noted that she didn’t like Hillary Clinton at all but since Hillary was friends with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders she thought that together they could accomplish a great deal in the next four years. In addition, she was vehemently against the thought of Trump as our next president and was therefore determined to vote for Hillary despite her misgivings. I tend to agree with her take on Hillary as a person, but as I have noted in past blogs, this election is not about her personality — or Trump’s — and when it comes to policies and experience Hillary, as has been said, may be the best qualified candidate ever to run for president.
Thus I regard this writer’s reasoning as weak even though I agree with her. It focuses too much on personalities to be considered strong reasoning in a political race of this magnitude. I tend to agree that Hillary’s public persona is a bit off-putting: she seems to be a very private person not given to opening up in public, not warm and cuddly like her husband. I have no problem with that however, and while I also disagree with some of the decisions she has made in the past, this race is too important to overlook her exceptional qualifications for the job at hand.
Since this election is a reality show in the mind of one of the candidates, I have chosen to take a page from David Letterman’s book and list my “top ten” reasons for voting for Hillary Clinton,in reverse order.
10. She was two-term Senator for New York State.
9. She was First Lady for eight years and learned from the best how to govern.
8. She was Secretary of State and worked closely with Barack Obama.
7. She has always been willing to disclose her tax records.
6. She has never filed for bankruptcy.
5. She has no debts in foreign banks.
4. She has never been fined for racial discrimination.
3. She has fought for years for women’s rights and the rights of the disadvantaged.
2. She has openly declared her political agenda, including what the Sierra Club regards as the “strongest” stand on the environment of any political candidate for president in recent memory.
1. She understands the nuclear weapons are deterrents, not weapons of war.
Now these may not be the strongest reasons possible and it always pays to take a look at the reasons given for voting for her opponent. But hard as I try I cannot find any reasons — aside from the millennials in his political ad shouting that he “tells it like it is,” which is about as false as can be. But there does seem to be one outstanding reason that ought to be addressed.
Many voters are fed up with “politics as usual” and want change. Trump promises change and he is assuredly not a politician in any strict sense of that term. He has never been elected to any political office whatever, which many regard as a strength; I regard it as a weakness. But, moreover, I would urge caution to those who simply want change. Change in itself may not be a good thing. My temperature may change and symptoms appear that lead to a shorter life. The weather might change as it has radically in the Southeast and this change is assuredly not for the better. Indeed, much change can result in drastic results and the change that Trump promises would certainly appear to be change of that order. If president he may well bring this country tumbling down about his shoulders because he is simply in over his head and has no idea whatever how to work with others and benefit from their experience and insight. And his close relationship with Putin must give us all pause when thinking about this country’s relationships with the rest of the world.
If there are other reasons for voting for Donald Trump, I am not aware of them. And while I realize that one should keep his or her mind open to new information, I am at this point determined to vote for Hillary Clinton for the reasons given above. And, despite my reservations about her public persona, I do realize that she is a woman of immense political experience and knowledge who is bright and capable. These reasons count for something, though, as I have said, this election is not about personalities.
Hugh, good list. Three I would add.
– Per several economic forecasters, her economic plan will be neutral to positive, where Trump’s would cause malaise to recession. Plus, his would increase the $19 trillion debt by over 27% with hers as relatively neutral at a 1% increase.
– She is known for collaboration as a senator and has advocated that she will do just that, versus the infamous “I, alone” comment from Trump.
– You mentioned the environment, but millennials need to know that Trump has said climate change is a hoax on multiple occasions and will tear up the Paris Climate Change Accord on Day One, increasing fossil fuel production.
Thanks for adding a few more reasons!
The Facebook commentator may be on to something, though, about Hillary, Warren and Sanders. Many of our greatest presidents have found that greatness through a combination of their own skills and experience, and building a genuinely gifted team. Lincoln had his famous Team of Rivals. FDR pulled together a strong team of Cabinet members, aides and others in other branches for his response to the economic problems of the 1930s, and then put together another formidable team — a war cabinet — basically of Marshall, Stimson and Adm. Ernest King for the war. The key was trust, candid communication, and, the understanding among the team members that the president had the final say. The president in those cases constantly solicited information — not always advice, but information — and those really smart people around them were essential. Plus, both Lincoln and FDR had to be able to trust that those on the “team” would follow through on his orders, on the general decisions, and get it done and done right. People like George Marshall, William Seward did.
Of course, the Kennedy administration at first had the look of a great “team,” the “best and brightest” young minds of a new generation. But after continued bungling of foreign-policy decisions, that term “best and brightest” became a derisive one. They were caught up in self-importance, failed to see the many mistakes that were unfolding.
I don’t think Warren would get caught up in such hubris. Bernie, maybe, but he’s also an experienced politician. The big thing the two of them would give Hillary is energy, ferocity and courage to push for economic reform, and stay the course on it. It would also, as Lincoln sought to do, heal rifts between the different segments of the party, bringing the left more into the administration. Warren’s an especially interesting case, and a good one to compare to Lincoln and FDR’s teams. She’s very smart, hard-working, understands the plight of common Americans. But she has no experience, really, at governing. And the president has to govern. But several in those other administrations also had no experience at governing — they were judges, economists (a bumbling financier in Morgenthau, who bloomed under FDR’s direction), who provided expertise and sounding boards for the president. Maybe that could happen here.
Perhaps more important to her getting broader national support will be the foreign-policy team Hillary would build. She’s in a tough spot there — seen by liberals as too much of a hawk, but not liked by conservatives for events like Benghazi and the security leaks possibly in her e-mails. Who will she name secretaries of state and defense, who will she put in charge of the NSA, CIA? Will they quiet critics on both sides, but, more will they trustworthy and good team players — looking out for the wider, common good? It’s hard to get that in some of those danged intelligence circles.
— All of that aside, all of Clinton’s legitimate qualifications aside, for me right now it’s going to come down to one thing: She’s not Trump. At this point, if my ten-speed bicycle were to somehow be granted eligibility to be on the ballot, I’d vote for my bike over Trump. I’d vote for anyone, anything, living or dead, over Trump.
The fact that Clinton does have real qualifications is, right now, simply a bonus.
Well said. I stand corrected: the reasons given in that post were not “personal” — at least not after you drew them out!!
I respectfully disagree that personality has no place in the list of considerations when voting, particularly for candidates on the national stage, especially those who want to lead what is arguably the most powerful, most influential nation in the free world.
As you point out, Trump is “in over his head and has no idea whatever how to work with others and benefit from their experience and insight.” I believe these issues speak directly to the personality of a narcissist, a person who doesn’t play well with others, a person who believes he is the only one who can fix problems. An abrasive, caustic, blowhard, bullying personality. Is that a personality we want to represent America to other world leaders?
Hillary’s personality doesn’t appeal to me, but her experience and political savvy give me confidence she understands diplomacy and compromise well enough not to cause such great offense with other world leaders that we need to fear all out war.
It’s difficult to imagine anyone with those qualifications not maturing beyond the personality Trump displays for all to see. Ignoring his unwillingness to remedy his outlandish ignorance, his pride in bullying and hating and ridiculing and bombasting seems to indicate he feels no need to mature. So even if Donald had similar political experience and savvy to Clinton’s, his personality indicates he is ill-suited for any kind of political position.
Point taken. I note that I allude to personality after saying that it doesn’t count! But my problem is that we really don’t know what kinds of people we are dealing with — especially in the case of Hillary. We are dealing with the public persona as presented by the media, pro and con. She seems to me to be a very private person, possibly an introvert. But her record is there for all to see and, as you have noted in the past, she has made some blunders. But, on balance, her record as a public figure is strong whereas her opponent seems to be exactly what he seems to be: shallow and terribly narcissistic.
I understand being private. (Said the woman with the INFJ personality.) There seems to be an assumption that “private” equates to “secretive”. Certainly a private person might have secrets they feel a need to protect, but that doesn’t mean there is something terrible to hide. Often, it’s just because many things private people insist on keeping private just aren’t anyone else’s business. For as private as Hillary may be, I suspect we already know most of the Clinton secrets. We can be fairly well assured that she knows how to employ her public persona to execute her duties.
Yes, Trump has all the guile (and appeal) of a slug. He is the vile image he projects, which is as shallow as a bird bath.
Well said. But let’s not lower ourselves to focus only on the “character” — or lack thereof — of those we vote to represent us. It may matter, but is less important than what they have accomplished in their respective fields. And, for heaven’s sake, lets stop this name-calling and ad hominem attacks that direct attention away from what truly matters!
Yes, sir! 🙂
Good discussion as per usual. I would add about personality, there has been an increasing trend in the business world to have more introverted CEOs. The reason has been the complexity of running multiple business units and understanding the complexities of different markets. The more extroverted CEOs need to be able to deliver the goods.
I am reminded of Paul O’Neill who turned around Alcoa. He was an introverted man and somewhat bureaucratic. At his first press conference as CEO of Alcoa, he said his first mission was to make Alcoa the safest company in the world. One investment broker left the meeting and told his clients to sell Alcoa stock immediately. He later said that was the worst advice of his career.
O’Neill knew the only thing management and labor would agree on was safety. And, he meant what he said. To improve safety, dialogue between managers and floor workers increased. The empowered workers starting sharing ideas to make things safer, but also more productive. As a result, Alcoa took off making that investment broker lament his decision.
HRC is not a rah rah type person. Neither was Truman or Eisenhower. Yet, she knows the job and has connections abroad. In fact, in a poll of G20 countries, she won easily in 19 countries, with Russia the only one supporting Trump.
We can infer from that poll that people in those countries (except Russia) have more sense than those thousands of people who are blind to Trump’s shortcomings??!!
As a Brit with a husband who is a citizen (till we hear the result) I can only wring my hands and hope for you. One small point, you mention Hillary not being ‘warm and cuddly’ like her husband. Don’t you think that may explain why she tries to be more circumspect and perhaps yearns for some privacy? Someone has to hold back in that partnership? Bill’s warm cuddly personality has given her plenty of reasons to wish for some privacy over the years! Well, good luck to you all, those of us across the pond who are still reeling from the shock of Brexit. One of many lessons – don’t rely on what the poils tell you and keep on trying to convince people right up to the (hopefully not) bitter end..
Many thanks for the comment. I was not being critical of Hillary for not being “warm and cuddly.” I don’t see that as a problem. She is a very private person. I was making an observation, not a judgment!! Thanks again. (My father was English and I may have to move over there if the trumpet wins this election!)
Ah – I didn’t think you were being critical – I was just pondering – and trying to put myself in her place (impossible!). In the last debate, which we recorded and watched last night our time, he was so rambling and abusive and she did very well as a human being to cope with that despicable trick of pulling in Bill’s women accusers. Thank goodness for Michelle Obama’s go high, not low. It’s a good strategy. Fingers crossed…
I couldn’t watch the last debate, I confess. I am not sure why I would want to! It’s a circus and has nothing whatever to do with the coming election — except to expose the man as a terribly damaged clown, which I already know.