The election of 2016 is one of the most significant in the history of the Presidency. It is not easy to be a voter unless you are committed to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It is difficult, however, if you are a life-long Republican, an Independent, a disappointed Bernie Sanders follower or a disillusioned Donald Trump supporter.
Although I have serious misgivings about Donald Trump’s readiness to be President, I admire his passionate concern for those he has met on the campaign trail, and his sincere desire to alleviate their suffering. I am impressed that he has attracted so many followers who have never been involved in the political process before. I am grateful to him for raising the consciousness of the nation to the plight of those who feel they have been left behind. However, I do not see him as qualified to assume the position of President of the United States and leader of the free world.
He is a novice politician who has never held public office, and has just begun to think about major policies. He wants to apply the business model of a CEO to a government model of shared and balanced power. He is childish and resorts to name-calling. He is opinionated, and will not curb his tongue. He sees himself as the sole possessor of knowledge, and feels he alone can fix things.
Though he is a very wealthy man, there is little evidence that he is a philanthropist, a full taxpayer, or a tithe payer. He seems to admire Vladimir Putin, the world’s most powerful dictator. He has been described as a “dangerous demagogue” and compared to Adolf Hitler.
Because of my misgivings about Donald Trump, I was planning to vote for Hillary Clinton even though I was troubled by her many brushes with scandal. But I was not particularly excited until I watched the Democratic National Convention, which was a superbly orchestrated presentation of a woman of substance — a woman who has over 40 years of public service experience, like governing as first lady of Arkansas and of the White House, like being a Senator representing an important constituency, like being an Ambassador to the world as Secretary of State, and like being a cabinet advisor to a President.
As President Obama put it, “Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate the office of the presidency has ever had.” She is diplomatic and mature. She is intelligent, insightful, and knowledgeable. She is motivational. She is compassionate. She is a fighter for the causes she believes in, and has learned to navigate the political system in such a way that her will can prevail.
Above all, Hillary Clinton is a survivor. She has been linked to scandal. She has endured her husband’s impeachment proceedings. She has been accused of criminal wrong-doing and lapses in judgment. She lost her first attempt to be a President Clinton in her own right when Barack Obama was swept in on a wave of hope. But what does she do when she faces adversity? She never gives up until she can bring her cherished ideals into fruition.
In private, she has an engaging personality. She is warm, delightful, funny, and spontaneous. But on her way to the top, while there was still a glass ceiling, she has had to wear a public mask to always appear more like a man, and less like a woman. Once she has nothing left to prove, she can reveal the authentic woman she really is.
As a female I am proud to have Hillary Rodham Clinton be the nominee as the first woman president of the United States. Once I discovered Hillary’s assets, I began to consider what I could do to ensure her election. It was then that I realized that I could be her advocate.
Marilyn McKay is a graduate in Political Science from the University of Utah. She served as a policy advisor to both Governors Cal Rampton and Scott Matheson. She was one of the first women to be honored by the Hinckley Institute of Politics.