Hillary Clinton is the only choice in this election…

On Tuesday millions of voters will head to the polls to choose who will lead our country for the next four years and the choice could not be more stark. In the long history of our nation, there might not be an election in which there was a clearer distinction between the two candidates or more divergent paths down which the country could travel. Make no mistake about it, in this election, our votes will matter as much, if not more, than ever before in determining what kind of country we will be moving forward.

On the Right you have Donald Trump who has shown us exactly who he is and how he sees the world from the first day of his campaign. It was at his very first campaign event when he proclaimed that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Since then Mr. Trump has done nothing to suggest that he is someone other than the man who spoke that day.

He has consistently stereotyped entire groups of people based on the actions of a few, even going so far as to suggest banning Muslims in the name of security. When challenged on the value of these views, he doubled down and decided to insult the grieving Muslim parents of a Muslim American soldier who died fighting to protect the very American values he has shown such little regard for during the campaign and throughout his life.

Once his views became politically inconvenient, he suggested that we instead ban foreigners from entering the United States from certain countries with a history of terrorism. While suggesting this he failed to take into account that many of our allies, such as France, are now countries with histories of terrorism. He also apparently fails to understand that the vast majority of terrorist attacks in this country have been carried out by natural born citizens or those who entered the country legally.

Furthermore he has referred to African-Americans as, “the blacks”, suggested that they all live in hell in inner cities with rampant crime, no hope, and lacking basic human values. He consistently fails to see the diversity of this nation as a positive, instead choosing to divide and exploit us along lines of race, class, and religion. He has failed to outright disavow the endorsements of racist people such as former KKK leader David Duke and done this while playing to the nativist fears of poorly educated white Americans who fear their station in American life is threatened by an nation becoming increasingly cosmopolitan.

Mr. Trump has sought to sow seeds of division among the American populace at every opportunity and exploited the real fears people have about their futures. He has played with the politics of fear instead of hope, depending upon the very worst of our instincts instead of the very best of our character. He has shown little regard for the damage he has done in his pursuit of the presidency and has consistently put his own interests ahead of that of everyone else, addicted to self-promotion and oblivious to his own faults he is entirely devoid of self-introspection.

He has played fast and loose with the norms of American campaigns, told more lies on the stump than truths, and even gone so far as to attempt to undermine the legitimacy of our elections. In doing so, he has failed to understand that one of the very cornerstones of a representative democracy is fair, honest, and open elections in which the results are trusted to be legitimate and that we respectfully concede to the winner when apparent we have lost. He has also suggested that freedom of the press is flexible and susceptible to the whims and musings of the president. Therefore promising to endanger the important and essential freedom that our press enjoys from the influence of government.

His disregard for reality is epic in scale, and only matched by his own ego. With skin so thin he can be baited by a tweet, and a temperament that borders on psychotic and deranged, he is someone that should never hold American lives in his hands. A man who is averse to any opinion that might conflict with his own views, who fails to accept blame for any mistake he has made or slight he has spewed, is not someone we can trust to thoughtfully consider the risks and rewards of the monumental decisions he would be asked to make as president. Instead of practicing the essential introspection needed by a president, he consistently lashes out at anyone critical of him. He has even failed to apologize to John McCain for saying he wasn’t actually a hero because he was captured. He doesn’t care how many bridges he burns or how many people he offends so long as he gets closer to his goal.

Mr. Trump has shown on multiple occasions that he feels the objectification of women is acceptable. He has bragged about sexually assaulting women, agreed that his own daughter was a piece of ass, has called women fat, pigs, slobs, bitches, and worse. He has denied the accusations of sexual assault accusers on account of their looks and not facts to prove otherwise. In the world of Donald Trump, women are a weak, judgmental subservient class of people who should be discarded once their looks fade, are susceptible to the power of wealth, and can only be “10s” if they have big boobs and a beautiful face.

However, though horrible enough, his disregard for decency doesn’t just stop with women. Throughout the campaign he has insulted just about every group of people possible. From mocking a disabled reporter, to coming up with childish and immature names such as “Lyin’ Ted”, “Little Marco”, and “Crooked Hillary” for political opponents, to implying that all Mexicans are rapists and all Muslims terrorists, there really is not a group he has failed to offend. On multiple occasions he has used Twitter as a battering ram to insult his opponents, racking up in excess of 200 instances in which he has bullied someone about something on Twitter alone.

Just as troubling as his lack of decency are his views on the world in which we live. He has, while not realizing the impact of his words, suggested that we reevaluate the very alliances that have kept the world for the most part stable since WWII, suggested that torture is a legitimate interrogation method without realizing what implications that would have for our own citizens if captured by our enemies, and suggested that killing the families of terrorists is fair game. Mr. Trump has showed an unusual affinity for dictatorial strongmen such as Vladimir Putin, denied their obvious attempts to influence our elections, and been woefully oblivious to himself playing right into their hands. In addition to this, he has thrown around the use and availability of nuclear weapons without realizing the terrifying and destabilizing impact an increase in nuclear weapons could have on the balance of power in the world.

Back home he has shown absolutely no respect for the hard working people who have helped build and keep his various business interests running. He has stiffed contractors consistently throughout his life, showing little regard to the impact that such a slight can make on a small business. He has played the tax codes to his advantage, paying little if any taxes since the mid-1990s. While the average American has footed the tax bill, paid to fund our schools, build our bridges, and support our military, Donald Trump has paid nothing while taking advantage of those same average Americans for his own profits. He is unfit for the presidency because he is exactly what is wrong with corporate America.

In short Donald Trump is a bigot and demagogue, whose sexist, misogynistic views and chauvinistic tendencies make him uniquely and exceptionally unqualified to be president. His lack of experience, patriotism, disregard for facts, false sense of reality, and aversion to criticism of any sort would assuredly cause him to make poorly informed decisions and critical mistakes in the most consequential of positions if he were elected. His affinity to bully opponents, lie, and cheat until the false reality seems real would be all the more harmful to our country when working in an office that yields some level of immediate legitimacy. I find it to be quite ironic that in a year that we have someone as uniquely unqualified as Donald Trump, that we also have someone so uniquely qualified as Hillary Clinton running for president as well.

Hillary Clinton has spent her entire adult life in service to the American people. Starting immediately after law school, she went to work helping to ensure that the civil rights of minority students were respected. Her work helped usher in much needed public school reform while First Lady of Arkansas. As First Lady of the United States, she was a vocal proponent of healthcare reform. Though reform failed at the time, it helped lay the groundwork for the Affordable Care Act that would be successfully passed in 2011. She was however successful in helping to create the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that remains in place today, providing health insurance to millions of children who would otherwise lack coverage.

After Hillary and Bill left the White House, she returned to public service as a Senator in the United States Senate. While serving as senator she took a leading role in investigating the 9/11 attacks and securing much needed funding for first responders dealing with a litany of health issues caused by their exposure to harmful materials on 9/11. After her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in 2008, she swallowed her pride and went back to work for the American people as Secretary of State.

During her time as Secretary of State she was a vocal proponent of human rights around the world, influenced other nations to expand the rights of women, and helped to repair the image of America abroad. She played an essential role in the development of sanctions and isolation that would eventually force Iran to the negotiating table and yield the deal in which they gave up their nuclear arms program. Though the agreement finally came to fruition after she had left her post as Secretary, there is no doubt that she played an integral role in the eventual accord that was agreed to.

In addition to her formal work within the federal government, Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea Clinton have also spread positive influence around the world through the Clinton Foundation. Through the humanitarian work of the foundation, they have helped to deliver life-saving HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other drugs to impoverished nations around the world. The work of the foundation has had an immeasurable impact on the quality of life for countless individuals who would have otherwise gone without.

While her opponent has spent his entire life promoting himself and ensuring his own wealth, Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life and work to helping others without regard for how it would benefit herself. She has shown herself to have a steadfast work ethic, dedication to making positive change, and strength in the face of adversity. She is someone who would enter office with immediate legitimacy and respect from leaders the world round.

Her ascendancy to the presidency would immediately change the heights to which girls could dream and help to shatter the highest glass ceiling in this country. Born just a generation beyond women gaining suffrage, she would be the embodiment of American progress and reaffirm that this country always has the opportunity to improve upon itself.

Hillary Clinton is someone who has the right temperament, judgment, and level of self-restraint required of a president. She is someone who is thoughtful of the consequences of her actions, aware that she has made mistakes, and committed to not making the same ones again. Her penchant for privacy is at times a fault, but as president may well yield itself to positive outcomes. She is not someone who is afraid of seeking out advice in fear that it may conflict with her own opinions, is able to put herself in the shoes of others, and find common ground with those across the aisle.

When you talk about strength, I’m not sure if you can find another woman who has endured what she has publicly and still had the stamina to wake up everyday and keep moving forward. Her life has been litigated in public and private for more than 30 years, and yet after 30 years of intense scrutiny, no one has actually found evidence that she has done anything to break the law.

The failings of her husband have embarrassingly played out in front of the world and yet she has stood steadfast by his side and only become stronger from the scrutiny, never apologizing for her choice to remain with the man she loves, and unwilling to abandon him in the name of political expedience. She has been accused of being complicit in his missteps without any evidence to prove being so. She has endured years of personal and political attacks and has not been diminished in the least by them.

Hillary Clinton is someone who is not afraid of a challenge. A woman who embraces hard work with the knowledge that with enough elbow grease all things are possible. Though she could have easily lived in the shadows of her husband, she struck out for herself and has created an enduring legacy of her own. A personal legacy that has at every step been about someone other than herself. From the children of Arkansas, to the first responders of New York, to the villagers of Africa, there are people across this world who owe a debt of gratitude to Hillary Clinton. Yet she is humble and gracious enough to not expect such platitudes. Content in the knowledge that her life has made a positive difference in the world, she has but no other interests than to continue her work.

At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton should be elected President of the United States on Tuesday for everything she is, and also, for everything she is not. Though she has faults and carries the baggage of 30 years in public life, she is immeasurably more qualified, prepared, and able than her opponent to lead this nation at this time. Her experience at home and abroad has provided her with the perspective needed to lead in an ever evolving world. The difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could not be any more profound, and so Tuesday’s vote matters more than most. May we elect someone who our children can look up to, that the leaders of the world respect, and who will work tirelessly to preserve the progress we have made over the last eight years.

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