On September 27th, a fellow Odyssey content creator wrote an article titled "Why A Young Woman Like Me Won't Be Supporting Hillary". Originally, I was going to calmly debunk and fact check this article, but the more I reread and researched this the more frustrated I got. I'm two cups of coffee into my day and I'm about to go all Colbert Report on this ish. More after the break.
The majority of this author's article contains no sources, a lot of assumptions, and some generally ignorant information. To give her the benefit of the doubt, the author doesn't claim to be an expert on the current election, but she is woefully unaware of what's actually going on.
The subheading to the article is "I can't justify voting for someone based off their gender instead of their values". Right. You shouldn't vote for someone just because they're a woman. But, like how it's trendy nowadays for women to claim they're not feminists, she seems to misunderstand what Clinton stands for. Because Hillary Clinton is a woman, her values are more likely to be inline with the author's.
The author goes on to say, "Well, [the most qualified candidate] is not for me to decide, in fact, I could never state who is most qualified; neither of the candidates really are." According to the author's page, she is a student at Elon University. While her age is not listed, I think it is fair to assume she is at least 18 years old. Which means she is old enough to vote. So contrary to what she said, it IS for her to decide who is the most qualified candidate. That's how voting works. She's not making this decision all by herself, mind you, but every vote is important, especially in close elections like this one.
But to her, neither of the candidates are qualified enough for the presidency.
Donald Trump has a bachelor's degree in economics, he was a co-producer for The Apprentice, he owns The Trump Organization, he founded a for-profit university that has his name, and started a charitable foundation.
Hillary Clinton has a bachelor's degree in political sciences, a law degree, and she was First Lady of the United States in the late 90's. Clinton served as a US Senator for the state of New York where she served on a variety of committees including: Committee on Budget (2001–02), Committee on Armed Services (2003–09), Committee on Environment and Public Works (2001–09), Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (2001–09) and Special Committee on Aging. She was also a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (2001–09). And that was just her first term. She ran for president in 2008 but lost the democratic nomination to Barack Obama. Under Obama's presidency, she became Secretary of State. She also is part of a charitable foundation with her husband and daughter called the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
And the author claims neither candidate is qualified for the presidency.
But this is only the opening to her article. The author then lists all her reasons for why she doesn't support Hillary Clinton.
The first reason she gives is an expansion on her subheading.
Women obtained their right to vote in the 1920s, under the 19th Amendment in the United States Constitution. Women did not fight for the right to vote to just throw their vote to someone who is 'like' them. I believe that the women who fought for this really wanted us women later on in the world to vote for what is right and good; I shouldn't vote for someone just because my anatomy is similar to a candidates -- I need to vote for who is best for the country, not for who is appealing to a certain group. That statement is degrading towards women who want to make this country a better place now and for our future children.
Women obtained the right to vote in 1920 when the 19th amendment was ratified. While the amendment doesn't specify race, Jim Crow laws kept black women from voting in some states well into the 1960's. But I'm just knit-picking with that one. I also don't presume to think I know what Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton wanted. They probably wanted women to be able to have a say in their government by being able to vote. They also probably wanted women to be able to hold public offices. They wouldn't want women to "throw away their vote" but in the 1950's most women voted for who their husband told them to.
It's true that Clinton is an appealing candidate to women. And that is probably because she is a woman. Any voter wants a candidate who has their best interests at heart. Because Clinton is a woman, she knows about sexism in the workplace and the wage gap. Because Clinton is a mother, she cares about issues that would affect her children and grandchildren. But even if you forget all that, there are a lot of better reasons to vote for Clinton that have nothing to do with her gender. Her experience in American politics is one, but according to the author of the article, that doesn't make Clinton qualified to be president.
The second point given for why the author is against voting for Clinton is because she brings a "baggage full of scandals and lies".
Growing up, I was always taught to always tell the truth and never tell a lie, no matter how much trouble I may get in for admitting my mistakes... The name Clinton comes filled with a baggage of scandals and lies that make her an untrustworthy candidate. Can I really let myself fall into this trap because she is 'like' me?
Before I go on, I would like everyone to pause and watch this video from LastWeekTonight with John Oliver.
If just watching this video has not sufficiently debunked the author's second point, I have personally fact-checked every single one of the points that Oliver mentions in the video. Oliver fails to even mention Trump's pending rape lawsuit. So while Clinton's morality can be questionable, Trump's "baggage of scandals" is bigger and heavier.
The author's next point claims that Clinton accepts money from "countries that oppress women".
In case you didn't know, Hillary accepts money for her campaigning from countries who oppress women, such as Syria. It's interesting that she takes money from a place that goes against what she should believe in, especially as a woman, isn't it? It's even more interesting that these are the people and the country she is trying to support, especially for refugees, but she is accepting the government's money that could be going to the betterment of the Syrian people and nation.
First off, I didn't know this, so some more fact-checking was in order. According to a Facebook post from Donald Trump, The Clinton Foundation received $25 million from Saudi Arabia. Politifact followed the paper trail and found it difficult to prove anything. Clinton has received donations from "Saudi Arabia" but it isn't possible to confirm the identities of all the donors. I put "Saudi Arabia" in quotes because that is how the donations are listed, but it is impossible to find out independently if this was a donation by the government or private citizens. One confirmed Saudi donor is Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi, who has donated roughly $10 million over the years.
In the video I had linked above, John Oliver, mentioned that The Clinton Foundation doesn't have to report it's donations but said they would in a 2008 agreement. Oliver specifically references donations from Algeria that weren't reported because they were filtered through the Canadian branch of the foundation.
I have found no evidence of donations from Syria.
In a 2010 Human Rights report, The US State Department notes that women in Saudi Arabia have few political rights and there is significant discrimination. But Kuwait is the highest rated Middle Eastern country in closing the gender gap.
The United Arab Emirates is an Islamic state whose laws are based in Sharia law (Islamic holy laws). These laws limit the consumption of alcohol, sexual activity, but also how to conduct various religious practices. This means that a woman can be jailed for being raped, amongst other things that discriminate against women.
What is most shocking is that the majority of Clinton and Trump's campaign donations have come from companies based out of The United States, a country that condones rape and child marriage. Read a report by the Human Rights Watch on further atrocities committed by the US here.
The author's fourth point is, by far, her most maddening. She refuses to support Hillary Clinton because of how Clinton handled the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
After the Monica Lewinsky affair with Bill Clinton, it is hard for someone who believes in the upmost respect for women to support a candidate who was able to accept the things that her husband did. Hillary was hurt, embarrassed, and lied to; she didn't do anything about it, in fact it seemed as if she didn't mind at all. Being a strong, independent young woman, I could never support someone who lets a man walk all over her. That's not who I want leading this country--who else would she let treat her this way?
One, you don't know anything about the Clinton's marriage. Two, you don't know anything about the Clinton's marriage. And three, you don't know anything about the Clinton's marriage. Just because Hillary chose to forgive Bill does not mean he's walking all over her. Plus, have you seen those two? Hillary definitely wears the pants in that relationship.
Besides the very obvious fact that the Clintons' marriage is none of our business, Clinton is not the only who to have dealt with infidelity. Trump has confirmed that on multiple occasions he has cheated on his wives.
The final point in the author's argument is the most common I've heard from anti-Clinton democrats. People, especially young people, are skeptical that Clinton has been bought by major corporations.
If you look at the national companies here in the United States that are funding Hillary's campaign, you will realize that they are the upper class who know that she will protect their incomes. Wall Street, lawyers, Hollywood, pharmaceuticals, and Public Officials are supporting her campaign. Why? She will send jobs overseas which Wall Street enjoys hearing, she will halt oil and coal companies which will satisfy Hollywood's environmental agenda, she will increase health care which will protect Pharmaceutical companies from losing money, and she will expand the size of the government, which should be getting smaller, to take money from taxpayers. Don't you want American jobs and lower taxes?
According to OpenSecrets.org, Clinton's top donor is Paloma Partners, a hedge fund company based in Connecticut. She has also received donations from Renaissance Technologies (an investment management firm), Newsweb Corporation (a media group known for printing alternative newspapers), Unilever (a consumer goods company based out of the UK), DreamWorks Skg (a film production company), Laborers Union, Carpenters & Joiners Union, and Plumber/Pipefitters Union.
If you really want to get into where Clinton's money is coming from, you can also look on The Clinton Foundation's page. There you will see donations from celebrities, private citizens, local businesses, groups like the American Federation of Teachers, as well as Booz Allen Hamilton and Coca-Cola. She has links to everything big and small. And so does Trump.
As for the second half of this point? Political candidates post their stances on various issues on their website as well as links to speeches talking about those issues. On Clinton's website, she even does to far to list "As president, Hillary will...".
The author claims that Clinton is being funded by Wall Street because she be sending jobs overseas. According to her website, Clinton plans to:
-Launch our country’s boldest investments in infrastructure since the construction of our interstate highway system in the 1950s.
-Advance our commitment to research and technology in order to create the industries and jobs of the future.
-Establish the U.S. as the clean energy superpower of the world—with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term and enough clean, renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of her taking office.
-Strengthen American manufacturing with a $10 billion “Make it in America” plan.
-Cut red tape, provide tax relief and expand access to capital so small businesses can grow, hire, and thrive.
-Ensure that the jobs of the future in caregiving and services are good-paying jobs, recognizing their fundamental contributions to families and to America.
-Pursue smarter, fairer, tougher trade policies that put U.S. job creation first and get tough on nations like China that seek to prosper at the expense of our workers. This includes opposing trade deals like the Trans-Pacific -Partnership that do not meet a high bar of creating good-paying jobs and raising pay.
-Commit to a full-employment, full-potential economy and break down barriers so that growth, jobs, and prosperity are shared in every community in America.
And that's just in the "Jobs and Wages" section. Do you want me to continue? The author doesn't seem to know a lot about what Clinton stands for, so I think I will.
She says that Clinton will "halt oil and coal companies which will satisfy Hollywood's environmental agenda". On her website, Clinton wants to transition into clean energy. Transition being the key word here. She wants to revitalize the coal communities so they don't simply fall apart after a transfer to clean energy. She also wants to invest in job creation in the field of clean energy. Also, the author refers to "Hollywood's environmental agenda" like it's a bad thing and I don't really understand where she's going with that.
She also says that Clinton will "increase health care which will protect Pharmaceutical companies from losing money". On Clinton's website, she says that she wants to expand The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) as well as reduce the cost of prescription drugs. I don't really understand how any of that protects pharmaceutical companies at all.
Then she says that Clinton "will expand the size of the government, which should be getting smaller, to take money from taxpayers. Don't you want American jobs and lower taxes?" I have already cited so many things that contradict this. Clinton says she that as president, she wants to create all kinds of jobs and even says how (investing in infrastructure and clean energy, to name two). She says nothing about expanding the government. She talks about defense budget reform and criminal justice reform on her website, but I don't think that means she's "expanding the government". Clinton also says she wants to introduce a fair tax system so that Wall Street and the wealthy pay their share.
Reading this article constantly had me wondering who this young woman IS supporting. Is it Trump? Is it third party? She claims to be in a "Liberal-ideology infiltrated institution". So is she part of the "Bernie or bust" crowd? She knows her friends will vote for Clinton "based on her sexual orientation" (yes, that is really what she wrote) but she, personally, couldn't vote for a candidate she didn't trust. So who does she trust?