Why Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for president
The demise of ultra-conservative Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia and the looming tug of war between the senate and the Obama administration over his replacement has added drama to the already high stakes of the 2016 presidential election. Not only do we want a president who can make the economy strong, keep us safe in today’s complex and dangerous world, we are now also reminded of the profound significance of the “ideological” make-up of the Supreme Court—beyond Scalia’s replacement—given the ages of some of our highest judges.
During this presidential campaign, as in most past ones, the economy is the primary concern, and the obvious question is: “Who is best suited to take care of the economy?”
There is an African saying that “the world is old, and the future comes out of the past.” The universal truth in this adage invites us to look back in history to see which one of our two main political parties has produced the presidents with the best records in terms of economic performance over the past several decades. The facts are crystal-clear: U.S. unemployment rate has been lower at the end of every Democratic president’s term in office since President John Kennedy assumed office in 1961. Only President Ronald Reagan can boast such an achievement since Dwight Eisenhower took office in 1953—though his overall economic record is not that rosy. Also, the largest average economic expansions since World War II in the U.S. have happened under five Democratic presidents—John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama. History also tells us that during the presidency of Ronald Reagan (to whose legacy the Republican candidates pervasively lay claim), the national debt exploded, growing from $700 billion to nearly $3 trillion. Reagan’s massive deficits, economists say, contributed to the recession of the 1990s, which denied his successor a chance for re-election after the latter reluctantly abandoned his campaign slogan of “no new taxes.”
In concrete terms, of all the candidates, Clinton stands out with her realistic, feet-on-the ground plan to build on President Obama’s strategies that have pulled the country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Her pledge to support the well-being and the rights of the working class comes as the logical extension of her actions in the senate and earlier during her political life that spans an entire generation. That is not to mention her tough, yet reasonable plan on gun control, her just stance on gay rights, abortion and other issues that polarize the nation.
Clinton, one of the most qualified presidential candidates the U.S. has had in a long time, is far better equipped than anyone on both sides of the campaign to carry out a foreign policy built on knowledge and fueled by real-life experiences derived from her tenure as secretary of state, not a reckless one hinged on the belief to shoot first and think later. Her track record includes her role in fostering closer ties between the United States and countries in Asia, deepening the necessary dialogue with colossal China, her role in the imposition of tougher sanctions against Iran that brought the controversial Persian Gulf giant to the negotiation table, which eventually gave us the welcome nuclear deal, not to mention her tireless efforts to promote democracy on the democracy-starved continent of Africa. As Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman put it in a February 19 interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, in these times when the world is sitting on many powder kegs, it’s safe to avoid putting matches in some hands.
Clinton’s poise and breath of experience stand in stark contrast to the empty slogan of a boastful, robotic, kiddish and fast-talking Marco Rubio, and an excessively hawkish Ted Cruz who threatens of “carpet bombing” to deal with ISIS. That is not to mention the outright ignorance in foreign policy of Republican front-runner Donald Trump who vows to tear the Iran nuclear deal on his first day in office—in the scientifically impossible event of winning the presidency—despite not knowing much about the deal. How laughable it was to hear the narcissistic realty-TV star tell CNN’s Anderson Cooper in a February 4 interview that, as a great deal-maker, he would have told the Iranians: “We’re a country that has no money. We can’t give you the $150 billion,” when, in reality, the money [not $150 billion) is Iran’s own money that has been frozen in foreign banks as a result of the international sanctions.
Clinton is a proven champion in the defense of women’s rights, a seasoned attorney with a track record of pushing labor laws for equal pay for women, among others. Yet, beneath the facade of hypocrisy, some, including women, are not excited about the prospect of a woman president. We broke a racial barrier by electing Obama as our first black president, but that didn’t sit well with some, which explains the racial backlash we have witnessed over the past seven years and counting. Hopefully President Obama’s tenure will ultimately have the effect of making America accustomed to this “novelty,” and will help more Americans embrace a future black president. By the same token, Clinton’s election, while breaking the gender barrier that the Philippines, Liberia, Malawi and the Central African Republic have already removed, will pave the way for the nation to learn to accept a female president.