Or … She Ain’t That Muchuva Jagoff
I’m not all that broken up about Hillary Clinton getting my vote for President on Election Day. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not disappointed. In liberals, in Democrats, in Republicans, in our country.
My main voting issue has usually been foreign policy. In the first two Presidential elections in which I voted (2000 and 2004), the Democratic Party supposedly represented a stark choice to the Republicans. They advocated a more cautious, diplomatic approach. They didn’t bloviate about forcing the rest of the world to respect us or make naive assumptions about the instant transformative power of Democracy. FREEDOM! No, the rest of the world doesn’t hate us for our freedoms.
It wasn’t difficult to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 either. He made the same assurances that Gore and Kerry did. Respect for international institutions and our allies. Perhaps a pullback from using the military as the blunt edge of democracy promotion. And then he went and cocked it all up. Sending troops into Libya in the first place, not closing Guantanamo, nearly getting us into a war in Syria. President Obama got my vote in 2012 but with much less enthusiasm. And behind many of his most hawkish decisions was his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Secretary Clinton represents a hawkish, neoconservative approach to foreign policy that is reminiscent of President George W. Bush at his most aggressive, when Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld held sway in the Oval Office. While the buck during her 2009-2013 stint as Secretary of State does stop with President Obama, she championed the Libyan intervention and was very nearly the driving force behind getting us into the war in Syria in a much more concrete way. Her views are such that prominent neoconservative Republicans have endorsed her candidacy.
But she’s not Donald Trump. This year, I cannot ignore the personalities in the Presidential race. If Donald Trump was a garden variety Republican, I could at least disagree with him on policy issues. This year, however, the messenger does matter.
Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be President. This is a man who cannot control his own impulses. As President Obama recently said, “If somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes. If somebody starts tweeting at 3 in the morning because SNL made fun of you, you can’t handle the nuclear codes.”
Whatever negative views I may hold about Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy views, I at least trust her with the nuclear launch codes. I trust her not go on flights of fancy about her ability to railroad and rearrange the world to her liking through sheer force of personality. I trust her to have a plan and to seek sober counsel about the global challenges she will inevitably face; unlike Trump who once claimed that he knows more about ISIS and other issues than the America’s Generals.
I trust Hillary Clinton not to unilaterally end Muslim immigration or denounce Latino immigrants or call to register Muslims SS-style. I trust her not to pick fights with SNL over how she’s parodied. I trust her to respect women. The Presidency is too important to gamble on the fragile and volatile ego of a self-aggrandizing demagogue. So yes, I’m with her.