Democrats still need Hillary Clinton

Democrats still need Hillary Clinton
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I have many critiques about Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election MORE and the way she ran her 2016 campaign, which I worked for. I have even more critiques about her ability to answer basic questions in a frank and forthright manner, but what I don’t have a critique for is her preparedness for office.

Clinton was by far the most qualified candidate in the last presidential election. She had foreign policy credentials from her time as secretary of State. She had domestic policy credentials from her time in the U.S. Senate. She had a front row seat to one of the biggest economic booms in our nation’s history. She was the best choice.

Was she always likable? No. Was she the type of person you wanted to have a beer with? Probably not. Was she qualified and prepared to do the job? Absolutely. You don’t have to like your brain surgeon, but you want the most qualified doctor performing your operation. The same should be true for the presidency. She was the right person at the right time. But America got it all wrong. We failed her. She did not fail us.

It should have been an easy choice. For many Democrats, Trump represented a step backward on our country’s progress. Trump represented a return to a not so friendly period of time when women were objects, minorities were second-class citizens, and diversity meant tokenism, not an actual meritocracy.

In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined that Clinton would lose the general election. I could never have imagined that Trump would become the 45th president of the United States. On Election Day, I felt like I was living through a horror movie. The morning after felt like an emotional hangover. As the days passed, I told myself that Trump couldn’t really be that bad. He couldn’t possibly intend to do all the things he said during the election, could he? And then he took office.

Trump’s presidency has been even worse than what I expected during the campaign. He has been divisive, playing politics with deadly terrorist attacks, both domestic and abroad. Trump has been making questionable decisions, like pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, while simultaneously lecturing the country about the importance of law and order. Trump has been the manifestation of my worst nightmares.

How the president’s moral flaws weren’t disqualifying to all Americans still amazes me to this day. How the president’s character flaws didn’t convince Americans that he was uniquely unfit for office amazes me to this day. Think what you want about Clinton and her emails, but Trump didn’t belong be in the same election as she did.

Trump disqualified himself at every campaign stop, in every interview, and with every Russia related story that has been revealed. How can we have possibly allowed our standards to dip so low? A president doesn’t just occupy the Oval Office, he or she leads from it. The president should represent all Americans, not just half of them.

Clinton understood that we are supremely blessed to live in this country. She understood that we have been granted gifts by birth that we have not earned. We have the gifts of freedom, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. Clinton understood that we can’t protect these gifts if we don’t appreciate them.

Clinton understood the consequences if she didn’t win the presidency. She understood the danger that Trump would bring if he were elected leader of the free world. It was the rest of us who didn’t understand what was happening. We were too focused on her emails and deciding whether or not we liked her enough.

Americans need to be constantly reminded what could have been. Americans need to be constantly reminded what happens when we fail each other because that’s what happened on Election Day. Americans allowed fear and tribalism to expose our vulnerabilities. We allowed our insecurities to be exploited. We let ourselves down.

This is exactly why the Democratic Party still needs Clinton. The idea that Democrats would shun Clinton is pure insanity. Her days of running for public office may be over, but her years of experience are invaluable. Clinton is a resource that Democrats should tap into and use to rebuild the party.

We should listen to her critiques, not criticize her for having them. We should pay attention to the things she wishes she had done differently, not dismiss them as sour grapes. There are elections Democrats need to win on the horizon. Clinton has a very important role in American politics. She must play the role of kingmaker.

Clinton’s management skills and ability to raise money are nearly unrivaled. Her ability to analyze policy and work with our allies is unparalleled. Despite what Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE would lead the party to believe, Clinton is the perfect person to aid the Democratic National Committee in rebuilding its infrastructure and repairing its image. Clinton’s party and the country need her leadership.

We need her voice and her leadership. We need her grace. Clinton may have lost the 2016 election, but she can ensure an American victory by refusing to go quietly. Clinton must resist calls for her to sulk away. Her work is not finished. With no more elections left, Clinton is free from the political restraints that shackled her candidacy. She can finally be Hillary. In spite of everything, she persists. So must we all.

Michael Starr Hopkins is an attorney and former member of the presidential campaigns of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Russian social media is the modern-day Trojan horse Trump records robo-call for Gillespie: He'll help 'make America great again' MORE and Hillary Clinton. He regularly appears on Fox News and CNN to talk about national politics. You can follow him on Twitter @TheOnlyHonest.