Opinions

Editorial: Hillary Clinton for President

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As early voting opens tomorrow, there has not been a presidential election cycle within living memory so fraught with controversy. Through the course of conflicting information, outright nastiness, and disturbing revelations, one clear choice emerges.

As the official student newspaper of UNCG, The Carolinian endorses Hillary Clinton, the candidate we feel will do the most good for our nation and our fellow students. This endorsement is not a grudging choice between ‘the lesser of two evils’, but comes from genuine respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton’s capabilities and leadership attributes. Secretary Clinton, in fact, may be the single most prepared candidate ever to seek the highest office of our nation.

We take strong exception to the tendency to write off this choice as the ‘need-to-hold-your-nose-and-vote’ situation. Mrs. Clinton is a candidate worthy of admiration and support from this nation and from this paper.The strongest case that Hillary Clinton should be our next President comes from her own merits, not by virtue of the happy fact that she is not Donald Trump.  And her record is its own testament.

Mrs. Clinton spent eight years as a United States Senator, where she served on the Armed Services Committee, as well as on committees of transportation, workplace safety, pensions, the environment and health. During her time in the Senate, Mrs. Clinton gained a reputation for unending determination and preparation for her work from fellow Democrats and Republicans; no easy task in an era of deep partisan divides. Those who reflect on her time in the Senate remember her unceasing intensity and energy in her every undertaking. Those qualities are not recommended for a President of the United States, but an absolute requirement as the executive of a diverse complex nation and global superpower.

One of the most impressive parts of Mrs. Clinton’s public service was during her tenure as Secretary of State under President Obama for four years. Hillary Clinton held one of the foremost roles in global diplomacy at a time when tensions surrounding the United States had seldom been higher. Not only was she able to successfully work for peaceful resolutions to conflicts around the world, Mrs. Clinton also gained some of the highest approval ratings of her exceptional service career. The performance of her duties as Secretary of State earned her accolades on her performance from former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, as well as her successor, Secretary Kerry.

The bipartisan support of Hillary Clinton encompasses more than respect for her abilities and her extreme work ethic. Her extraordinary determination, intellect and integrity should reassure all voters who care about issues of character. In a complex and tumultuous time, here and abroad, the steadfast and calm demeanor of Mrs. Clinton has become very important in this election.

Many doubts about Secretary Clinton’s character and genuineness have persisted against well-sourced evidence to the contrary. There comes a time when, as all negative attention breaks down under scrutiny, we must be willing to open our minds and listen to another point of view. Namely, that Hillary Clinton is not a puppet master of political intrigue, but an engaged politician who balances ideals with pragmatism.

Often referred to as the most difficult job in the world, the role of President requires someone that is able to set goals and realistically decide what needs to be done to accomplish them. One of the most telling accusations that Hillary Clinton has faced this election cycle is that she is a policy wonk: too encumbered by the intricacies of her work to be relatable to voters.

This accusation insinuates that all these specifications have harmed more than helped her, that she has sacrificed the large, sweeping appeal of her opposition in favor an all too political approach to politics!

There are reasons that you may choose not to vote for Mrs. Clinton. Doubts about her character, however, should not be what deters you. Throughout the course of her decades-long career, Mrs. Clinton has demonstrated an ability to learn, adapt and change when confronted with new information. If we condemn our leaders for the willingness to bow their heads and learn, and condemn them again for taking action even when they must admit that they needed to change, we demand a type of leadership that is antithetical to the spirit of our nation. Hillary Clinton has changed her position on policy issues over the years, but that should not cause for contempt from voters.

A common critique is that Hillary Clinton has been insincere in her apologies for her errors in judgement, and her mistakes in policy. No one contests that Mrs. Clinton has made these mistakes, least of all herself. In government, suspicions of misconduct require scrutiny and accountability, particularly for someone seeking the position of President. But that requirement has been fulfilled. Secretary Clinton has faced national and focused scrutiny, and not been found incapable of her duties, or guilty of crime or malice.

One of the most important characteristics of a presidential candidate is how they handle criticism and doubt. Hillary Clinton has traveled the high road; taken responsibility and pledged to work harder and hold herself to higher standards, to ensure that the lessons from her failures contribute to better leadership in the future.

Dedication, accountability and pure grit are the qualities demonstrated by Hillary Clinton’s career and life. These are qualities we demand from all people, and to see them demonstrated by a presidential candidate should rally our support behind her, not give us cause for doubt. In 2016 we have one candidate who has demonstrated the ability and willingness to rise to the task of the hardest job in the world, and because of that, we endorse Hillary Clinton for President.

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