BY OLIVIA HOLBROOK —
I seem to be a political anomaly these days: a young voter who supports Hillary Clinton. This in itself is a rarity, but it is even rarer in Shorewood. While I certainly am entranced by the idea of free college for all (Bernie, come on, it is never going to happen) and some of Senator Sanders’ other ideas, my reasoning for voting for Hillary Clinton is quite simple. I am voting for Hillary because I believe she is the only person running for president who has the experience and ideas to position our nation in a positive place for generations to come.
First, I want to address Hillary’s competition, Senator Sanders. Bernie is a great politician and an even better person. He has fought for civil rights, women’s rights, the rights of immigrants and many more noble causes throughout his lifetime and I appreciate and thank him for his efforts. I do not dislike Bernie Sanders, I simply do not agree with some of his ideas and some of the decisions he has made as a Senator from Vermont.
One of Bernie’s stances that I do not agree with is his stance on gun control. Sanders has been inconsistent with his ideas about gun control throughout his entire career as a politician. Senator Sanders’ votes on gun control have taken money away from the Center for Disease control to research gun violence; they have protected manufacturers; and have ultimately made it easier for people to obtain firearms. But now, Bernie wants to be tough on gun control. Quite frankly, I don’t trust that. For decades Sanders has had varying views on gun control, something I find to be one of the most important issues of the upcoming election. Our nation has been struck by gun violence and if we want to put an end to this epidemic we need to elect a candidate whose views on gun control are strict, progressive and consistent.
Moving on to Hillary: Hillary Clinton is by far the most experienced person running for president. Being president of the United States is arguably the most difficult job in the country and no one else is more prepared than she is. Over the past 25 years, Hillary has held some of the most prominent political positions in the nation: First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State under President Obama, during his first term in office.
One other area where Clinton strongly outperforms Sanders is on foreign policy. Clinton served as Secretary of State for four years and in doing so met and worked with countless world leaders and has vast knowledge about the rest of the world. Bernie has served in the Congress for over 25 years and it is absolutely inexcusable that he is not better versed in foreign affairs. Our country is faced by much more than the problem of income inequality (although that is a big one and I appreciate his ideas and passion for equality). We need a leader who is strong in more than one area. We need someone who is well versed in economics, domestic affairs, foreign affairs and more, not just a one-issue candidate who over the past 25 years has made no effort to expand his platform.
This campaign year has been filled with sexism. The notorious “Bernie Bros” have taken to the social media world and been extremely sexist, rude and disgusting toward Clinton in a way her supporters are not to Senator Sanders. One thing that bothers me most about the Democratic race is the double standard Hillary faces.
Many female Hillary Clinton supporters, including myself, have been ridiculed because people assume they are voting for Hillary because she is a woman. While that is not the sole reason I am voting for Hillary, it is okay that I am excited she is a woman. In a country where women make up 51% of the population but fill just 19.5% of the U.S. Congress, it is okay to care about gender on the ballot. In a country that has never had a female president in its 240-year history, it is okay to care about gender on the ballot. In a country where children grow up assuming it is normal for only men to be president, it is okay to care about gender on the ballot. Having a woman in the highest office of the land opens new doors for women not only around the United States, but around the entire world.
Our country, more than we may know or want to admit, needs Hillary Clinton as our next president. We need her to break down the barriers caused by sexism in our country and around the world. We need her to close the inequality gap. We need her to keep this country safe from threats like ISIS and more. But above all, we need Hillary Clinton to make our country a place where we our parents thrive, we thrive and, eventually, our children thrive.