WHY I CAN'T VOTE FOR HILLARY
by Mary Pitt
As a life-long feminist, it would be the fulfillment of all my dreams to have a woman as President of the United States in my lifetime. However, I find that the position is too important to waste my precious vote in such an endeavor if it were not the right person for the job. I am not convinced that Hillary Rodham Clinton is that person and, for the good of my beloved country, I cannot vote for her, and I will be happy to tell you why.
In 1992, I had become disillusioned with what the Republican Party had become under the leadership of Ronald Reagan and, though not ready to become a Democrat, I was ready to shop around. I watched carefully the presidential debates in order to evaluate the candidates and I settled upon Ross Perot, who seemed to have a better grasp of the welfare of the rank-and-file citizens. Sure, I was impressed by Mr Clinton but thought him rather callow as well as a wee bit shallow. Hillary, however, was impressive to my recently-Republican instincts. I felt that she was more than competent as the First Lady and maintained her composure despite all the pressures, legitimate and otherwise, that were inflicted upon her. It became obvious that she would be able to handle herself well in any situation and perform competently as an independent politician.
Once he took office, it looked like President Clinton might keep his campaign promises with due attention to the problem of poverty with an ambitious "welfare reform" but, after many compromises with the Republican Congess, we had more working mothers and more children without adequate day care. We also had the dangerous NAFTA as well as a trade agreement with China that was not considerate of the American worker and directly led to today's trade deficit. And so it seems highly likely that a "President Hillary" would continue with plans for a North American Union, a worsening of the employment situation, and the poor and ill still in the clutches of the health insurance industry which will be bloated with Federal subsidies.
Shortly before the death of my late husband, we were discussing the possibility of supporting Senator Clinton and he stated, "It is highly lkely that she will withdraw her candidacy for health reasons before 2008."
A query regarding his reasoning brought the reply, "Saddle sores, from straddling the fence too long" Nothing she has done or advocated has smacked of the kind of courage we have grown to ask from the President of the United States. Our problems have grown beyond "bipartisanship" and require firm and deliberate action to re-establish the equality and personal liberty which the Bush administration has so effectively destroyed.
With our nation mired down and worn out in a Middle-Eastern war, hopelessly in debt, and more divided than at any time since the Civil War, the person whom we elect to lead us in 2008 must be an outstanding individual, capable of handling the many problems in the domestic area while repairing our image in the world as a nation to be trusted and emulated.
First and foremost, I would prefer a candidate who had opposed the invasion of Iraq from the get-go, not one who voted for it, promoted it, or went along with it. We have a right to ask for somebody who said "hell, no", and continued to oppose the change from "finding Bin Laden, dead or alive" to establishing "Iraqi Freedom".
Thus, there are few who qualify, most notably Dennis Kucinich and Russ Feingold, among our currently elected leaders. The hindsight that has been demonstrated by Hillary and by John Kerrry and John Edwards is simply not good enough.
My candidate would recognize the fact that they were elected to be the President of the United States, not the Emperor of the World. There are vital treaties that must be re-negotiated and kept, there are foreign bases in friendly nations that need to be trimmed down or closed, and there are other nations that must be weaned from the American dollar. If, for instance, Israel cannot stand on her own feet after we have provided billions of dollars a year for over fifty years and Germany cannot provide for her own defense after all those years of literal occupation, then they will have to learn the hard way.
We have crumbling and ineffective schools, a medical care system that is on life support, an aging and obsolete super-structure, a depleted, worn out, and exhausted military, and a large percentage of the populace who are in dire need. This must be the first priority. Our nation should return to the its former status as peace-maker to the world, not the enforcer imposing our own standards and our way of life upon citizens of other sovereign nations.
Together with restoring the condition and reputation of our own homeland, we must also restore the basic tenets of the Constitution which has been ignored and negated for far too long. We must distrupt the absolute tyranny of the "old guard" politicians who gain their power from tenure rather than ability and spend so many years in the ivory tower of Beltway power politics that they neither know nor care the needs and desires of the people, the lifeblood of our country. It is so easy for them to listen only to those large campaign donors instead of the voices of their electorate. Mrs. Clinton has spent the last five years, not in opposing them but in trying to join them. Not once has she stamped her tiny feet and proclaimed a proposed action as intolerable from the viewpoint of average American citizens. Her policy has been one of "go along to get along" in order to court the opposition and amass a campaign war chest.
No, Mrs. Clinton. I believe we have had enough of "compromise and coalition" and "bipartisanship" as well as more than our fill of nepotism in the White House. What this nation needs is a fresh voice and new ideas to correct the imbalance caused by the policies of this administration. I have not yet heard that voice nor seen very many new ideas in the current crop of candidates. I was taken by the words of former Senator Mike Gravel in speaking at the Democratic Convention when he stated that no congressperson who voted for this war deserves the office of the President and that the only sensible solution to the health care crisis is a national single-payer program. I agree and find that that standard eliminates almost all of the current crop of wannabes.
My mother brought me up to be a smart shopper, so I think I will continue looking. This is not a time to shop for fads or haute couture. We need something durable and effective for the large job ahead of us and appearance or personal popularity should not be a factor. After all, it is going to be two years before the big party and we don't have to decide now.
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan, a free-thinker, and a warrior for truth and justice. Huzzahs and whiney complaints may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org