Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Made a Bad Choice and I'm Glad

I made a bad choice today and I’m glad. The bad choice I made was to vote for Hillary Clinton for President. I’m not happy with my choice, but I would have been far less happy if I had voted for her opponent, Donald Trump. And I would have been even more unhappy if I had not voted at all. There are some who have said they would not vote because they felt both choices were bad, but as I’ve said, “To not vote is to vote for the person you like least.” So my bad choice was better than no choice at all because no choice at all is a choice.
Why do I think Hillary Clinton is a bad choice? Before I answer that question, I need to say that all I can do is vote to the best of my ability and the utmost of my knowledge. For many years, the utmost of my knowledge was limited to the commercials I saw on television. As I grew older I matured in my understanding of political history, philosophy, and actual practice (which often contradicts the first two). I read and studied and watched. I developed my own beliefs. Unlike some I did not inherit my beliefs from my parents because they usually told me that their political choices were none of my business. (Contrary to this, I have told my three daughters how I vote and why. They are free to make their own choices, but at least they understand mine.)
This year I studied the ballot. I looked at the propositions (seventeen in California). I looked at the measures. And I looked at the other elections. Sometimes I came away confused. But regarding the Presidential election my mind was clear. I was voting for Hillary. And it is a bad choice. Why? Again, my knowledge is limited, but Hillary seems to have a past filled with corruption and misdeeds. Who knows how far they go? There are people who spend much of their lives looking into people like Hillary and Trump and it never ends. In addition, the antics of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are well documented.
And, still, I voted for her. Why?
I voted for Hillary because Trump seems even worse. Even if I disregarded all the rumors and innuendo and accusations about Trump, I know this: I know what I saw. I saw a man with no actual job experience. He has never held an office. He has never served in the military. All he has done is make a lot of money. That’s good, but he has also had a lot of his businesses fail and he has declared bankruptcy more than once.
But I saw worse. I saw a bully. I saw a man make fun of a disabled person. I saw a man who claimed, for years, that our current President, Barack Obama, is not a citizen.  I saw a man speak of women disrespectfully. I saw a man cozy up to Putin. I saw a man who just horrified me with his manners. He referred to Hillary not as Mrs. Clinton or Hillary or even Clinton, but as “Crooked Hillary.”
If I were in the position to interview and then hire either Hillary or Trump (and the Presidential election process is the ultimate interview), based on only what I saw or heard from each candidate, I would be forced to vote for Hillary. I would have no choice. It’s not that I like Hillary. It is that I like Trump even less. I would not want him in my workplace. I would not want to have to deal with someone that abrasiveness every day for the next four years.
In other words, Trump blew the interview.
Will Hillary be a good President if she wins? It is impossible to know (though Bill Clinton’s Presidency was very successful, even if his personal choices were atrocious and tainted his presidency). We can only hope for the best. I made a bad choice, or so I believe. I hope I am wrong. In a matter of hours, America will know if it has its first woman President. Either way, we all have to Get Started and Keep Going in order to help America see its potential. I may have made a bad choice, but I made the best one I could. I hope it turns out to be a good choice.