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Hillary Clinton: Lesser of Two Evils Words by: Brittany Edwards

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It’s a little over halfway through 2016 and we’ve already drained the proverbial glass of optimism to being at most half empty. We have witnessed the deaths of some of music’s greatest icons, too many attacks on innocent lives to count, Brexit – the ultimate political and economic omen, and the unfortunate rise of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the US presidential election.

Every four years our nation is exposed to the darkest sides of politics while we begin looking to select the new leader of our nation. Thanks to democracy and bipartisanship, as citizens, we have the power to select the candidate that best aligns with our wants and needs as the nation’s people – right?

 

In theory, sure that’s what we do – we listen to what all the candidates have to say and vote and vote and vote until we have selected the candidate who best represents their respective political party. In reality, we are all in an arms race, hiding behind the candidate we believe will offer the most cover when the republic is blown to shit.

 

In a world where countries can split from unions under an ethnocentric and discriminatory precedence, we could very well see the same happen in the US under President Trump and Vice President Pence – another cis white man with sexist and homophobic ideals and who has voted against the Employee Nondiscrimination Act and against raising the minimum wage. When discussing Trump, it seems to be a no-brainer to consider his lack of experience, coherent plan, empathy, decorum, communication skills, general emotional intelligence, and respect – you know, basic traits of what makes a good leader of a diverse body – as key factors that make him under qualified and an overall ill-fit to be this nation’s next president. But what about Hillary Clinton? A previous first lady and secretary of state, a graduate of both Wellesley and Yale, with clear political experience in international affairs and foreign policy, and countless connections. Why does she not have the undivided support of non-right-wing extremists? Why are women not shouting from the rooftops in celebration of being closer than ever to our first female president?

 

Hillary has proven herself time and time again as a meaningful force within the government’s executive branch and is undoubtedly a relentless contender when it is time for her to fight for her cause. She has chosen an excellent and safe choice running mate, Tim Kaine, the “boring” moderate senator who has made his mark in politics as the previous DNC lead and is also “fluent in Spanish”. She has been unwavering in force, but her position on some crucial topics has been much more inconsistent. Her progressiveness (one of the buzzwords of this democratic nominee race) is commendable – it takes a lot to admit prior wrongs, but it’s not merely enough to win over the new generation of women who grew up understanding the importance of intersectionality and in an age of more forward thinking than during the times of Bill Clinton’s reign wherein Hillary’s stances began to form. Not to mention her attempts to try to connect with and garner support from the Black community has gone as smoothly as nails on a chalk board.

 

It is absolutely amazing to see that after 240 years since our nation’s conception that we are on the brink of having the first female president immediately following our first Black president! I am thrilled that the boundaries placed upon these positions of power that were rooted in discrimination and other flawed falsehoods are starting to be torn down. I rejoiced in Barack Obama’s successes and I truly want to celebrate this possible win for women, but I am less than thrilled. I see Hillary as a desperate politician who has done and will continue to do anything to win this election – her choice of VP is a testament to her constant safe-betting while playing this political poker game for presidency. She stood in her husband’s shadow for eight years as he continued Reagan era policies and gave birth to the current mass incarceration epidemic that we continue to fight today. She was ruthless in her attacks at her opponents in both of her primary appearances and has been exposed as being quite suspicious in many of her affairs. She has flip-flopped on topics ranging from gay marriage to gun control. However, she a brilliant woman with ample experience that has left her equipped to stand as the face of this nation.

 

I can stand behind her as a lesser of two evils, but I can’t sit back and celebrate her as the best this country has to offer. So, for the sake of my future, my sister’s (who shares her namesake) future, and this nation’s future, I hope Hillary wins this election and that she will get her shit together by the time she gets in office so we all don’t need to run away to Canada.
Brittany Edwards
Brittany Edwards is an Washington University in St. Louis alumna. She is an electrical and systems engineer working in aerospace with interests varying from physics and space exploration to the latest fashion releases and music. As a black woman in STEM she has noticed the lack of representation and is truly committed to working to abate this deficit.
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