I understand the significance of electing a woman president, but Hillary Clinton is not the right woman for the job.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that Hillary Clinton is a woman, especially if you pay attention to politics (and if you didn’t know, just watch the next democratic presidential primary debate, where she will assuredly remind us of that fact any time she feels like she’s losing traction among audience members), and, in all honesty, it’s getting a bit tiring constantly hearing about her gender, as if it has some sort of bearing on her ability to govern. After all, a president’s gender has about the same bearing on ability to govern as the color of his or her eyes.
I get it. If she’s elected, she’ll be the first woman president in U.S. history—and that’s fantastic, of course—but I would encourage voters to look past things like a candidate’s gender, race and sexual orientation, and instead look at their character and the things they believe in.
Now, I may not always agree with her politics, but that is not to say that she has not had her accomplishments (she’s had quite a lot, in fact). According to the liberal website Addicting Info, Clinton “played a leading role in the development of State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides the much-needed state support for children whose parents cannot afford nor provide them with adequate healthcare coverage,” as well as being “instrumental in working out a bi-partisan compromise to address civil liberty abuses for the renewal of the U.S. Patriot Act.” The list goes on to mention a dozen more of her accomplishments, but also states that they are nowhere near the entirety of them, as “Her activism on behalf of women [and] children across the world is renowned. Her activism for raising the minimum wage and combating climate change is stellar.”
It is not my intention to “demean or invalidate” Clinton “each time she points out that she is a woman,” as Jillian Gutowitz puts it in her Huffington Post piece entitled “I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton Because She’s a Woman.” Rather, I want to see a president elected based on his or her merits and devotion to progress, not simply based on what reproductive organs s/he might happen to have. It’s a great thing—the idea of a woman president—one that I support, but not without consideration of policy and character.
In fact, if you’re a true progressive and are hell bent on supporting a woman for president, I would suggest looking into Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate. According to her website (Jill2016.com), “she is an organizer, physician, and pioneering environmental-health advocate. She has led initiatives promoting healthy communities, local green economies and the revitalization of democracy – addressing issues such as campaign finance reform, green jobs, racially-just redistricting, and the cleanup of incinerators, coal plants, and toxics. She was a principal organizer for the Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet and Peace over Profit.”
So, if you’re going to vote for Hillary, do it because you have done your research and agree with her views and policies, not because she has a vagina. Voting for a candidate based solely on their physical attributes would be like voting for Donald Trump because he has such a great toupee (an obvious miscalculation).
The truth is that Clinton is a corporatist war hawk, backed by the establishment, and if you want to see real change in the United States, she is not the candidate for the job. She supported the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the invasion of Libya, the bombing of Syria and she has close ties to special interests and Wall Street.
If you want to see women’s rights and the other issues surrounding gender equality addressed, I would also highly encourage you to support Bernie Sanders, as he plans to fight for women’s rights, including striving for pay equity for women, expanding and protecting the reproductive rights of women, only nominate Supreme Court justices who support Roe v. Wade and the reproductive rights of women, and the list goes on. On top of that, he also plans to fight for tuition free college, a living wage, racial justice, LGBT equality and rally against income and wealth inequality and a great deal of other important issues, according to his website (berniesanders.com).