Hillary Clinton is one of the least skilled politicians in modern history. Her favorability ratings are lower than the roaring voice she uses to shout uninspiring utterances with. As shown in her never-ending email scandal, she has terrible judgment and lacks basic technological awareness–or she is fundamentally corrupt. She flip-flops on important issues and epitomizes cynical voters’ greatest fears in a politician. Among my peers, she is nearly as hated by Democrats as she is Republicans.
And I hope she becomes President.
Never did I expect to say those words about Hillary Clinton; if it were any other election cycle, #ImWithHer would only be used sarcastically. Yet, emergencies create exceptions, and exceptional emergencies such as Donald Trump create unexpected endorsements. And so, I’m with her.
I had previously thought that in an election between two evils, an unsatisfied voter should choose neither. My view has changed: I now believe that voting for the lesser of two evils is the surest way to minimize the chance that real awfulness is elected. I feel as if an abstention in this election would be a tacit approval of both candidates, as I never stood in the way of either one’s path to victory.
Supporting Trump in the general election, or acquiescing in the face of his success, would be a concession to tyranny and would provoke authoritarianism. Antithetical to true conservatism, Trump is uninterested in limiting the power of our government. By inciting violence against protesters, promising to silence or punish those who oppose him, and implying that most Mexicans should be kept out with a grandiose border wall, Mr. Trump has made it clear he is not as interested in becoming a president as much as he is interested in becoming our country’s leader.
The mogul uses the words “liberty” and “freedom” sparingly in his stump speeches and interview answers. In their place, he repeats sentiments glorifying “strength” and “fairness.” If Barnes and Noble were to compile a list of recommended books for Donald Trump, it would be more likely to include Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan than John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government.
Donald Trump is an opponent to liberty. He is an ally of unlimited government. In his world, the Constitution is viewed with less importance than his best-seller The Art of the Deal. His nomination flies directly in the face of conventional conservatism. He is exactly what the Founding Fathers feared. Most importantly, he operates under a paradigm that pits “us” (Trump supporters) against “them” (everyone else). Much like a cult, Trump promises his supporters that he will protect them from the evils that illegal immigrants, Mexicans, foreign leaders, Muslims, and liberals create. This is divisive at best; at worst, it is a precursor for discriminatory laws.
Hillary Clinton, warts and all, is a career politician. She is bound by the conventional rules of politics and driven by a desire to be well-liked and reelected. For that reason, she is unlikely to make any decisions that would arouse high levels of dissatisfaction. Whereas Trump is seemingly dedicated to protecting only his supports, Mrs. Clinton’s appetite for adoration requires her to carry out primarily noncontroversial actions that appeal to a majority of Americans.
In terms of policy (primarily foreign policy, considering that is the Commander-in-Chief’s greatest realm of influence), Donald Trump is temperamentally unstable and I doubt his ability to make reasonable decisions. He has an obsession with vengeance and brags about his ability to right his wrongs. Handling an already volatile international community is tough; are you more equipped to manage it when your first response to conflict is an obscene tweet with poor grammar? This is the very reason Trump has been endorsed by Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un: they know his sensitivity can be taken advantage of. Mr. Trump’s buffoonery can be easily exploited, and his temper should raise serious concerns about the nuclear codes being in his (tiny?) hands.
Hillary Clinton is experienced. She has established relationships with the very world leaders that laugh at Donald Trump’s candidacy. Of course, she has made mistakes. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, is blessed with an unscathed foreign policy record that has been created by never having to make any important policy decisions. Clinton knows how to negotiate and understands the field of international relations is more complex than “win, win, win”ing. There’s also the bonuses: Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to commit war crimes against terrorists’ families and she knows what the Brexit is!
I don’t like Hillary Clinton. Most Americans don’t. But the prospect of a Trump presidency poses too great of a risk to be created by voters who were morally satisfied in their abstention this November. The prospect of a Trump presidency means that I’m–suprisingly–with her, Hillary Clinton.