By Clay Parlette
A short while ago, I wrote a column that sang the praises of Senator Bernie Sanders, making the claim that “Sanders is the best choice for college students.” In that same column, I bashed Hillary Clinton as a disingenuous charlatan who was little more than a powerful party player, saying anything to get elected. The truth of the matter is that all politicians are dishonest to some degree. Especially in Secretary Clinton’s long career of public service, mistakes and “baggage” (as Rand Paul calls it) are simply inevitable, and when it’s broken down, there is little justification for hating on Hillary like so many like to do today.
Some folks will say they “don’t trust her.” Period. Done. No discussion needed. For Joey Collegegoer, that’s all the explanation that’s necessary for a vote for Sanders or Trump over Clinton. But why don’t we trust her? One of the best websites for measuring truth quality of politicians rates about 50 percent of Clinton’s statements as “True” or “Mostly True.” This is in direct comparison to Sanders’s equal score of 50 percent and the shameful scores of 22 percent and 9 percent for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump respectively. So, at her worst, she’s tied for first when it comes to honesty. Is it Benghazi that’s the root for this distrust, for which she testified for eleven hours as the GOP tried and failed to garner substantial evidence to incriminate her? Perhaps it is the email scandal in which former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice (both very trusted people, mind you) have been found to have done nearly the same thing during their times in office. Some Sanders enthusiasts will pin her as a puppet of Wall Street, receiving a whopping 3.9 percent of her campaign contributions from the vicious financial monster. About the best thing Clinton ever did for the big banks was vote for their bailout following the financial crisis—and that was literally to save our economy from completely imploding into an ashy pile of soot.
Hillary is accused of being “cold” and “out of touch.” Some call her “treacherous” and a “criminal,” but is she really? Are these accusations really backed by reasonable suspicion? Or is she being accused, tried, and executed in the court of talking heads and public opinion simply because she’s a woman who has accomplished an unprecedented number of things that were traditionally out of bounds for a lady to have an interest in?
Hillary has served as a social and civil rights advocate, the First Lady of Arkansas, the First Lady of the United States, a United States Senator, and the Secretary of State of the United States. She’s arguably one of the most qualified people to run for this office in our nation’s history, because, simply put, she has seen all and done all. And that matters. At the end of the day, this nation needs a leader who can handle the insane load of duties required of the Oval Office. Revolutionaries like Bernie are popular and great for rallies, but they tend to skew their worldview into a tiny, unrealistic snow globe of love and kumbaya. Is Hillary perfect? Absolutely not. Quite frankly, she is dishonest at least half of the time, but so is every single other candidate and politician out there. If you believe for a second that there’s ever been a president of this nation that wasn’t dishonest, you are living in glorious ignorance. Hillary has dedicated her life to public service, and she has played an important role in the state of our nation’s foreign affairs and social progress. She can work with others and she understands that extremism on any side of the aisle will not accomplish much. She may not be the knight in shining armor that we idealize, but she has the experience and resilience that we need in a leader. And, for the love of Pete, please back up your arguments against her with something other than emails. Even in an unstylish pantsuit, Hillary is a champion for America, and a leader that the rest of the world respects. That’s something I think we can all stand behind.