Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses supporters at a campaign event, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Sanford, Fla. (Photo: John Raoux/AP Photo)
Hillary Clinton should absolutely become American's 45th president.
In the words of the respected moderate former governor of Massachusetts and current Libertarian vice-presidential candidate, William Weld, "Hillary is the most qualified presidential candidate in 2016." -- and as Oprah Winfrey rightfully reflected, "There's only one choice and you don't have to like her."
American's don't seem to like Hillary, but she is the only viable choice against Donald Trump and the Libertarian's private prison advocate, Gary Johnson. The contest is only between him (Trump) and her.
Long before Trump became the unlikely nominee of the Republican Party, he was a champion of Hillary as a senator from his home state. He also donated generously to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation. Trump has repeatedly called Hillary "Lying Crooked Hillary" throughout his obnoxious and xenophobic Rodrigo Duterte-like campaig,n and made his efforts more competitive than assumed.
The self-described "multibillionaire successful businessman" has projected himself as a populist, criticizing her for being elitist. Yet, as an elitist himself, he has not paid any income taxes in the last two decades, benefiting from loopholes in America's generous tax system that favors the superrich.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)
He wants to build walls against Mexicans, yet his business empire continues to benefit from the cheap labour of illegal (mostly Mexican) immigrants. He criticizes Hillary's marriage and the sexual misdeeds of her husband, but has been married multiple of times and been accused of sexual assault by many credible women. He has been critical of the Clinton's charitable efforts, but is known for misappropriating donations to his charity efforts, including purchasing a six-foot-tall portrait of himself for $20,000.
He runs his campaign, not as a serious mainstream candidate, but as an aspiring actor, auditioning to be on Saturday Night Live. His message is as narrow as that of the campaigns of Pat Buchannan from decades ago, but he has managed to bring the extreme right wing perspective to the Republican mainstream. He has managed to motivate the David Duke segment of society and pushed Republican heavyweights, such as George Bush, Sr. and Mitt Romney, to abandon their party in this year's election.
Seriously, how did he get this far? In looking at the Democrat party nominee, I can't help but wonder which Hillary is leading in the polls. Is it the Clinton of almost 50 years ago that was celebrated in the campus of Wellesley College when she gave a celebrated convocation student speech that reflected the voice of her generation?
The craziness that is the campaign of Donald Trump... has helped to shield the many shortcomings of Hillary Clinton.
"We're not interested in social reconstruction, it's human reconstruction that we want," she said, lecturing a Richard Nixon Republican apologist who was on the very same stage. "Every protest, every dissent -- whether it's an individual academic paper or Founder's parking lot demonstration -- is unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age... that attempt at forging for many of us over the past four years has meant coming to terms with our humanness."
How about the Hillary who spoke at a United Nations Conference on Women in China, reminding a communist nation and the world that women's rights are human rights?
Or would it be the Hillary who helped calculate the execution date of a mentally challenged African American, Ricky Ray Rector, to coincide with a vote that was taking place in the more conservative Southern states in 1992, in order to construct the image of Bill Clinton as a moderate-Reagan Democrat rather than a Michael Dukakis liberal?
Or would it be the Hillary who called young African-American men "super-predators" and, on the advice of a Republican adviser, Dick Morris, helped push a crimes bill to win the re-election of her husband as a moderate Democrat?
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton arrives at the presidential town hall debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., Oct. 9, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
That bill is noted for sending an untold number of non-violent Americans, mostly African-Americans, to prison. This helped populate the American prisons with African American men, according to a news report, with "more than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined." I hope African-Americans will begin to view the Clintons more critically and shake their blind love affair with them.
What did Bill Clinton mean, when challenged by the daring Black Lives Matter activists earlier this year, when he said, "Africa is a place where black lives matter" before listing a slew of charitable work his wife has been involved in? Are African-Americans second-class citizens, a charity or a defect problem yet to be fixed -- anything but American citizens? Has the American population and the media adequately scrutinized the Clintons' charitable foundation?
What happened to the billions raised for the immediate needs of Haiti when Bill Clinton was the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti -- which mostly ended up building factories benefiting boutique stores in the United States and not Haitians?
Then again, she is running against Donald Trump, who is essentially unqualified to be president.
The craziness that is the campaign of Donald Trump, its antics and dramas, stupidity and open racism has denied Americans a debate on real issues this year. It has helped to shield the many shortcomings of Hillary Clinton and provided her with a cover that she did not deserve. Americans do have valid reasons to doubt Hillary Clinton and question her motives. Her blind ambition, not the commitment she has to public office, is what turns most away from the Clinton brand.
But, then again, she is running against Donald Trump, who is essentially unqualified to be president. In 1992, at the Democratic National Convention, its keynote speaker, Senator Zell Miller, highlighted why a progressive political institution is important to America: "I know what Dan Quayle means when he says it's best for children to have two parents," he said. "You bet it is. And it would be nice for them to have trust funds, too. We can't all be born rich and handsome and lucky. And that's why we have a Democratic Party."
He might as well have been reflecting on the biography of Donald Trump.
In the words of William Weld, "She (Hillary) deserves to have people vouch for her other than members of the Democratic National Committee."
I hope that is what is about to happen and I hope she becomes the next president of the United States -- not because she is an exceptional candidate, but because she is by far the better candidate compared to Trump. Between the devil we know and the devil we don't, Americans will certainly be better off with the devil they have known for the last 50 years.
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"Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy," McCain said in a statement.
Ayotte never formally endorsed Trump, but said she was withdrawing her support."I wanted to be able to support my party's nominee, chosen by the people, because I feel strongly we need a change in direction in our country. However, I'm a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate who brags about degrading and assaulting women. I will not be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and instead will be writing in Governor Pence on election day."
"I'm out. I'm pulling my endorsement," Chaffetz said in an interview on Friday."I can not support in any way, shape or form the comments or approach Donald Trump has taken. This is so over the top, it is not even acceptable in locker rooms. It shouldn't be acceptable anywhere. We are talking about the president of the United States. I want someone of high moral values."
"I'm incredibly disappointed in our party's candidate. And unlike the Democrats who have proven completely unwilling to hold secretary Clinton accountable for her illegal activities that endangered our national security, I am willing to hold Mr. Trump accountable. I am therefore calling for him to step aside and to allow Mike Pence to lead our party.
"Donald Trump's comments regarding women were disgraceful and appalling," Byrne said in a statement. "There are absolutely no circumstances when it would ever be appropriate to speak of women in such a way.""It is now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe he should step aside and allow Governor Pence to lead the Republican ticket."
"I will no longer support the guy at the top of the ticket," Hardy said on Saturday.
"Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately," Thune tweeted.
“I can no longer look past the pattern of behavior and comments that have been made by Donald Trump,” Heck said on Saturday. “Therefore, I cannot in good conscience continue to support Donald Trump.”
"We need national leaders who can lead by example on [sexual assault and domestic violence]. The reprehensible revelations about Donald Trump have shown me that he can't. Therefore I am withdrawing my support for his candidacy," Sullivan said in a statement.
"I have committed my short time in Congress to fighting for the most vulnerable in our society. As a strong and vocal advocate for victims of sex trafficking and assault, I must be true to those survivors and myself and condemn the predatory and reprehensible comments of Donald Trump," Wagner said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. ""I withdraw my endorsement and call for Governor Pence to take the lead so we can defeat Hillary Clinton."
"The abhorrent comments made by Donald Trump are inexcusable and go directly against what I've been doing in Washington to combat assaults on college campuses. Because of this, I am rescinding my support for Donald Trump and asking to have my name removed from his agriculture advisory committee. With the terrible options America has right now, I cannot cast my vote for any of the candidates, so I hope Donald Trump withdraws from the race so the American people can elect Mike Pence as our next president," Davis said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"As a woman, a mother, and a grandmother to three young girls, I am deeply offended by Trump's remarks, and there is no excuse for the disgusting and demeaning language. Women have worked hard to gain the dignity and respect we deserve. The appropriate next step may be for him to reexamine his candidacy.
Garrett said that Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, would be "the best nominee for the Republican Party to defeat Hillary Clinton," according to the AP.
"I will not vote for Donald Trump,” he said in a statement. “If Donald Trump wishes to defeat Hillary Clinton, he should do the only thing that will allow us to do so — step aside, and allow Mike Pence to be the Republican party’s nominee. If he fails to do so, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton but will instead write-in my vote for Mike Pence.”
"The comments made by Mr. Trump were disgusting and totally unacceptable under any circumstance. It would be wise for him to step aside and allow Mike Pence to serve as our party's nominee," Fischer said in a statement.
"I endorsed Governor John Kasich for President, because I felt like he was the most qualified and the best person to lead our nation. I certainly won't vote for Hillary Clinton, but I cannot and will not vote for Donald Trump," Bentley said in a statement.
“As the father of three young sons, I don’t want my boys growing up in a world where the President of the United States is allowed to speak or treat women the way Donald Trump has,” Rooney said in a statement. "“My greatest responsibility in life is to try and be a good husband and father. If I support Donald Trump, I will be telling my boys that I think it is okay to treat women like objects – and I’ll have failed as a dad.”
"I will not be voting for him,” Paulsen said in a statement.
“Saying this election has been incredibly disappointing is an understatement. It never had to be this way. We should be debating the issues that affect our nation’s future. Instead we have two horribly flawed choices. It is clear that neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton can unify a deeply divided country.“I have repeatedly and strongly spoken out against Mr. Trump when he degrades and insults women, minority groups and Gold Star military families. I will not vote for a candidate who boasts of sexual assault. It is my conclusion that Mr. Trump is unfit to be President.“Similarly Secretary Clinton’s dishonorable actions – flagrantly ignoring federal laws, repeated failures in judgment on critical foreign policy and national security decisions, and intentionally lying to Congress and the American people – have disqualified her.“I cannot support and will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States. I will write in Governor Mike Pence for President,” LoBiondo said in a statement.
Follow Samuel Getachew on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GetachewS