Liberal Column

Character, experience make Clinton best bet for United States

/ The Daily Orange

As the election comes to a merciful close, it’s increasingly difficult to find new ways to say “divisive” and “polarizing.” In an election that has divided the nation in a way that few — if any — have, one candidate stands so obviously above the rest it’s almost comical this is even up for discussion.

Hillary Clinton is not, nor has she ever been, a perfect candidate. The price of being a politician for more than 30 years is the accumulation of scandals. That does not excuse some of Clinton’s actions, but “extreme carelessness” — as FBI director James Comey characterized Clinton’s handling of her emails — should not inhibit someone from becoming president, especially someone as qualified as Clinton.

Clearly, Donald Trump has led the most expensive smear campaign in recent American political memory, but it is also important to remember the merits of the Clinton campaign.

During her tenure as First Lady, United States senator, and Secretary of State, Clinton dedicated her time to advocating for those who were not given equal opportunities by society: women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. Some examples of this include Clinton defending Planned Parenthood, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and voicing her belief that “gay rights are human rights.”

At a time when the rights and liberties of the disenfranchised are treaded upon at a concerningly high rate, we as a people need a president who will fight to promote equality in every facet of our nation.

Regarding higher education, Clinton has a clear plan to make public universities free for students hailing from middle class backgrounds. Families with incomes of $85,000 or less — aimed to be $125,000 or less by 2021 — won’t have to pay tuition at public colleges and universities in their state. And for those coming from wealthier households, federal student loan interest rates will be cut, so college will be affordable across the board.

On an international scale, Clinton’s wealth of experience with foreign relations makes her extraordinarily qualified to be commander in chief. Between brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and her role in the Iranian Nuclear Deal, Clinton has been instrumental in the United States’ quest to secure international diplomacy.

Yet Clinton’s most admirable trait is her character. After months of public berating and slanderous accusations made by her opponent, Clinton has remained steady and unbowed. The embodiment of Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high” rhetoric, Clinton let her calm demeanor and extensive policy proposals speak for themselves. When it was necessary for her to vigorously stand up for herself, she did so in a way that exuded poise and strength, furthering her cause through an eloquent dismantling of her Republican counterpart’s bigoted stances.

Despite the fact she has been charged with being unintelligent, faulted for her husband’s sexual misdeeds and blamed for President Barack Obama being the “worst president in the history of our country,” Clinton’s ability to battle through adversity shows she has the gumption — both on a political and personal scale — to lead our nation.

Ryan Dunn is a freshman history major. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at rarozenb@syr.edu.

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