Edit desk: Embrace Madame President

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Stop saying it. Please, just stop saying it.

Cate Peterson

Cate Peterson

“The candidates both suck. I don’t know who to vote for. They’re equally bad.”

That is just not true.

One candidate has been called by Barack Obama “the most qualified presidential candidate ever.” The other candidate has no record of public service.

The choice should be obvious, but one candidate is a woman. Despite the progress we believe American culture has made, there are still a lot of Americans uncomfortable with the idea of a powerful woman.

While both hold prestigious degrees from Ivy League universities, one has worked as a lawyer, a New York senator, the Secretary of State and the first lady of the United States.

The other candidate started a lucrative career in real estate development and owns a business that lost almost a billion dollars, a loss that may have allowed him to avoid paying taxes for 18 years.

One candidate co-funded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Defense Fund.

The other candidate’s charity has been used to fund commissioned paintings of him that sit on display in one of his many restaurants.

Aside from the obvious mismatch in qualifications, the manner in which the candidates conducts themselves cannot be ignored.

Compared to Hillary Clinton’s deliberate speech, Donald Trump has a dangerous rhetoric.

On June 16, Trump said in a speech about Mexicans immigrating to the United States, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” 

During the Sept. 26 first presidential debate, Trump said he would like to reinstitute the stop-and-frisk policy — a policy that has been deemed unconstitutional.

On Sept. 30, Trump tweeted that his followers should check out the sex tape of Alicia Machado —  no sex tape exists.

During the debate, Trump said that not paying taxes “makes me smart.”

He has alluded supporting of Vladimir Putin, one the world’s most ruthless leaders. Trump encouraged Russian hackers to find Clinton’s emails.

In July, after the Democratic National Convention speech of Khzir Khan, a father of a soldier who was killed in Iraq, Trump implied Khan’s wife, Ghazala Khan, could not speak while on stage because she is Muslim.

He has repeatedly called women fat and ugly, implying women’s worth is determined by attractiveness. There have been numerous reports on Trump’s inadequacy as business man, losing millions of dollars and declaring bankruptcy.

This is not a man fit to hold the most powerful office in the world.

That is not to say that Clinton is spotless. She too has had her fair share of scandals and missteps.

Clinton displayed extreme negligence when she conducted official state business through a private email address and private email server located in her home, instead of using a secure government email.

Clinton has been questioned over the influence and access donors receive through her family’s charity, The Clinton Foundation. There was the $500,000 donation from the Algerian government in a time when Algeria sought a closer relationship with the State Department.

And of course there was the scandal surrounding the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi.

Clinton, however, was not convicted of criminal wronging in any of these cases, and I would argue any politician in the spotlight for more than 20 years is due to make mistakes.

I will concede that she is most definitely a political insider, but I tend to believe that is a positive. She has worked with a multitude of politicians and is known to have strong relationships with both Republicans and Democrats. If anyone can reach across the aisle to affect real change in the modern age of staunch bipartisanship, Clinton can.

She doesn’t have the easy charisma of her husband. She doesn’t have the lithe cadence of the current president. But arguments that she is unlikable expose the dark underbelly of American social structure.

U.S. citizens are uncomfortable with a woman being the president of the United States.

I can’t overstate the magnitude of this moment. Ninety-four years after U.S. women won the right to vote, a woman could assume the office of the president of the United States. On the other hand, a xenophobic, racist, sexist fear-monger could become one of the most powerful leaders in the world.

If you truly believe in American ideals — equality, democracy and sovereignty — swallow your pride. Recognize your discomfort with a woman in power and seek to actively change it. Stop fretting over menial ideas such as likability or appearance and choose to vote for the candidate most equipped to handle the job: a woman named Hillary Clinton.

Cate Peterson, ’18, is an associate news editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]

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4 Comments

  1. Cate, good for you for thinking your way through this. I personally would vote for Ghengis Khan before Mrs. Clinton and you’ll just have to believe me when I say it has nothing to do with gender. Keep up the fine work. Jeff Wertz ’87

  2. This is such a one sided viewpoint of the presidential election. Obviously Donald Trump is a terrible candidate, but there’s way more reasons why people – ESPECIALLY people of color – are hesitant on voting for Hilary aside from the fact that she is a woman. For example, not only has she made racist remarks towards black people being “super predators” in the past, but her and her husband also helped to create the “school to prison” pipeline in which African American men have been incarcerated at alarming and disproportionate rates. To me, this article is another example of how white feminism tends to exclude people of color. Please do your full research before you decide to write an article on a political topic. #StayWoke

  3. Zachary Farley on

    Let me preface this by saying that I will be voting for Hillary come November as I realize what a disaster a Trump presidency could be. I was also never the biggest Bernie supporter, but felt he was the best candidate for me.

    You write this article addressing millennials that don’t support Clinton. Many of these millennials were Bernie supporters that are still unhappy with Clinton’s agenda/actions (see above), and you write this saying that the only reason they liked Bernie is because he’s not a woman. It’s about time that we have a woman in the White House but how dare you claim that your peers, the most progressive generation in history, are all sexist because they don’t feel that she is the right one.

  4. It’s not that I wont vote for Hillary because she’s a female, it’s because she’s a crook. She is a terrible person and honestly, I don’t care what Obama has to say about her. He’s not to good himself. A million times better than Hillary, but overall she is a shitty person. Just as if not more than Trump. I personally believe when people assume and judge whole group of people are stereotyping and not being open minded. Certain categories relate, like racism, sexism, and including you. Now if what I just said makes you triggered or want to go to a safe space, fine go ahead. But realize people will have different opinions, and you can’t stop them from expressing it. I could have said it in a nicer way, but I am being up front with you. You assumed a whole group of people are not voting for Hillary because she is a female. I have plenty of disagreeing opinions in the article but you are valid to have them. But you can’t assume anything about a whole group of people. You are prejudging before you even know them. Sounds similar to racism doesn’t it? But you probably won’t accept my opinion, you may say I am a terrible person, but you can feel whatever. I can have my own opinion, and personally, I think it’s validated. You are allowed to have your opinion and I will respect it, but I don’t respect your assumptions. I’m not voting for either candidate because I don’t like either.

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