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POV: Hillary Clinton for President

She’s devoted her life to social justice

41

Editor’s note: This is the first of two student POVs about the presidential election. Tomorrow: Donald Trump for President.

On November 8, the long and exhaustive 2016 presidential election will come to a close. One candidate will emerge victorious while the other will concede (or is supposed to) gracefully. She or he will then get a couple of months off, a party in January, and finally, the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. After that, she or he will become our commander-in-chief, the face of American political life, a leader of the free world.

There are many components to the office, and it takes a certain kind of person, strong-willed and diplomatic, to handle all of it. Of the two major candidates, only Hillary Clinton is prepared to be president of the United States. Only she has dedicated her entire professional life to public and social service.

She worked for the Children’s Defense Fund to expose racism in schools, advocated against the poor conditions of migrant workers, and took on child abuse cases at Yale’s Child Study Center. Early in her career, she fought for the rights of children and families and established many precedents for child advocacy and protection in law. Clinton could have done anything with her Yale Law degree, but chose fighting for the benefit of children, families, and the greater public good. You don’t do that stuff on a whim.

That social consciousness manifests itself in her platform, which I implore you to check out. One of the greatest issues facing Americans today is income inequality. When the top .1 percent own 20 percent of the country’s wealth, the economy stagnates, money doesn’t circulate, and standards of living for the middle and lower classes fall. We’ve seen it happen in the past, leading to social, political, and economic unrest. Income inequality is as much a social issue as an economic one. With wealth comes a reservoir of privilege and power; if you have money, you have more to say and more opportunities to say it.

Hillary Clinton will address this. She wants to raise taxes on the rich with a “fair share surcharge” and close tax loop holes beneficial to them. Her plans include job creation, company profit-sharing, equal pay and paid leave, and debt-free public college. All of these things are investments in the middle class, investments in future generations, investments in our workers and families. When the common person does well, we all do well, and that’s a philosophy to get behind.

To help bridge the income gap, Clinton seeks to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 Supreme Court decision permitting corporate political spending. In doing so, she’ll have to appoint a chief justice who agrees with her. Indeed, the next president could appoint up to four Supreme Court justices. Since they serve for life, they likely will rule on several landmark cases, affecting issues from women’s rights to gay rights to union rights. We could see Citizens United overturned. Or we could watch as Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history, where opponents think it belongs.

Finally, there’s the complex question of racial justice in America. Since Barack Obama took office, systemic racism has come to the forefront. How our next president handles this—the kind of dialogue she has, the method she applies—is extremely important. A society is best measured by how it treats all people, not just the top few.

I understand the issues that some people may have with Hillary Clinton, such as concern that recently found emails could persuade the FBI to reopen an investigation of her alleged misuse of a private email server.

Clinton has acknowledged her mistake in using that server, and has said that she has learned from it. The showmanship around this probe, or her emails in general for that matter, is far more political than it is prosecutorial. To let this determine your vote is doing you and your country a great disservice.

Clinton is an older white woman who can seem removed from the racial problems of America. It’s also no help that the 1994 crime bill, which her husband signed and she supported, significantly increased incarceration rates—and most of those targeted were African American men. There’s a lot of things she could have and should have done differently.

However, the proof is in the policy. Clinton today has reversed her stance on a number of these issues, is sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement, and has met with the mothers of that movement. She wants to implement law enforcement training focusing on conflict resolution, legislate an end to racial profiling, end mass incarceration, protect voting rights, and stop the privatization of prisons. Is this enough? Maybe not, but Clinton at is least responsive to these demands. Her opponent is openly hostile; progress under him would be significantly more difficult to achieve.

Hillary Clinton has some very good ideas. Her vision for America is one of prosperity, equality, and peace. She has a strong social consciousness; no one enters the rigorous game that is politics and stays there for as long as she has without great dedication. Is she perfect? No. But the important thing is that she’s responsive to pressure if it’s put on her—just look at her free public college proposal or her rhetoric on the wealthy. This responsiveness implies that Clinton hears the voters, hears public opinion, and adjusts herself accordingly. Part of that is political, but it’s nonetheless beneficial to those demanding the thing in the first place. This is significant considering that her Republican opponent is resistant not only to public pressure, but to the pressure of his own party.

We have an opportunity to elect the first female president in our history. She is qualified, dedicated, and intelligent. She’s a policy buff, a Yale-educated lawyer, a feminist. I urge you to do the right thing November 8 and choose Hillary Clinton.

Anna Stroinski (CAS’19) can be reached at annastro@bu.edu.

“POV” is an opinion page that provides timely commentaries from students, faculty, and staff on a variety of issues: on-campus, local, state, national, or international. Anyone interested in submitting a piece, which should be about 700 words long, should contact Rich Barlow at barlowr@bu.eduBU Today reserves the right to reject or edit submissions. The views expressed are solely those of the author and are not intended to represent the views of Boston University.

41 Comments

41 Comments on POV: Hillary Clinton for President

  • Nathan Phillips on 11.02.2016 at 5:41 am

    This article’s subtitle is about a life devoted to social justice. Ms. Clinton would mobilize a generation of reluctant voters if she would make a statement, anything more than her complete and utter silence, on the social injustice occurring today in North Dakota at the site of the desecration of sacred lands, where militarized police shoot rubber bullets & mace peaceful water protectors, store Native American prisoners in dog kennels, and jail journalists. This is as significant as any civil and human rights injustice in our country in centuries. Its not a side issue.
    This is not to suggest support for Ms. Clinton’s racist, sexist, disaster of an opponent, who by the way is a direct investor in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The question is why she shares his silence about it. She still has an opportunity to distance herself from the ugly and disgraceful injustice he supports there. If she has devoted her life to social justice then now is the time to prove it.

    • Eli Melaas on 11.02.2016 at 9:00 am

      Well said, Nathan. I reckon that Secretary Clinton will have a rather difficult time separating herself from the disgraceful injustice occurring in North Dakota when Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffet, UBS, HSBC, etc. are bankrolling the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Bob on 11.02.2016 at 7:01 am

    I am concerned that there will only be two “POV”s when there are four main candidates running for President. I am not voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, I feel “unfavorably” towards both, just as much of the country does. I will be casting a vote for one of the two candidates (Jill Stein and Gary Johnson) you are not doing a “POV” on.

    • Clint Cavanaugh on 11.02.2016 at 9:41 am

      Bob, “feeling ‘unfavorably'” toward a candidate is a nebulous statement that addresses nothing. And the fact that you say you’ll vote for either Stein OR Johnson, also shows that you have no real dedication to these candidates either. In my opinion, you’d be doing serious voters a favor by just sitting this one out, rather than taking a vote away from someone who’s carefully thought about the reasons why they are using this privilege. I like some of the sentiments of both Stein and Johnson, too, but neither has a plan that will really work. In fact, only one candidate of all is being pragmatic and practical and actually has any experience at governing. When you are voting in an election like this one, going with how you “feel” about someone isn’t enough. We don’t have to like our President on a personal level, but we have to know that she or he is smart, will put the country above their personal interests and has the discipline to learn, think and not just fly off the handle. Please don’t throw your vote away.

      • bob on 11.02.2016 at 11:38 am

        so assuming that as this is a bu pov you both live in MA where Clinton will win the electoral vote regardless bobs vote for an either Stein or Johnson will have no effect other than getting one or the other of there party’s one vote closer to federal funding. a true and viable third party is what this country desperately needs Bob should be applauded not criticized.

        • Clint Cavanaugh on 11.02.2016 at 2:13 pm

          Bob should not be applauded and this was constructive criticism. A Professor friend of mine saw this and wrote, “Also, Jill Stein or Gary Johnson? The two candidates are entirely different from one another; the only thing they have in common is that — as you say — neither has a plan for accomplishing what he or she says ought to be done. But in terms of what they think should be done, they couldn’t be more different. One believes the strong-arm of the government needs to be used to regulate industries so that they won’t destroy our environment; the other believes that “that government which governs best governs least.” This kid has done ZERO research if he is still undecided between Johnson and Stein.” Which upholds my argument that no one, including Bob, should vote without conviction and serious thought. I’d have been happier had he made choice, but he just wants “none of the above” and that’s the lazy way out. Americans need to be more thoughtful and educate ourselves on the candidates, not just have a gut reaction to them.

        • Clint Cavanaugh on 11.02.2016 at 4:23 pm

          And this is bit by Louis C.K. is funny, but also pretty much makes the same point…but better, of course!
          http://www.thewrap.com/louis-ck-rips-liberals-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-election-conan/

        • yes on 11.03.2016 at 8:34 pm

          While a viable third party would be nice neither the libertarians or the greens offer that as an alternative. The screw you I got mine policy of the libertarians is as naively idealistic as communism. The greens anti-science policy should also be treated with disdain. Offer a viable third party and I would be more than willing to toss them a bone, sadly this year no one has done so.

      • Bob on 11.03.2016 at 8:07 am

        Clint, I know who I am voting for and did not disclose it. It Clinton and Trump are the best the 2 major parties (and the American people) can do we should be looking at other sources for our leaders. My point is that as long as we do not include third parties in discussions, the chance to change to the system is reduced.

        • Clint Cavanaugh on 11.03.2016 at 10:02 am

          Well, that at least makes me a little happier, Bob. And I agree that the discussions should be more inclusive and hope that Hlllary wins and will include people like Bernie and Jill Stein in her governing. Trump will not, that’s sure. I leave Gary Johnson out because much as I might agree with some of his ideaology, he’s shown that he’s not as educated about the world as he needs to be, to be taken seriously. So…keeping my fingers crossed. And thank you for clarifying!

  • Goose on 11.02.2016 at 7:06 am

    She is a lying, untrustworthy, cheating politician who is only remotely close in the polls because Donald Trump is equally as repulsive. The article could have saved itself the time by just saying “There are none.” But a BU piece about voting for Hillary Clinton is as surprising as finding a bean in your chili.

    • Yuwei Fan on 11.02.2016 at 10:42 am

      She is only devoted to her poll. Her policies have not sense of whole nation, equality and humanity.

  • Michael on 11.02.2016 at 7:58 am

    The reason Hillary held any of those views was solely to advance herself. She took seemingly more lowly positions as a calculated career pathway. Having a bit of selfishness and pragmatism is necessary, but she has nothing beyond that in her character.

    Her numerous episodes of confusion, poor judgment, body clock, etc. as pointed out by Huma, Podesta et al point at best to someone who needs physical, possibly pharmacological propping up (the crossing eyes episodes, the glitches for several seconds after loud noise).

    • Amy L on 11.02.2016 at 11:45 am

      So you know exactly what motivated her? She spent years working on behalf of children — but not because she cared, but solely to advance her own career? You personally know exactly what is in her heart? Please, give me a break. She’s certainly not perfect and has made mistakes, but she is one of the most qualified candidates ever, and more than ready to be president.

      • Andrew Wolfe on 11.02.2016 at 4:35 pm

        Good, then I’ll expect you not to judge Trump’s heart either.

    • Jade on 11.04.2016 at 1:00 am

      I was with you up until the “pharmacological propping up”

  • Tim on 11.02.2016 at 8:04 am

    One line says that Hillary has acknowledged her mistake and owned up to it. That was after she got caught. Most people repent once they have been caught, but still face the consequences. In this case, Hillary’s obstruction of justice could land her 20 years in prison if she is convicted. As far as the argument for strong social conscience – she has a laundry list of lies that she continues to peddle – being broke after leaving the white house in 2000, being under heavy sniper fire when she landed in Bosnia with Bill, obviously the emails. This election will go down as having the worst candidates in history. Dedicated her life to social justice – dedicated her life to making herself wealthy and powerful, but claims that she is a regular Joe. Regular Joe’s don’t get 200000 per speaking engagement.

    • Ben Mason on 11.02.2016 at 2:36 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • George on 11.02.2016 at 8:57 am

    I see that partisan blindness do not allow many Americans to see that Hillary Clinton only cares about herself. Wake up America

  • Kerri Dooley on 11.02.2016 at 9:02 am

    http://www.loneconservative.com/?p=365
    this article gives many reason why we should not vote for Hillary Clinton. My main reason being she is ready to go to war while Trump chooses to negotiate. having a son that just enlisted in the military I’m going with the one willing to negotiate and the higher chance of my child coming home alive.

  • Ken on 11.02.2016 at 9:10 am

    Hillary is a banker’s puppet, and her VP running mate is even worse. All of the so called injustices she speaks about are undermined by her support our corrupt financial system. It costs a person with immaculate credit almost twice as much as a property is worth in interest over the life of a mortgage and all the interest is paid up front – meaning the mortgagee is being denied rightful ownership / equity while the banks package and sell this mortgage again and again as you break your back to pay it. Hillary is in bed with this, she refused to release the transcripts of her speeches at the banks, and for good reason, it would bury her. All of this racist and equal rights talk is designed to influence your emotions to vote for her and what is socially correct. However, until the laws are changed and financial reform is in place none of the social injustices she speaks about will never really change or even matter because we are all slaves to this system. Who cares if the corporations pay a bit more taxes, that’s great and they should, but what does it matter when the financial system is corrupt? we are getting taken for a ride around every corner. This Needs to change. Also – the point above about Hilary’s silence regarding the Damota pipeline should say it all about Hillary. In addition, people don’t understand the email thing at all, the question nobody is asking is why she did it, why she wanted a private email server away from IT workers who could monitor it in the first place, and there lies the answer, so it wouldn’t be monitored, you need to be wary of those with something to hide. The fact that she broke the law with top secret data and hasn’t been punished yet is what you call hypocrycy.

  • Radu on 11.02.2016 at 9:12 am

    Being only paid by the Government all her active life may question her feet on the ground and the reality touch. Not knowing how is to take risks and to work hard to put food on the table may be a minus in internal policy
    Being part of the State’s Establishment may make one to consider the apparatus’s objectives as the people’s objectives in international policy (Eisenhower’s concept)

  • Tori on 11.02.2016 at 9:18 am

    I understand that many people find both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump repulsive. I also agree that our political system needs reformation because a two-party political system that doesn’t represent the American people is not democratic: when only one-third of Americans identify as Republican and one-third of Americans identify as Democrats. Even though I advocate for more political parties and a change in electoral laws, I will vote for a candidate who believes that human activities are changing the climate and who will transform a fossil fuel addictive country towards renewable energy. Climate change affects everyone, and I’m disappointed that it has become politicized, but it’s time to stop making excuses and act.

  • Ronald on 11.02.2016 at 9:20 am

    Hillary Belongs in Prison. I feel sad for her supporters who are either low-info or refuse to accept the facts of her and Bill’s criminal past, present and hopefully not future.

  • Liam on 11.02.2016 at 9:29 am

    Well-written, Anna! Good on you for having the guts to put this piece out there knowing the current political climate is toxic.

    • Goose on 11.02.2016 at 10:27 am

      Yea, takes some real guts publishing a pro-Hillary opinion piece on a BU news letter lol

  • Jane on 11.02.2016 at 9:42 am

    At least Hillary Clinton is sane… as are Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.

  • Mark V on 11.02.2016 at 9:49 am

    How about, no thank you. When the Obama family, the VP, and major democrats abandon your candidate, that has got to be the last signal of a capsizing ship. It’s befuddling to think how one can write this article after all that has been exposed on Clinton and her crime family. The FBI reopened the investigation, I will not vote for a criminal. Oh, and really, “social justice”? Hillary does the least for the average citizen; anything she does, she does for her publicity. She has a public and private opinion on everything, and a “super predator” will not permit her to reach the oval office.

  • Greg on 11.02.2016 at 9:53 am

    There was an exceptional op-ed written in USA Today a couple of days ago (titled something like ‘A Clinton presidency will be a disaster’) where the basic thesis suggests that HRC will NOT change ANY of her practices and the culture of deceit/distrust/denial will only further metastasize as the press will be fully compliant. The simple fact is that NOBODY had the courage to tell her NO when she ran the State Dept – and that included Obama who knew about her practices. She set up her own office at State, staffed with her own team, using their own systems … and this was NOT a standard practice for any of the other cabinet secretaries .. there was a natural rivalry between herself and Obama … it’s ALL being laid bare now with the Wikileaks’s revelations. And face it, NOBODY will tell her NO as president either.

    The article goes further to state that Trump will not have anywhere near the latitude to roam as president because he’s not liked (or at least not yet trusted) in the congress or amongst the career bureaucrats (who will, without question, bend to whatever HRC might desire).

    HRC hasn’t come clean on her rogue email arrangement and it’ll be a long time before we really understand the depths of the security breach … she’s NOT to be trusted and voting for her is voting for institutionalize corruption.

    This was a pretty weak and poorly constructed piece … I like to expect better from a fellow Terrier – we don’t have to agree, but the work should be intellectually rigorous.

    • George on 11.02.2016 at 2:02 pm

      Excellent comment Greg

  • Debbie on 11.02.2016 at 10:01 am

    Agreed – and I will be supporting Hillary as our first female President, and as the most qualified nominee this country has seen, certainly in our lifetimes. Thank you for this article.

  • Portia on 11.02.2016 at 10:10 am

    I agree with Nathan, Bob, Goose, and Michael. This election is the worst in history. Both candidates were NOT chosen. Democrats chose Bernie Sanders, and we saw the party lie to us and cheat us out our option because Hillary is in Bankers pockets. Trump doesnt have ANY qualifications for presidency, has faced bankruptcy countless times which makes me KNOW he will bankrupt our America, and is just GOD AWFUL not qualified. Honestly, NO ONE wanted Hillary or Trump, it should have been Bernie v Rubio or Cruz, two other HIGHLY qualified people. If this election didnt prove that MONEY is the root of WHO wins then I dont know what will. I didnt vote for Hillary or Trump and I lose if EITHER wins. Hillary has never been for any minority and takes every advantage of the tax breaks too. Trump honestly just isnt qualified. This election has just shown the general American public that politicians elect each other, and dont care about our vote.

  • Pepe on 11.02.2016 at 10:24 am

    “…you don’t do that stuff on a whim”

    You also don’t create a private server in your home to illegally send and receive classified information on a whim. You don’t lie to the family members of the victims of the Benghazi attack about an internet video on a whim. You don’t defraud the people of Haiti after a national catastrophe on a whim. You don’t collude with the media and the DNC to win the nomination of the democratic party on a whim.

    That you think that she deserves a freebie for mishandling classified information because “she acknowledged her mistake” and “learned from it” is willfully ignorant and I would encourage you to put some time in researching the situation before allowing her to pull the wool over your eyes. I work for the government and the most important priority is to protect sensitive information. If I did a fraction of what she did I would likely go to prison and at the very least lose my job. This wouldn’t be an overreaction in the slightest, why should the United States government employ someone who can’t be trusted with its most sensitive information? Better yet, why should that person be allowed to hold the highest office in the land?

  • Istvan Kolossvary on 11.02.2016 at 11:28 am

    I do agree with the majority opinion that this country has not seen major candidates running for President of the United States in recent history as flawed as Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. How did we get here? This is very, very troubling and will require many years of postmortem analysis. The sad thing is that pretty much the only time any of these candidates tell something that has at least some truth to it, is when they talk about each other. Let’s not be in denial. We can vote either side, under protest, for a number of practical reasons, but cheering…? Bernie Sanders deserves cheering. I have been leaning conservative all my life but would have been thrilled to vote for Bernie Sanders if his chance for candidacy had not been stolen by Hillary Clinton’s cheer leaders.

  • Ashe on 11.02.2016 at 11:42 am

    Look, I don’t like Hillary, but the fact of the matter is either she or Donald will become president, and as someone who is gay, trans and Hispanic I can’t afford a Trump presidency. I don’t understand what kind of privilege you have to have to be on the fence about this. Think of others for once, I could literally lose my right to get married and adopt children in my home state if Trump wins, I have several family members who could be deported event though they are hardworking taxpayers with spouses and kids. I and people like me have so much to lose. I don’t care what Hillary did or what’s wrong with her, what I care about is that she ISN’T Trump and at this point in life I’ll take what I can get.

  • Clint Cavanaugh on 11.02.2016 at 11:46 am

    I hope some of you who are still undecided will see in this video that Bill Weld, ex-Gov of Massachusetts and Gary Johnson’s running mate, is VOUCHING FOR HILLARY CLINTON.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bill-weld-vouches-for-hillary-clinton_us_58195566e4b07c97c1c55168

  • Gregg on 11.02.2016 at 12:34 pm

    She has perfected the “politics of personal profit” like no other politician in our nations history. Enough said.

  • Don on 11.02.2016 at 5:33 pm

    Isn’t it paradoxical that someone devoted all her life to social justice yet is the most corrupt and incompetent politician in Washington? Iraq wars, Benghazi, Clinton Foundation, private emails…When you decide whom to vote for don’t just use your ear to hear the righteous debate sound-bytes on TV, use your eyes look at the recent history and the facts of the last 10 years.

  • Martin Rogers on 11.04.2016 at 8:11 am

    To me it is very clear. Ask yourself, who is most qualified for this position? Who has the most experience? Who has any experience at all? Is there a candidate that has no experience? Is there a candidate that is not qualified? Would you choose the least experienced candidate that is not qualified? Who would you trust with your families lives moving forward into the future? Hillary not only is the best candidate of the two, but she is one of the most qualified and competent presidential candidates who have run for President in a long time in my opinion. And she has connections, people trust her in government. She can make the average person’s life better. She will do it. She is for the majority of Americans, the 99.9% of us. And she would be fair to the top 0.1 % as well. And to top it all, she has the support and advise of her husband who just so happens to have 8 years of experience being President of the United States, and did a darn good job overall. We get two experienced Presidents for the price of one. My vote is for Hillary Clinton.

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