Competency vs audacity
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
I’m writing this article before the election, but it will be published and read after it’s finally over. I am writing this under the extreme hope and assumption that Hillary Clinton has been elected the first female President of the United States. In one of the most ugly and disastrous elections ever, America decided the safe choice. (In the less likely event that Trump won, well, we’ve got much bigger problems than my article not being entirely accurate. Hug your loved ones goodbye before we die in a nuclear war.)
It was no secret that Clinton would run for president one day. She tried hard to win the Democrat nomination in 2008 before losing to Obama. A prominent member of his Cabinet, it was almost guaranteed she would be his planned successor. Even while Bernie Sanders made an impact that no one could’ve predicted, Clinton’s experience, popular support, and inner circle made her victory almost inevitable. In addition to her eight years of being First Lady, she spent eight as a senator and another four as Secretary of State, one of the most powerful positions in the US government. As many have rightfully pointed out, there has never been anyone more qualified to sit in the highest office than Clinton is at this point in time.
Hillary’s many accomplishments have been overshadowed by her controversies and the smears to her reputation that have been perpetuated by her opponent. Obviously, he is not a conventional politician. With zero political experience, vague ideas that suggest a lack of understanding on how the government works, and comments that indicate potential sociopathy, he was a stark contrast to Clinton’s establishment position and decades of public service.
Naturally, this affected her campaign in a way unlike anything ever seen before. Instead of advocating her own policies and explaining why her opponent’s platforms were bad, she was instead forced to defend herself over outrageous claims and allegations. This is a woman whose opponent has accused her of being part of a global elite conspiracy (she isn’t), defending and building terrorists (she doesn’t), and threatened to have her jailed without due process if he was elected.
Hillary Clinton is an effective and shrewd politician. Until now, election debates were about debating policy and rationally explaining your position. It did not involve your opponent calling you a “nasty woman” or criticizing you for preparing for the debate. Campaigns did not involve having to spend significant resources on explaining why your opponent is mentally unstable, never mind the problems with his party, policies, and platforms.
Clinton running against Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush would probably have been a lot more boring. But it would’ve also been less scary, divisive, and ridiculous. It would’ve involved rationality and mutual respect based on a shared commitment to governmental process and democracy.
Her opponent doesn’t just suck because of his insanity. His policies suck, most of which are extensions of the Republican Party platform. In a normal election she would’ve been able to delve into these specific policies, attracting more support for the Democrats in the process. Instead, she was stuck discussing why her opponent’s bragging of sexually assaulting women is problematic, never mind his anti-women policies.
Personally, I quite value Clinton’s policies and experience, and am looking forward to her presidency. Many people on both sides of the spectrum will disagree, and that’s okay! Much of politics is about disagreement and rationally challenging views that differ from your own. But I would’ve loved to see Clinton spend her time empowering herself and letting her work speak for itself, instead of contending with a spiteful fascist who incites violence and racism, and tries to foil her at every turn. Even if you strongly disagree with Clinton’s policies or actions, you’d rather they drive the election than her current image of “not being Trump,” wouldn’t you? She deserved better, the political system deserved better, and above all, the country deserved better.