By Ian Jayne
If you’ve ever watched “Parks and Recreation,” you’ve probably seen the framed photo of Hillary Clinton in Leslie Knope’s office. This is not a coincidence. Both women are tireless civil servants whose tedious, hard work to improve the lives of citizens goes largely unnoticed.
The idea of a ‘career politician’ distresses many, but we don’t decry ‘career’ doctors, dentists, teachers, engineers or reporters. Surely the idea is that people get better at their jobs the longer a position is held. When Clinton retains an office, her approval ratings soar; when she tries to get a new job, the public vilifies her.
As many, including President Obama, have said, Clinton is perhaps the most uniquely qualified person to run for the presidency. Clinton has been a lawyer, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, New York senator and Secretary of State. The title of president follows logically in this sequence of events, the next rung in a long ladder of public service.
For this reason on Tuesday, Nov. 8, I will cast my first vote for President of the United States, and it will be for Clinton.
I want a president who declared to the entire world, “Women’s rights are human rights.”
I am not voting for Clinton because she is a woman, however, I am excited for the day when young women can look at the White House, knowing full well their gender will not prevent them from serving their country as president.
I want a president who knows gay rights and human rights are the same thing. I want a president who understands that racial tensions plague our nation.
I want a president who logged over 950,000 miles of travel as Secretary of State, promoting human dignity and rights across the globe.
Critics of Clinton often attack her for her voice, smile and clothing choices. None of these things has the slightest effect on a person’s ability to govern, but they continue to afflict Clinton because, as a woman, she is expected to be everything to everyone.
Clinton has been a devout Methodist her entire life. Most people gloss over this fact in their eagerness to excoriate her. I would feel comfortable knowing the person leading the country has spent her life in a faith tradition that promotes unconditional dignity, respect and love.
I am not living in denial of Clinton’s flaws. She, like all of us, has them. She has sometimes been hawkish in foreign policy matters. She sent emails that proved problematic. She changes positions on policy, sometimes radically so. These things do not disqualify or obscure Clinton’s excellent, lifelong devotion to public service.
I want a president whose views have evolved and changed with the culture. Politicians change their minds, like we all do. I would rather have a president admit past errors of thought than promote future ignorance.
I want a president who will continue to strive for social and economic progress. I want a president who won’t make promises she can’t keep just because they sound good. For example, Clinton has substantive, detailed plans for over 30 different areas of policy available to all on her website.
I want a president who will fight to reduce income inequality, provide better healthcare for all Americans, raise the minimum wage and curb the devastating effects of climate change before they become irreversible.
I want a president who can step across the aisle. In our world of division and extreme partisanship, I want someone who has the support of Democrats and Republicans, and who is willing to compromise.
I want someone in the Oval Office who has the temperament, intelligence and skill to represent the most powerful representative democracy in the world. Clinton surpasses all these qualifications.
That’s why I like Clinton. That’s why I’m with her.
Ian Jayne is a junior at Oklahoma Christian University.
The opinions of guest columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Talon or Oklahoma Christian University. Guest opinions are presented to foster public debate on important topics and comments should be respectful and signed.