I’m a 23-year-old woman living in New York City’s East Village and I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. This is not an easy thing to say, not because I am tormented with my choice or feeling unsure as to whether it’s right; but because it is one of the most unpopular things I’ve ever decided to do; even more so than exist as someone who wears thrift store finds or braves the day with braces and glasses as part of my outward appearance (still not proud of this, but it made me stronger).
It is simply not cool to vote for Hillary, and I’ve spent a lot of the recent months avoiding conversations where I have to explain my stance. When the conversation is unavoidable when I am asked point blank, I’m happy to explain with confidence. But most turn away with a mindset influenced by the carefully crafted media representation of her before I am given the chance.
I’m voting for Hillary because she has the resume that best fits the job description. She kicked ass as First Lady of both Arkansas and the nation, taking an extremely active role in crafting policy, during both stints. She worked hard during this time when it was not expected of her or even necessary. She did it because she could and had the genuine drive to do so.
Foreign policy was strengthened during her role in the State Department. She was left with a big mess after the Bush administration, which left our country’s reputation in shambles. Traveling overseas during and after the Bush administration’s ruling could at times be uncomfortable. Our international friends were not our fans. From the agreement to prevent Iran from getting their hands on a nuclear weapon, to Cuba — almost every foreign policy score (killing Osama bin Laden seems kinda important) of Obama’s second term was aided by Hill-Dog.
As First Lady, she helped create and ensure Congress Children’s Health Insurance Program was approved, which brought health care to millions of kids. As a Senator, she worked to provide full military health benefits to National Guard members and reservists.
She set records for travel while leading the State Department and used each venture to empower the women in each of the 112 countries she visited. She prioritized gender equality of our foreign policy and created the ambassador at large for global women’s issues, a post that works to integrate gender throughout the State Department.
Clinton has a powerful, inspiring spirit and a work ethic that makes a Japanese tiger mom jealous. It is a spirit that is harder to maintain as a woman because of all that women are expected to be; but the bottom line is that it is a hard spirit to maintain whether you are a chick, a dude or a goat.
I have not encountered a person in the public eye who has been so publically ridiculed and tormented as Hillary has. This behavior is backed by people who point to the Benghazi attack, which I do not believe, nor does the Senate report indicate, was her fault – sadly, the murdered ambassador refused extra security when offered to him a couple of times, and plainly – security measures are more technical, and not part of the job description of Security of State; this role is for examining and concluding what to do, maintaining a bigger picture grasp on how to regroup and move forward. People cite her initial backing of the Iraq war, the email scandal (a mistake that has been exhausted, though Clinton is far from the first Secretary of State to use a private address), but underneath all of that is a core unease towards a powerful woman and a disillusionment of the wealthy, elite success – a disillusionment that seems to exist regardless of how hard a person worked or how many barriers they broke to get there.
She is the candidate that is prepared and genuinely most interested in doing the right thing for women and children, which isn’t just a feminist chick standard, but one that will help society as a whole. When women and children’s health and opportunities are strengthened, society is healthier, happier and safer.
The truth is that people aren’t evil and toxic just because they’re rich. Regardless, Clinton worked her way up. Growing up, she went to public schools and was active in her church. She first canvassed when she was 13, and worked to refine her political experience throughout her college years. She came from a Republican family and her dad owned a small drapery business. She was even head of the Young Republicans in college, but later changed her political views after becoming especially into civil rights after the assassination of MLK Jr.
I’ve never seen someone my age get so excited to hang out and listen to someone their grandpa’s age, aside from the one chick I knew in college who started going on Seeking Arrangement dates, but that is another story. A nation with free college and healthcare for everyone seems cool right off the bat, but where would Bernie get the money to pay for it? There are a lot of nuts and bolts that have to be in place for that to happen, and Bernie would not be able to throw in an executive order to have all that the Bernie world promises come true. His ideas would have to be agreed upon by Congress, and we all know how easy this process has become. His rants inspire people but when they are actually plotted on the drawing board, one finds it difficult to pin point how they would actually look. When experts do the math, his lofty ideas do not excite the sparkly, warm idealism that they do on the surface level.
Clinton’s ability to keep leading and fighting for the causes she defends after all these years, after Bill’s scandal and the mayhem that the Republican party has become, proves her resiliency. She prevails despite constant attack, judgment and ridicule and stands the test of time.
She has stood her ground through derision all dude-presidents would have to endure, but Hillary gets the extra ridicule of her clothes, her hair, her age, her role as wife and mother. When Sanders shouts, it is because he is fed up with the status quo, because the fire in his heart is lit so strong. When she shouts, she becomes unlikeable, just another one of those angry ladies playing the woman card.
While Bernie has a big heart and some great ideas, he had that big heart and great ideas as a person in the Senate, but most of his ideas were not put into action.
Healthcare and schooling are issues that need to be worked on, but I don’t believe the answer is to make them free. We would become in even greater debt, and taking Europe as an example shows us that the quality of college would lessen if it were free.
Hillary is brave enough to keep going and step out of the position of being First Lady, and a Clinton, to begin a legacy of her own. The fact that she is a woman running for POTUS is pretty awesome, but if another woman were running that I didn’t agree with or respect, I would not vote for her just because she has two X-chromosones. (Just putting that out there, haters, so you can’t say I’m voting for her just because she has a vagina).
To defend Clinton isn’t to defend a woman just because she is a woman. It is to defend a human who has the best experience for the job and who has a specific platform of which to move forward on. It is to defend a spirit that has been shot down from every which direction, but has stayed strong through it all.