A Moderate Plea to Undecideds

It’s political season, and I was hoping to get through without a single political blog post, but that isn’t going to happen. I’ve decided to write this because I think this is perhaps the single most important election of my lifetime, and I want to take the time to speak to my undecided friends, fans, and readers about why I think you should cast a vote for Hillary Clinton.

hillary

First off: I fully understand how a majority of you feel: dismayed by the choices, confused by the media coverage, unsure of what to believe. Also, I completely sympathize and agree that it’s time for a change. If Hillary wins, by the time her term ends in 2020, we will have had a president from one of two families for 24 out of the last 32 years. And given the fact that a lot of people have legitimate gripes about how our country has been run–from the economy to foreign policy–I totally get not wanting to vote for Clinton.

I also understand concerns about her honesty. The constant stream of “Crooked Hillary” comments, the endless coverage of her email debacle, and the questionable judgment she’s shown regarding conflicts of interest relating to the Clinton Foundation make me question how much I really trust her, or her husband, for that matter.

I get all that. Truly.

But.

It is the other side that has me motivated to vote for her.

donald

Here’s the thing: it’s not opinion, and it’s not unfair media coverage that tells me that Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency.

It’s his words. And when I go through those moments when I feel a little overwhelmed by the negative stuff with Clinton, I realize that there’s a very simple way to wade through all the very possibly partisan claims about each candidate:

Listen to what they’ve said. When you want to know who a person is, listen to them. They will tell you.

If you look back at the worst things Hillary Clinton has ever said, you’ll come up with some doozies. I am disturbed by her possible ties to banks, and what she said in those speeches does bug me. And the fact that she said you need to have public and private political beliefs, though it does make sense in a certain way, makes me wonder about her integrity.

The worst quote I could find was, “We didn’t lose a single person,” regarding Libya. But that quote was taken out of context. She was referring to the military intervention in Libya in 2011, before the Bengazi attacks. And that’s the problem with equating these two candidates. You can find utterances from Clinton that sound bad, but she actually has a filter and tends not to say outrageous things on a daily basis.

When I Googled “worst Hillary Clinton quotes”, what turned up were highly partisan sites that all consisted of hearsay. I cannot find any of these words on tape. If I could, I’d post them. I promise.

But none of that holds a candle to the things Donald Trump says on a daily basis. And words do matter. Words are how we communicate with the world. I don’t feel the need to re-hash what Trump has said in the last year, and it would take a long time to cover all the awful things he has said about minority groups, women, his political foes, people who have crossed him, etc. In fact, The New York Times did that for me here.

For those who say Trump “says what he feels,” or, “he says what I think,” I guess all I can say is that I’m sorry to hear that. There’s a lot of anger and hatred in those words, and there’s a penchant for not being able to handle adversity that would be troubling in a regular citizen, but could be deadly in a person who is in charge of the entire U.S. military, who has access to the nuclear codes.

Beyond that, Trump has a tendency to turn on those who criticize them. I heard him say in a speech recently, “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.”–In 2011, to the National Achievers Congress in Sydney, Australia, on how he had achieved his success.

This is a fantastic trait in a reality show participant. It’s highly entertaining. In a president, in the leader of the free world, it could be downright deadly.

There are all sorts of claims of Hillary Clinton being just as vengeful. But I challenge you to show me one quote, one thing she has ever said, that shows her to be this unhinged. And as I said: listen to what they say. There’s no possibility of bias if we simply listen to the candidates’ words. I searched and searched for such a quote, but all I could find were allegations of things she may have said, all in right-wing sources such as the Washington Times and Breitbart. Again: their words matter. Listen to the words.

The truth is that whoever becomes president will be skewered for the next four years, because the problems we face as a nation are not simple fixes. They are complicated, and they will take work, and compromise. Do you trust Donald Trump to see the nuance in these difficult problems? And if he fails, how do you think he’ll react to those who point out that failure?

I’m truly worried about that.

To close, this weekend brought about a perfect example of why I think Trump is downright dangerous to our democracy, and why we must keep him far, far away from the presidency. It’s his words about the vote being rigged. These comments have come as the polls have showed him trailing Clinton significantly. And words have consequences. When you tell people that their votes don’t count, you rile them up. No wonder some of his supporters are talking about a revolution, should Clinton win.

This is so, so dangerous. And I worry, should Clinton win, that people will die because of these words. But to make it even worse, listen to what he said when the recent email scandal came back to light over the weekend, the scandal that may allow him to keep the race competitive down the home stretch: “It might not be as rigged as I thought.”

I urge you, for all of our futures, to make sure to keep Trump as far away from the White House as possible.

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to A Moderate Plea to Undecideds

  1. Gayle Keresey says:

    Thank you, Bill!

  2. edhawkins says:

    My support of Mrs. Clinton is more affirmative than reactionary. I understand that many people (especially younger voters) would rather have had Senator Sanders as the Democratic candidate, and see Mrs. Clinton as a poor second choice. These same people, and others, may vote for Mrs. Clinton because, as you write, the election of Trump is unthinkable. I have voted for her (in early voting) because I believe she is a good person, a person deserving of my trust, a person who has learned about the world in a life of service and adversity. I’m happy that she seems to be ahead, and I am happy to see your support for her, whatever your reasons. Be hopeful, Mr. Konigsberg, and thank you for this post.

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