Blog Post #5790
Many people don’t like either of today’s presidential candidates. Clinton is seen as calculating and dishonest, while Trump is seen as bigoted, sexist, and fascist. Current polls have Clinton ahead. For the folks I know who refuse to vote for either of the leading candidates or who are voting for Trump, I’d like to offer some reassurance. Hillary Clinton is not really a terrible person! I just finished reading her book “It Takes a Village” and was impressed by it. It is not at all the socialist document that some people claim it is. I’ll come back to the book in a minute.
The most emotionally charged issue of the campaign among people I know seems to be abortion. Anti-abortion rhetoric makes me uncomfortable because I remember the days when abortion was not legal and this had some awful results. Women tried to self-abort by inducing miscarriages, which was dangerous, or they sought illegal “back-alley” abortions, also dangerous. I don’t know why anyone would want to return to those days! (Of course, since then the internet has changed the availability of self-induced abortion methods. A New York Times article points out that in states where legal abortions became less available, Google searches for DIY abortions went up!)
Anyway, Clinton is moderate on the abortion issue. Yes, she supports letting a woman and her doctor make the decision when needed, But in her book she wrote that "It is a national shame that many Americans are more thoughtful about planning their weekend entertainment than they are about planning their families.. sensible family planning here and around the world would decrease the demand for legal and illegal abortions saving maternal and infant lives.”
Meanwhile, even conservative writers and theologians have written that Trump is not a good choice for anyone with high values. Check out this Federalist article saying Trump is "the apotheosis of the sexual revolution’s worst male impulses. He has spent his entire life creating the culture that encourages abortions. He has profited off of the exploitation of women and spoken openly of his own proclivity for sexual assault—both of which undermine any argument pro-life conservatives might ever make for a culture of life.”
The next issue that people in my circles talk about is lying. Yes, Clinton has lied. Name someone in national politics today who hasn't! But honesty is good so let’s look at the record. Politifact has charts showing that Trump has made many more lies than Clinton, so many more that there is almost no comparison. Other news services have made similar conclusions.
I know some people have heard that Clinton wants to take their guns away, even though she has repeatedly says she supports the second amendment. Yes, she would like to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, and would like other sensible measures. Of course, the president does not make laws anyway. Congress does. Clinton does not want your hunting rifle so don't worry!
Earlier I mentioned “It Takes a Village.” In the introduction she states, "Parents bear the first and primary responsibility for their sons and daughters." She goes on to say how she was blessed with a hardworking father and a devoted mother, and also with "caring neighbors, attentive doctors, challenging public schools, and an economy that supported my father's job." And this is what most of the book is about, securing these advantages for all children.
By today’s standards, the book almost seems old-fashioned. She wrote that "it would be great if we could get kids to postpone any decision about sex until they are over twenty-one." But she is also practical, admitting that kids are confronted with sex every time they turn around, so sex education is necessary even though "we should do everything in our power to discourage sexual activity and encourage abstinence." By the way, she also mentions religious faith and how it helped her. She even mentions how divorce can be hard on children. Later she discusses the importance of guidance and limits on the behavior of young people.
So even if you are conservative, don't be concerned about Hillary Clinton as president. Most of what you have heard is not even true. And if you still cannot bring yourself to vote for either candidate, at least vote in your local elections. Your local officials need to know you are watching them!