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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Should We Elect A Politician for President?

   In the first 2016 presidential debate, Donald Trump repeatedly reminded us that Hillary Clinton has been a politician for over 30 years.  He said this with disdain, as if it were something to be ashamed of.  He also regularly boasts that he is "not a politician", and that is one of the main reasons he keeps telling us we should vote for him.  I suppose that means we can trust him, right? 
     A politician, according the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is "a person experienced in the science of government, especially once who is actively engaged in conducting the business of government."  Since she graduated from college, and even before, Hillary Clinton has been actively involved in finding ways to better her community, first as a lawyer, and then as the wife of a very powerful and popular governor who eventually was elected President, and finally as a senator, and secretary of state.  By that definition, Hillary has definitely been involved in politics for a very long time.
    But doesn't it make sense that we should elect someone who is experienced in government to the highest public office in the land?  We want someone who is familiar with how government works, has a working knowledge of world events, and can hit the ground running.   A U.S. President does not have the time for "on the job training."  A crisis could occur on his or her first day in office that he or she must have the expertise to handle.  There is no room for major blunders without affecting the lives and futures of millions of people.
     Of course experience is not the only quality we are looking for in our presidential candidates.  We want someone who is intelligent, compassionate, and can make good judgments.  We want someone who will consider how laws and policies affect all Americans, both rich and poor.  We need someone who will protect our interests both at home and abroad, who has the diplomatic skills and cool headedness to be able work with world leaders in a way that enhances cooperation, minimizes conflict, and protects our interests.  We want someone who is calm in the face of conflict and criticism.
  Yes, Hillary Clinton has made mistakes.  Nobody is perfect. But she admits to those mistakes and states how she should have done things differently.  She does seem to have learned from her mistakes.  Has Donald Trump ever admitted to a mistake without being forced to do so?  Is he cool headed?  Does he have diplomatic skills?  Can he control his tongue? 
   If you were going to have brain surgery, would you want someone who was not a brain surgeon operating on your brain?  If you were building a home, would you ask someone with no building experience at all to build it?  If you were taking a plane trip, would you be comfortable if the pilot had never flown a plane in his life?  Then why should we place someone at the helm of our government who has absolutely no political experience, and none of the aforementioned qualifications. 
     You may be bemoaning the fact that we have to choose between Clinton and Trump.  Would that there were other candidates to choose from.  There were, but we're past that stage and now we have to make the best decision we can, and we have to live with it for the next 4 years.   
     Donald Trump can continue to complain about Hillary Clinton's 30+ years of political experience.  Every time he does so, it just makes the case for electing her President that much stronger.