Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Bill Clinton hospitalized with sepsis We have a presidential leadership crisis — and it's only going to get worse MORE will almost certainly go down in history as the first female American president. But will she go down as a good president?
As a former Republican, I will vote for Hillary if necessary. The “as necessary” part depends on the polls in my state. If I feel confident Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE will not take the state, I will vote for Evan McMullin and Republican down-ticket candidates.
I am not, however, so naive as to think a vote for McMullin is anything other than a protest vote against Trump and, therefore, essentially a form of mild support for Hillary. I made peace with voting for her long ago for the greater good of stopping the existential threat to American democracy that is Donald Trump.
So I tepidly support Hillary, despite my disagreement with her on the importance of reining in government, cutting spending, and lowering taxes. I do not agree with her Baby Boomer feminist framework of ideas. I think it’s old and outdated, especially and profoundly in the elevation of abortion to not only a right but a good.
I do not want her appointing Supreme Court justices who see the Constitution as a malleable document. Furthermore, I do not think Americans should have dynasties and would like to see the Clintons far from power. Her self-dealing and ruthlessness concern me. I would vote against her if I could. Great numbers of us would.
Yet I am resigned to a Hillary Clinton presidency. It will be endured. It will be survived. Trump would be worse in a thousand ways, as he shows us every day. I plan to vote for Republicans lower on the ticket, to add some balance to a Democrat presidency.
Hillary Clinton, however, could earn my respect, and the respect of history, by using this moment as a moment for all Americans. She has a rare opportunity in this deeply divided country to unite and elevate rather than divide and destroy.
She has already made some steps toward that goal, saying she wants to earn the support of people who would otherwise support the Republican nominee. She has been preaching a message of unity:
“There’s something really exciting happening right now—people are coming together…to reject hate and division.” —Hillary— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 21, 2016
"I want to be every single American’s president…I believe we can disagree without being disagreeable.” —Hillary #StrongerTogether— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 21, 2016
The proof, of course, will be in the executive pudding after the election. If she makes good on this promise, she can earn her spot in the ranks of great American presidents who put country ahead of party, America ahead of self.
In order to make good on this promise, Hillary must show actions and not just words.
Reject the Obama administration’s habit of using the force of government to punish those who disagree with him, most notably the IRS audits of conservative organizations. Hillary Clinton is no stranger to this type of tactic herself. In order to create an administration that is for all Americans, she must reject these types of executive overreach.
Build coalitions around legislation that can actually be passed. With two parties, there will always be areas on which no one can agree but the type of antipathy that has been on display between Obama and Congress is not necessary. Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonAppeals court allows Texas abortion law to stand Bill Clinton hospitalized with sepsis Democrats explained: Mandaters gonna mandate MORE was a great coalition builder. Hillary can be as well.
Invite conservatives to the table and listen. Instead of “my way or the highway,” let other opinions be heard, whether that means allowing appointments of conservatives into government positions or simply making time to listen to leaders.
Spend time in the middle of the country. The populist movement of Trump has taught us that there are deep, real grievances in Middle America, people who feel they are losing their livelihoods and their way of life. Democrats tend to focus on the urban areas, but Hillary could make huge strides toward unity by simply visiting the areas that are so often ignored, by listening with compassion to the people who would never vote for her.
Make a case for America on the world stage that all Americans can be proud of. The sad situation in the Middle East and tensions around the world are and must be bipartisan. Choose a policy and act instead of wavering in resolve as Obama has done. If she leads, America will follow.
If Hillary Clinton can turn away from the savage partisanship that has symbolized the last several years, I promise that I, as a conservative, will do my best to support her. It’s time for Americans to come together. She has a chance to be the leader we need.
I hope she becomes just that woman, for the good of the country I so dearly love and I believe she loves as well.