Hillary Clinton: many of us hate her, many of us love her and many of us (such as myself) have mixed feelings about her. Never before has there been such a polarizing presidential race with as many scandals plaguing the candidates as the 2016 election. While the situation is not ideal, the conclusion that has been reached by most, and must be reached by those few remaining undecided voters, is that Hillary Clinton (despite all of her flaws) must become president of the United States – if only for one term.
During the primaries, I supported Senator Bernie Sanders and even after he lost, I promised myself I would not actively support Clinton. Yet, now I find myself reaching out to her campaign and the local Pennsylvania Democratic club looking for ways I can help. It is a surprising change given how vocal I was against Clinton in the primaries. However, this is a change that many are going through now that we have reached the general election. With a small amount of sacrifice, we can change this country for the better in the future.
Current polls put Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump essentially neck and neck nationally. This a very scary prospect since it means that with the margin of error taken into account, Trump could actually win the election. These statistics become even more important in swing states like Pennsylvania where Clinton is polling at 50 percent to Trump’s 47 percent according to a CNN poll. This also does not take into account those who plan on voting third party, which draws votes away from both Clinton and Trump. However, what it all comes down to is this: many people feel cheated by the system, and particularly by the Democratic National Committee which unfairly favored Clinton from the beginning and actively tried to sabotage the Bernie Sanders campaign. It did this in a number of ways; firstly, by forging a joint fundraising agreement with the Clinton campaign and secondly, by scheduling very few debates and at times when they knew less people would be watching, such as during football games. Sadly, by the time the public was made aware of this, it was too late and Clinton had already won enough delegates to secure the nomination. It was because of this that I vowed never to volunteer for Clinton and maybe not even vote for her.
However, in the subsequent months Clinton has taken steps to embrace many of Sanders’s ideas in order to appeal to his supporters, such as now supporting free public college for families making $125,000 a year or less. Senator Sanders himself has even gone out on the campaign trail to stump for the secretary by essentially making the case that if you look past the personalities of both her and Trump, Clinton is the obvious choice for those who favor the progressive values that he brought to the forefront of the election.
Then there are those who have understandably lost faith in our political system and opt to vote third party. Now, while the principle behind that logic is admirable and in most other races would make sense, this race is not like past (and hopefully future) races. This year the stakes are too high to use your vote to make a statement and hope that the right person will still become president. This is not the election to vote for a third party in hopes of strengthening the democratic system. It is not the first time that people have tried to protest a broken two party system by voting third party. This situation also occurred in 2000, during the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, when voters supported Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. Not only did he lose, but he took away votes from Al Gore which helped lead to George W. Bush being elected president. Even with the votes Ralph Nader was able to bring the Green Party, it was still not able to mount a strong offensive in the 2004 election.
A smarter way to fix our broken political system is to wait until the 2020 election when the rest of the millennial generation will be able to vote, and even some of generation Z (the generation of kids after millennials). This will allow young voters to be a serious voting block that can actually affect the outcome of the race. This is the last race where the old guard politicians will have the upper hand. Changing demographics mean that soon older white voters will be in the minority, to be replaced by a younger, more diverse, and most importantly of all, more progressive majority. A majority that can elect a progressive like Bernie Sanders as president! But if we want this prophecy to be fulfilled, we must elect Hillary Clinton so that all the progress we have made over the past eight years under President Obama is not lost; paved over by the bulldozer known as Donald Trump and the alt-right. Clinton may maintain the status quo in Washington (I will be pleasantly surprised if she is able to make good on some of her promises), but that is magnitudes better than Donald Trump who will actively bring us back to the 1950s, which looked good on the surface, but only for straight, white, Anglo-Saxon American men.
So please, if we can bite the bullet this election cycle and help get Hillary Clinton elected in any way we can, such as volunteering with her campaign to register voters, changing our registration to Philadelphia (since Pennsylvania is a swing state your vote matters more here), and most of all by going out to the polls on election day ourselves, we can ensure a much brighter future than ever before for America.