Thursday, October 27, 2016

Voting Against Hillary Clinton is Not About Fearing or Hating Women

Someone on Facebook recently suggested, in a post comment, that I was not voting for Hillary Clinton because I may be afraid of strong women. The person does not know me and I have never met her. She made her comment to a friend of mine on his post in response to something I had said about Clinton.

Anyone who actually knows me knows how wrong that comment is. And it’s irritating that many people seem to think if you don’t vote for Hillary you either hate her or you are afraid of women. Even if you denounce Trump, as I have done again and again, and say you aren’t voting for him, as I have said, you’re still suspect. The notion that if you’re not voting for Hillary something must be wrong with you and you have some kind of issue with women, is simply shortsighted and wrong.

I have long supported the rights of women, blacks, gays, immigrants, veterans, and others who are often left out of any real discussion about equal rights, justice, and respect for them from the government and society at large.

My mom was a small, petite woman. Beautiful and smart. A devoted Christian who actually practiced her faith. She was tender and kind and opened her heart and her home to all people. But there was a fierce strength in her that I loved and admired. She was often tough on us kids in the sense that she expected the best from us. But no one was more committed to our safety, our care and nurture, than she was. And I learned from her to respect women, to see their unique gifts, to wonder at their indomitable spirit, to admire their relentless courage, to appreciate and honor the endless work they do, to give them equal status, and to love them with honesty and integrity.

I have taken a principled stand against Hillary Clinton. It has nothing to do with her being a woman. I fully understand all of the issues people have with Donald Trump. And as I have repeatedly said, I am not voting for him. And I simply reject the idea that not voting for Hillary is an automatic vote for Trump. People need to understand our election process. A vote is a vote no matter who it is cast for. And everyone should be respected for taking the time to vote their personal choice.

My issues with Hillary Clinton are clear. I don’t think she is progressive in any sense of the word. I am convinced she will maintain the status quo in our broken government, protecting giant corporations and banks, and Wall Street. She will be unable to work with Congress. Many of her Republican colleagues have already promised to block her every move. And I find it interesting that several Republican leaders have said they will vote for her. I don’t think that is because they love Hillary or hate Trump. I suspect they see someone who will collude with them when it comes to big business interests, especially the pharmaceutical industry, health insurance companies, the military and homeland security industry, Wall Street and the mammoth banks.

I don’t like the way she and the Democratic National Committee and Debbi Wasserman Schultz, who Hillary picked as the Chair, behaved in the primaries toward Bernie Sanders. People can say he lost and don’t be a sore loser and stop whining and all of that. But it is now a known fact there was a lot of underhanded stuff going on against Bernie that Clinton either initiated or certainly allowed, and I find that intolerable. Some will call me na├»ve for that, but I want a president who doesn’t cynically play with the system.

It also concerns me that Hillary and President Bill Clinton have built a political empire with enormous influence and power. It has made them vastly wealthy and has allowed them access to mega corporations, multinational groups and clientele, and foreign governments in ways no other politicians have achieved or even attempted. Their vulnerability to corruption and shady deals should not be dismissed. Beyond all of that, the affluence, the political and corporate power they possess have given them an aura of elitism and uppity entitlement that often comes across in them not believing they need to follow rules or protocols or any limits on their personal freedom or choices. Why is that ignored or perfectly acceptable to all of her supporters? Both Hillary and Bill just come across smarmy to me.

But my biggest issue with Hillary Clinton is her military aggression, what often seems to be a quick willingness to go to war. I don’t know whether this is because she actually believes war is a better alternative to diplomacy or not, but her ease in toppling other governments and getting involved in deadly conflicts with foreign countries whose resources the US government wants to control or exploit bothers me a lot. So many lives have been lost in the senseless wars she has promoted and supported with little or nothing to show for them, other than the devastation to our soldiers and their families, and the innocent lives of others lost in the brutality of war. And this business of calling out Russia, of threatening to engage them in Syria, and accusing them of throwing the election in Trump’s favor, is really quite astounding. There is no proof whatsoever the Russians are doing anything to affect the election, other than Clinton’s claims of interference; which the media continues to support without the slightest effort to question or verify. But it’s an example of how she can be just as politically manipulative and conniving as any other politician.

These are things about Hillary Clinton that trouble and disturb me. I am against her in principle because of these very things.

I would love to see a woman president. There are many excellent women highly qualified that I would vote for. But Hillary Clinton is not one of them.

© 2016 Timothy Moody

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