Monday, 22 February 2016

Why I'd Vote for Hillary Clinton

Former PGS pupil Sophie Rose is currently in the USA working as part of Hillary Clinton's election campaign. Here, she explains why she supports Clinton for President. 

As the nominations get into full swing, it is safe to say that the pollsters have been a little upturned. Round one: the Iowa caucus. A plausible victory for Trump, until he threw in the towel at the Republican debate, relinquishing the spotlight for Cruz. On the other side, the fighting battle between Hillary and Bernie began to hot up. The two Democrats were only separated by a mere 0.2%. Conversely, New Hampshire was to shake up the political pot even further when Bernie achieved (with credit to his campaign team) a triumphant 60% victory. Nevertheless, Donald Trump shows a defeat only makes you stronger when he obtained a worrying 35% followed by the more moderate Kaisich with 16%.

So, despite the less than ideal start from Hillary, I am far from concerned about her bid to become America’s next President. Whilst Iowa and New Hampshire shape the race for the nomination, they by no means determine the outcome. They represent a highly homogenous electorate where the populist candidate tends to dominate. The Bernie light can only shine so bright. After all, there are over 2,000 delegates up for grabs by the Republican Party and a stupendous 4,764 for the Democrats. The race has only just begun.

Taking a look at both the Republican and Democrat candidates, there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton has the foreign policy experience to make America great and respected again. As Secretary of State she was solely responsible for bringing Iran to the table. Furthermore, nearly every foreign policy victory of President Obama’s second term has Secretary Clinton’s fingerprints on it - from repairing relations with Cuba, to the neutralisation of Osama Bin Laden.

The threat of ISIS is an ever-present worry that is shared by six in ten Americans. Secretary Clinton has shown that she has the strategy to destroy the threat of ISIS from day one. As Hillary has emphasized, this must be approached on a multifaceted level - not just with ground troops but also by dismantling online propaganda. To reference the “political revolutionary” that is Bernie Sanders, his foreign policy is far from revolutionary even at the surface. Of all times to have a tenuous chief diplomat and commander in chief, it is certainly not during a time of political tumult and Middle Eastern threats. To effectively combat such a regime, coordination must take place on an international platform.

Hillary Clinton is more than a politician; she is a woman who can change the world. I believe in her. She has constantly fought for the rights of minorities; this in itself is such a laudable attribute. She began her career changing the lives of many working for the Child’s Defense Fund. She has made it her priority to create a world where all children reach their potential. The New Hampshire Governor, Maggie Hassen, told of the support Hillary Clinton provided for her son who hugely benefited from the organisation. Despite being wheel chair bound due to cystic fibrosis, her son successfully graduated from University of Exeter. Governor Hassen told a very poignant story that captured the very essence of Hilary Clinton’s character. Something Hillary has to offer that Bernie lacks is a lifelong and distinguished service in Politics. Bernie stands asking the American public for “political revolution” but he forgets he’s not the only one. Senator Clinton has a history of taking a stand and making hugely beneficial decisions: the Global Health Initiative perhaps just one example. Bernie has done little to impact the world of politics in the same way Hilary has.

When it comes to Senator Clinton, a moment in history that sticks out the most as a young woman is her speech at the UN conference. One may even describe it as revolutionary. The controversial speech, “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights” was a risk for the era, a risk she was willing to take to raise comprehension of worldwide inequality. She chose a provocative topic despite the advice to avoid controversy. She has rarely strayed from the status quo; a trait ingrained in the Rodham genes.

Another ingrained trait of Hillary is her understanding that all should have the right to affordable healthcare. Hillary has been part of the campaign to develop health care access for members of the National Guard and reservists. Furthermore, she worked to expand the Family Medical Leave Act allowing families of those wounded in service to take leave to look after their wounded loved ones. The SCHIP program supplemented health coverage to millions of lower income children. Hillary wants to ameliorate Obamacare and create a world where it is effective and efficient for all. Let’s not forget, the idea of national healthcare is a new principal for America and takes time. Wiping the slate clean and starting from the beginning is only moving backwards. Many economists have questioned the math of Bernie, especially because there are many important cost cuts that may or may not go his way. I agree with Professor Don Taylor, who has been analysing Sanders’ healthcare proposals; “Keep in mind each dollar saved is a reduction in someone’s income, which is part of why this plan is politically untenable”. Let’s expand healthcare to rural Americans, a realistic idea that Hillary proposes and wants to achieve. Let’s make the system more efficient. It is not just about “free healthcare”, it is about how effective and accessible healthcare can be delivered. In order to move towards Bernie’s idea of free healthcare which I believe is a realistic future aim we must focus on the bureaucracy of the health sector. That means starting with multimillion drug companies. A fight again the big drug companies who are currently misusing their power. Prescriptions need to be attainable for the rich and the poor. Let’s take a moment out of Bernie’s paradise and think of the side effects that all his anarchic proposals will have.

A rather big (and realistic) proposal Hillary asks for is the open conversation about gun crime. In my opinion she is the only candidate to truly recognise the harm that American gun culture causes. Approximately 30,000[1] lives are lost annually due to gun related incidents. America needs to move beyond the excuse “it’s my second amendment right”. Secretary Clinton openly calls for a conversation and refuses to shy away until she gets an answer from the NRA, the gun lobbyists, the manufacturers and American citizens. Having spent time in America I have come across Conservative Republicans, Blue dog Democrats and the most liberal of Democrats all of whom share a common ideal; Access to guns is far too exploitable.  Regulation must be applied in order to reduce guns being handed over in the same capacity as sweets. In an international context, being able to buy a gun before you can drink is, quite frankly, absurd. Hillary needs and will change the accessibility of guns to reach a common ground for all Americans.

And finally, let’s move away from the weak opposition attack “she’s from the establishment??!!” In reality she wants to hold Wall Street to account over controlling the establishment. She’ll work to tackle dangerous risks in the financial sector and prosecute individuals and firms that commit wrongdoing against the state. She wants to protect the individual, not exploit hard working individuals. In terms of the economy, Hillary wants to take back the power and distribute money much more fairly. Her primary objective is increasing the minimum wage to twelve dollars with a future objective to reach the fifteen dollar thresh hold sustainably. In terms of the wealthiest, Hillary wants to tackle them to so that everyone pays their fair share into the system. This cues for Hillary’s “buffet rule” that ensures no millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than their secretary. It’s time for a future where equality is established in all sectors of society. This means minimising the burden on families with tax relief and starting a generation where women have access to paid leave, equal care and affordable childcare.

When November comes and the new President is crowned I would be hugely worried about certain nominees taking the throne. To begin with, Trump the Clown would hugely discredit America’s reputation, the quite frankly bonkers statements made by this man are a worry to democracy. Furthermore, the rest of the Republicans hold little credibility and support issues that seem archaic in this day and age. Finally, to top it off, Ted Cruz may not even be a proper American! (Do not fear, this information was received by a very reliable source). If I were rooting for any Republican, it would be the more moderate Kaisich. However, when it comes to the next President of the United States, I see only one viable candidate and that is Hillary Clinton. Her rallies were full of motivation and hope. Something America yearns for and needs. She has been politically active for years and has supported countless issues that have only strengthened American society. Yes, she can be criticised for her past but she can also be praised for much of it. Unlike Bernie’s half a page CV, Hillary’s is filled to the brim with knowledge, experience, past achievements, integrity and strength. She has the power to adapt and produce results for America. She is a fighter, she is a progressive and she believes in the American dream.

[1] USA gun violence statistics 

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