Why I'm Voting for Hillary Clinton

October 18th, 2016

I’ve spent the last several months torn on whom to vote for in next month’s presidential election. Donald Trump is a non-starter for a hundred different reasons I’m sure I don’t have to explain. Though I consider myself a liberal, I have decidedly mixed feelings about Hillary Clinton. The many criticism we hear from the right-wing propaganda machine, which has gone into overdrive this election cycle, are mostly baseless. They still won’t let up about Benghazi, despite Clinton being cleared by one of the lengthiest, costliets congressional investigations in history. But there are real reasons for progressives to be wary of a Clinton presidency, namely her proven record of hawkishness during her tenure as Secretary of State.

As a former libertarian, I’ve had a certain fondness for Gary Johnson throughout his campaign. Yes, I disagree with him on many issues, some of them important. But Johnson appears to be forthright and intellectually honest, and as governor of New Mexico he demonstrated that he governs pretty much as he promises. And in particular, he’s committed to scaling back–practically eliminating–America’s foreign interventions, something that’s desperately needed at a time when we kill innocent civilians by the thousands via drone strikes in foreign countries.

Gary Johnson

But Johnson’s repeated media gaffes have convinced me that he’s simply not qualified to be President of the United States. When he asked, “What is Aleppo?” it was embarrassing, but I was prepared to overlook it. After all, I consider myself a reasonably informed voter, and I’d never heard of Aleppo before Johnson’s gaffe made the news. And as a Libertarian, non-intervention in foreign nations is a major part of his party’s platform, so it’s not surprising that Johnson would be less focused on foreign affairs than his opponents.

But then, mere days later, Johnson was completely stumped when asked to name a foreign leader he admires. Apparently, the Aleppo incident was not sufficient to make Johnson realize he needed to brush up on foreign policy and international issues.

I understand that Libertarians take an isolationist view of foreign policy, but even if it were a good idea, it’s not like Johnson would be able to bring home all our troops from abroad and close down all of America’s foreign embassies his first day in office. Like it or not, working with other nations and interacting with world leaders is simply an intrinsic part of the job of President, and Johnson has given no indication whatsoever that he’s even minimally qualified to perform that job, or shown the least bit of interest in acquiring the skills or knowledge to do so.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is far from a perfect candidate, but our job as voters isn’t to hold out for the perfect candidate, it’s to select the most qualified from among the available alternatives. And of everyone in contention in this election, Clinton is the most qualified by a mile. It isn’t even close.



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