By: Leo Schenk – Columnist, Junior
Since I was young, I have, as I’m sure many of you have as well, heard of people voting for “the lesser of two evils.” With the two front-runners being so highly supported and so incredibly reviled, this seems appropriate for an election pushing the nation further and further apart.
Donald Trump is the GOP front-runner, and he has gotten there with remarkably few positive views, in that, he really is only conceivably against things. His website lists positions on six issues, very few of which are directly the job of the executive branch, and at least one (his tax reform stance) contains a tax form for 75 million households to send to the IRS saying, “I win.” This is a legitimate presidential candidate directly advocating for what sounds like a child’s understanding of paperwork. He is against immigrants, Muslims, the government intervening in the economy, as well as the free market. He’s only really in favor of his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But, despite his specific political advocacies, there is another argument to be made for anyone considering themselves both a supporter of democracy and an American.
This man, at best, has no long-term positions and, at worst, is an outright supporter of the policies of both the original Nazi parties and resurgent Neo-Nazi parties such as the Jobbik party of Hungary. This is all ignoring that his main argument to stop illegal immigrants has been proven to not work, given virtually all illegal immigrants come into the country legally and overstay their visas. For Trump supporters, is it actually such a horrifying time in your lives, that you would legitimately vote for a man who is an outspoken bigot, fascist and authoritarian, who has been known to call you an idiot for supporting him into the highest office of democracy in the world?! It certainly should not be, but that doesn’t make Hillary a better option by any means.
Mrs. Hillary Clinton has tried, both in this election and the one of 2008, to present herself as a champion of liberal ideals, democratic voices and openness of the democratic system. But has she actually been so? One of the accusations thrown at Hillary is that she has very few positions she stands by. With regards to race relations, Hillary has been horribly tone deaf while claiming to be all for equal treatment of humans. For example, at a campaign dinner, a woman in attendance brought up Hillary’s position from 1996 (when she referred to inner-city African-American youth as “super-predators”).
Hillary had a security detail remove the young woman charging her in such a public manner, and then she dismissed the entire event as unimportant. Hillary has had less consistency with other issues, such as the “war on drugs” and immigration. She supported the precursor to Trump’s wall, the border fence in 2006, as well as the horrible debacle that has become the “war on drugs.” Now she states that she supports marijuana legalization.
But of course, changing opinions is part of growing—these could all be heartfelt changes for Mrs. Clinton. No, the main problem with Mrs. Clinton is her undeniable record as a warmonger. During her time at the state department, she was consistently in favor of military action, with very little regard for potential consequences and very little room for actual diplomacy.
According to Robert Gates (secretary of defense at the time), Hillary was pivotal in pushing President Obama to take military action in Libya, the consequences of such actions The New York Times described as “leaving Libya a failed state and a terrorist haven.” Mrs. Clinton was so ecstatic about getting the air strikes, purportedly gloating “We came, we saw, he died!” before her triumphal tour of Tripoli, as though she was an imperial general. These are not attributes desirable for a nation’s top diplomat, let alone commander-in-chief, especially with such an incredibly delicate security situation in at least three regions of major American involvement around the world.
When I was first able to vote for the presidency in 2012, my father told me the story of his first experience voting. It was the election of 1968, and he had the wonderful choices of Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. Being unable to vote for either of them in good conscience, he decided to vote for “Arnold the Pig as President, and Allen Ginsburg for the VP.”
One may look at this as the angst of a young voter against the system and the choices available. However, I would look at it as outspokenly, directly proclaiming that he would not vote for someone who shouldn’t be president. That is all I would advocate: not for your vote to go to any specific candidate, but instead for your vote to go to who you believe should be president of the United States of America, regardless of what horrible people either of the parties wind up picking for their candidate.
Do not settle for a choice between a warmonger and a fascist.