I've been a freelance writer focusing on movies, hiking, stamps, volleyball, and politics.
Every day in the media, there are stories about the presidential election. If you were to look at their content, you would find that a high percentage deal with something offensive Donald Trump said and something shady Hillary Clinton did.
Consider this election, framed:
- On the one hand, you have Trump, a crass and vile human being with thin skin and a penchant for holding grudges. The Clinton campaign subtly tried to link him to Putin in some Communist ploy.
- On the other hand, you have Hillary Clinton, portrayed as an extraordinarily dishonest figure, and not only by the Trump campaign. Much of her perception is of her own doing. The politicizing of the Benghazi incident, the e-mail scandal, the primary election deceit, the ties to lobbyists: These are a few examples of many that have dogged her.
All of this leads to the question: How can anyone bring themselves to support her?
Trump vs. Clinton: The Issues
In considering who to vote for in this election, there are many different factors to evaluate each individual. When looking at these factors, some will weigh more heavily on each person casting a vote. Some of these issues are going to have more impact than others. Let's take a look at some that might affect a person's ability to support Hillary Clinton.
Reasons Not to Vote for Clinton
1. Trump Lies...But So Does Clinton
For those that believe the leader of the free world should be inherently honest, bad news. Neither of the two major party candidates have a very good affiliation with telling the truth.
Politifact, a web site that follows the election, has stated that Donald Trump is incorrect with around 91% of the things he says. Whether this is done purposefully or because he is a blustery fool has yet to be determined. Some might be convinced he's just a real-life wind-up doll that when he gets on a podium, he starts to spew babble and we never know what tangent he will end up going down next.
On the other hand, Clinton's deceit is more calculated. She seems unable to admit to the truth of the fact that Benghazi was portrayed as something it wasn't to avoid a downturn in an election year. She was called out by FBI Director Comey for lying about how many devices she used in her e-mail scandal and the content of those e-mails. And anyone who really believes that the Democratic primary was run on the up and up should enroll immediately at Trump University so that they can become millionaires.
Say what you will about John Kasich and Bernie Sanders being ho-hum guys, but at least everyone knew they were honest and had scruples.
2. Trump Won't Help People, But Clinton Might Be Worse
The president should be someone who puts party aside once elected and works for the people of the country. All the people. Say what you will about Obama's faults, but the man tried to take care of the citizenry.
With all the stories about Donald Trump and the fraudulent activities of his various businesses, it's really hard to get behind the fact that he really does want to help the average citizen. Even his tax plan comes off as a huge benefit to the wealthy and not a big help to the middle class.
With Hillary, she has used her political career to advance her wealth. The links between her foundation and special interest, foreign nations, and other backroom favors is immense. It's really hard to believe that she would be much better than Trump in trying to work for the poor and middle class as opposed to the wealthy donors that have supported her.
Trump would do it out of self-interest, something he is exceptional at, while Hillary would do it as payback. Either way, America loses out by not have Bernie as the Democratic nominee.
3. The DNC's Corruption
This is where Trump has an edge. Trump earned his party's nomination outright. He threw enough mud, tapped into repressed anger, and riled up the country's fears so much that he rose to popularity. There is some serious discontent with him within his own party, but at the end of the day, they gave the man what he earned.
On the Democratic side, there were widespread articles written about voter fraud in places like Colorado and California. How votes were tossed out, people who had died were voting for Clinton, and other voter suppression of Bernie supporters.
Then Wikileaks hacked into the Democratic National Party and pulled back the curtain on Debbie Wasserman-Schulz and her bias towards Clinton. A neutral party it was not and Clinton reaped the rewards of that relationship. For Sanders supporters, it was an additional slap in the face when Wasserman-Schulz was added into the Clinton campaign staff immediately after being ousted from the Democratic Party.
The GOP aimed to unite the party against Clinton at their convention and did a decent job of it. No solutions to real-world problems, just a united front against the other party's nominee.
Clinton got every major player on the Democratic side on board to speak positively about her and her ability to run the country, including Sanders. It was a powerful message that festered, mostly in the negative against an unstable Trump. But for many, the primary election corruption was too much to bear and those voters are looking at third party options.
Are There Any Saving Graces?
With so many reasons to hesitate in supporting Clinton, are there things that will overcome the trepidation? For many voters, there certainly are some.
Issues-Based Voting. With both candidates being so flawed in terms of their character, many voters might just vote based upon the issues. As odious as it will be to put either Trump or Clinton into the most powerful position on the planet, what they stand for in terms of policy might align better with people.
Pro-life, anti-trade, smaller government voters will most certainly go with Trump. Pro-environment, anti-gun, pro-choice voters will certainly flock to Clinton.
In terms of the message of each campaign, Trump is trying to be the new Sheriff in town. The man who can clean up the streets and deport the illegal aliens to help bolster the economy for citizens of this country. Clinton is trying to be the inclusive candidate, embracing a melting pot of culture and giving people a pathway to citizenship.
Both messages have merit and voters really don't have much middle ground between the candidates in terms of policy. They don't really agree on much if anything which should help voters who want to vote on the issues.
Fear. Fear can be a popular motivator and the Democrats have sewn enough fear into their populace about what might happen during a Trump presidency. He has been portrayed as short-tempered, unstable, and thin-skinned. Hardly qualities citizens want to see in their President.
Trump continues to play into that fear with every remark he makes that hints at violence, such as the Second Amendment comment he made recently. We had a war-monger in Bush and we lost 4,000 American lives to date and nearly bankrupted the country. For many, that's not a path we want to go down again soon. Of the two candidates, Trump is likeliest to get us into another war.
The fear of a Clinton presidency is that she will cater to special interests or that she is too inept to do a good job. While she has been First Lady, a Senator, and Secretary of State, the case that she really didn't accomplish much in those roles has some validity.
This election is going to be painful in terms of its negativity and it's doubtful that whoever gets elected will get much support from Congress. As a liberal, it's really hard to stand behind someone like Hillary Clinton who has lied so frequently to the public about things. Honesty is such an important quality in any leader you follow and we just don't have that in our candidates.
While there are things to be liked about a candidate such as Donald Trump and his outsider status, it may be too much of a reach to lend him any support though. Liberals tend to be inclusive, embracing other cultures and that certainly is not Trump. Liberals tend to support environmental protections and that certainly is not Trump. Liberals tend to support a government that tries to economically support a vast majority of the population and that is certainly not Trump.
In the end, the not Trump thought will dictate the vote for many liberals and that's the sad statement about this election and the candidate that will garner our vote - Hillary Clinton.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.