I want Hillary Clinton to be our next president because I think she’s the most qualified person to lead this country. I don’t particularly like her, but we won’t be carpooling or anything so I fail to see why that matters.
Politics is a popularity contest, isn’t it? People vote for the person they like the best. Why is that? When did that start happening? Was it always that way? I’d like to think that at some point in our nation’s brief history we judged our potential leaders on their qualifications. But qualifications don’t seem to matter now. Now all I hear is “I don’t like her.” “I don’t trust her.” “She says whatever she has to to get elected.” So fine, let’s talk about that.
Judging by today’s standards, Hillary is a horrible politician. She’s unlikable. I don’t know what likable means exactly, it’s kind of undefinable. It’s just a gut feeling, isn’t it? Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders? Likable dudes. Al Gore, John Kerry, Bob Dole, Mitt Romney? Not really likable dudes. It’s that god awful notion of “I’d like to have a beer with that guy.”
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE. I don’t want to have a beer with my president! I don’t want to relate to my president. I’m an idiot! I don’t want my president to think like me. I want my president’s rhetoric to soar, I want my president to be stately and reside in air that’s way, way above my head. I want to revere my president because the office deserves nothing less.
When I hear people say they don’t like Hillary “because of her voice” they immediately lose all credibility in my mind. Perhaps she should talk like Scarlet Johansson. Would you vote for her then? (Holy crap, I’d totally vote for her then…) When the tone of her voice, her pantsuits, her hair, or any other surface-level bullshit enters the discussion, the discussion is effectively ended. These trivial, irrelevant notions are just clever ways to disguise a very simple fact you may be unwilling to come to grips with: you hate strong women.
But let’s get to the main point. Her shifting stances, her allegiances that can change by the minute. “First she was for something, then she was against it.” “She’s a carpetbagger.” “She doesn’t seem genuine.”
You know what? You’re absolutely right. Like I said before, judging by today’s standards, she is a horrible politician. She doesn’t connect with people. Watching her try to be a New Yorker or pretend to enjoy eating a corn dog in Iowa is excruciating. But that’s the kind of stuff that doesn’t matter! She’s bad at running for office because running for office has absolutely nothing to do with leading. And I love her for it. She wants nothing more than to just get all this politicking shit over with so she can get down to what she was born to do: lead this country.
Show me anyone in the last thirty years more qualified to be president. She was First Lady of Arkansas for 12 years where she founded one of Arkansas’ first child advocacy groups: Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She was First Lady of The United States for eight years where she helped create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a program that has helped cut the uninsured rate for children in half. She was a member of the U.S. Senate for eight years and Secretary of State for five years. That’s one hell of a resume. Qualifications matter to me, and I hope they matter to you. I don’t care that she comes off as “unlikable.” I care that 40 years of public service at all levels of government will inform every decision that will come across her desk.
And I love Bernie, man. I love what he’s done for the country over the last year. He has given a voice to millions of people fed up with the system as it stands. To these people, Hillary represents the establishment, what with her speaking fees and her Goldman Sachs buddies. These people want to change the establishment, perhaps burn it to the ground all together. They found their man in Bernie, and I think it’s been great for the national conversation.
But I don’t think we’re ready for President Bernie. If he were elected (and there’s still a very good chance that he could be), I think it could be a really difficult four years. He has some great ideas, some insane ideas but some great ones. Once he gets into the Oval Office, however, and starts grappling with the limitations of power inherent to the office, he’s going to realize that he’s not really capable of doing all of the things he said he was going to do. It’s going to be a real bummer for the millions of people who voted him in, and I worry that it might turn them off for good.
Hillary, on the other hand, won’t rock the boat. I think she’ll effectively give us Obama’s third term. Obama knew that change is incremental. It will be many years before we start to reap the benefits of a lot of the things he’s done for us. Hillary understands that. She knows how to work within the system because she is the system. Change is slow, but it needs to come from within. I think she’s the one to do it.
And I’m with her all the way.