Why I Am Voting For Hillary Clinton

U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participates in a discussion in a classroom at New
U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participates in a discussion in a classroom at New Hampshire Technical Institute while campaigning for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in Concord, New Hampshire, April 21, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

I cast my first vote in 1960, when I was 22. That was before 18-year-olds were allowed to vote. I voted for John F. Kennedy, and I worked in his campaign. I was thrilled when he visited campaign headquarters, and I got to shake his hand. He was exciting and dynamic.

At the time, critics said he was no better than Richard Nixon.

They talked about his father, his money, his privilege, his Roman Catholicism; rumors swirled about his private life but were never reported by the media.

Public opinion was so divided about JFK, even among Democrats, that Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. felt compelled to write a short book called Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference? Of course, he argued that Kennedy was infinitely preferable to Nixon. Kennedy was elected by a razor-thin margin. Some people said that the corrupt Daley regime in Chicago put him over the top.

Democrats were even more divided in 1968 when Hubert H. Humphrey ran against Nixon. Liberals were angry at Humphrey because he had loyally served as LBJ's vice-president and had not spoken against the war in Vietnam. I worked in the Humphrey-Muskie campaign and organized an event on October 31, 1968, in Manhattan. We didn't have much money, so we rented a big, shabby labor hall on West 34 street in Manhattan. It was a ragtag affair with a lineup of wonderful speakers: John Kenneth Galbraith, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Herman Badillo, and a parade of other liberal notables of the time. Vice-Presidential candidate Ed Muskie was supposed to drop in. Actress Shelley Winters moderated. In the middle of Galbraith's endorsement of the Democratic ticket, two people in the front row jumped up, took off their raincoats, and ran stark naked onto the stage, where they presented Galbraith with the head of a pig. Shelley Winters threw a pitcher of water at them. The one security officer on duty began chasing them around the stage, and it was like a scene out of the Keystone Kops. Meanwhile, in the back of the room, about 15 protestors marched in, carrying a North Vietnamese flag, banging a drum and chanting "Ho Ho, Ho Chi Minh, Viet Cong are gonna win!"

By the time the protestors moved out, the rally collapsed, Muskie didn't drop in.

Nixon was holding his own rally across the street at Madison Square Garden, and he had no protestors. Security was tight, and no one got in without credentials.

Our event was a debacle. I knew that night in my heart that Nixon would win.

Fast forward to today.

There are two major party candidates for the presidency, and one of them will be elected in November.

I am an idealist and I fight for what I believe in, but I am also a realist. Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be elected president.

I will support and vote for Hillary Clinton. I am not telling anyone else how to vote. I am telling you why I am voting for Hillary.


I am an idealist and I fight for what I believe in, but I am also a realist. Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be elected president.

To begin with, I think that Donald Trump is the most unqualified person in my lifetime to be a major party candidate. I think that a presidential candidate should have some prior experience in public life; they should have demonstrated their ability to bring people together and to shape foreign and domestic policies that will advance our national goals and values. Trump represents a nativist view of America, with his open disregard for certain ethnic and religious groups. He openly speaks of "America First," a long-discredited phrase associated in the 1930s with isolationism. Had we listened then to the America Firsters, Hitler would have conquered all of Europe. Like Nixon, Trump appeals to "the silent majority" and presents himself as the "law-and-order" candidate. His campaign plays on our fears: our fear of Others, our fear of weakness, our fear of decline. His "policies" are boasts: he will "make America great again." He will turn back the clock. He will bring back all the jobs that were outsourced or that disappeared because of technological change. He will restore the America of a misty and idyllic past. He will revive torture to keep us safe. He believes climate change is a hoax. He thinks women who get an abortion should be punished, or at least their doctors should. He will eliminate gun control and gun-free school zones. He will appoint Supreme Court justices who will roll back reproductive rights, gay rights, and regulations on corporations. He opposes an increase in the minimum wage. He threatens to abandon NATO. He has a thin skin. If someone offends him, he lashes out. He ridicules them, belittles them. Can he be trusted with the nation's nuclear codes? Will he get annoyed and nuke some country he doesn't like?

I am not voting for Hillary as "the lesser of two evils."

I don't think she is evil. I don't think she is ethically challenged. I have met her several times in the past and have been impressed by her intellect, her judgment, and her compassion. We all know the ordeal she endured because of her husband's infidelities. That was not her doing. She tried to protect her family as best she could. We know now that other revered presidents, like FDR and Ike, had affairs; JFK was a serial womanizer. The media abandoned their code of silence about presidential privacy when Bill Clinton was president. Hillary can't be blamed for Bill's misadventures, and it was nearly 20 years ago, so who cares? God knows, there are plenty of members of Congress and governors in both parties who would not want their private lives revealed in the news. Remember the Republican Congressman who had a "wide stance" in the men's bathroom in an airport?

I don't think Hillary is a liar or a person of low character.

Trump has tried to brand her as "Crooked Hillary," just as he branded Jeb Bush as "low energy," Ted Cruz as "Lyin' Ted," and Marco Rubio as "Little Marco."

She got large speaking fees but so what? So has every other major political figure when they left office, as well as every celebrity.


I am not voting for Hillary as "the lesser of two evils."

I give her credit for being able to withstand the constant barrage of hatred, vilification, smears, and mudslinging-and she has taken it for 25 years. Republicans blame her for everything.

She must have a very thick skin. They have called her every name in the book, and she is still standing. I admire her courage. I admire her resilience.

I know she is smart. She is super-smart. There are very few people who have run for president who are as well informed about the details of foreign and domestic policy as she is.

I am not happy with her qualified support for charter schools. I would like to explain to her that they are undermining the nation's public schools, and in some cities, destroying them. I would like to explain to her that the problem is not just "for-profit charter schools." The problem is setting up a dual publicly-funded school system, one that chooses its students and the other required to accept and enroll every student. It makes no sense.

Like me, she went to public schools. She knows how important they are to our democracy. I believe she would not knowingly sacrifice them to the entrepreneurs and privatizers who want to take them over.

We had a dual system before the Brown decision in 1954 (and for years afterwards). That was a very bad idea. Charters are typically more segregated than public schools. In some states, they are havens for white flight. They are not public schools. They are not accountable or transparent. They are privately managed. They are a form of privatization. They pave the way for vouchers. They encourage parents to think as consumers, not citizens. What we have learned from 25 years of charter schools is that deregulation opens the door to fraud, nepotism, and graft. Not all charter schools are bad, not all charter leaders are grifters, but those who are go undetected until a whistle-blower appears.

Hillary says she supports only "high quality charter schools," but what does that mean? The charters with the highest test scores? Those are the charters that are most likely to exclude students who don't speak English and students with disabilities and to push out problem students. Why should our government deliberately fund a two-track school system? Charter schools are NOT public schools. They are private schools that receive public funding.

If she is elected, and I hope she is, I will continue to fight for public education. Supporting public education is not a choice, it is a civic responsibility. It is a civic responsibility for those whose children are grown and for those who have no children. This is what good citizens do. I will continue to try to persuade the Democrats to oppose the school privatization policies promoted by ALEC, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Rick Snyder, Rick Scott, Mike Pence, Pat McCrory, Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and the Tea Party.

The American public school is one of the bedrock ideas of our democracy. We must not abandon it. To privatize our schools betrays our democratic values.

I will vote for Hillary Clinton because I trust that she will have a steady hand on American foreign policy.

I will vote for her because I trust that she will shape domestic policies to strengthen our economy and to increase equity.

I will vote for her because I trust that she will reflect and think before making decisions and will not act or react impulsively.

I will vote for her because I trust she will appoint Supreme Court justices who will make decisions that protect our rights and strengthen our democracy.

I will vote for her because I trust that she will fight for a society that is more just for all.

I will vote for her because she has experience, wisdom, and deep knowledge of our nation and the world.

I will vote for Hillary Clinton because she is eminently qualified to be president of the United States.

#Imwithher