I’m With Her

Capture

Lifelong advocate, First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and Democratic nominee for President of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton (Photo Credit: AP)

Endorsement: Hillary Clinton for President of the United States

A truly extraordinary woman shook this year’s Democratic National Convention. Jerry Emmett was born in 1914, four years before she won the right to vote under the Nineteenth Amendment. She saw the first woman join the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916. Another joined the U.S. Senate in 1922. By 1924, a woman had been elected governor of an entire state. But though some came close, none had ever earned the title “Madam President.”

On Tuesday, Emmett pledged the majority of her state’s nominating delegates to a woman that had inspired her for decades. An hour later, Senator Bernie Sanders declared that the Democratic Party had finally shattered that “hardest, highest glass ceiling in America” — that theirs was the first major party to nominate a woman for President of the United States.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the most proven, passionate, and eminently qualified candidates to ever seek the presidency. We must ensure her victory this Election Day.

You know her story. After college, the Children’s Defense Fund. In Arkansas, landmark education reform. As First Lady, the largest push for universal health care in a generation. In the Senate, a champion for the heroes of September 11, 2001. And as Secretary of State, American resurgence on the world stage. Time and again, Republicans scolded her for being a woman who dared to play politics like a man. On the contrary, she played like a girl.

You know her heart. She left an influential career in Washington for the man she loved in Arkansas, trading offers from powerful law firms for pro bono child advocacy. Her support for children and families continued into the White House and even the State Department. She urged her husband, and later her ambassadors, to look beyond the powerful and connected to those most desperate for aid. After all, she learned firsthand the feeling of fighting for your seat at the  table.

And you know her mind. These are deeply troubled times for Americans and their allies. We need someone like Hillary Clinton now more than ever, someone who understands not only our challenges but also our capabilities. No campaign has proven more wonkish and detailed than hers, with serious policy proposals and strategies for implementation on nearly every major issue. She knows how to pass and defend legislation in Congress. She knows how to build and secure alliances abroad. She knows what it takes — and what it means — to be our next president.

If elected, she will stay the course of Democrats from Roosevelt through Obama: greater opportunity for everyone, regardless of who you love, where you come from, or what you look like. More than that, she would break new ground alongside the most progressive allies in congressional history. What began in 2009 with health care reform must continue with climate change, campaign finance, criminal justice, and so much more. We have already waited far too long.

With Hillary at the helm, Democrats are pushing harder for that change than ever before. But adopting the most progressive major party platform in history came with real political risk. We need to ensure the party remains committed to those ideals, and that means electing someone willing and able to implement them. Defeat in November would make it harder for stalwarts like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to recruit more allies for the progressive cause. We need someone to stand up and fight for the future we deserve.

Hillary has always been a fighter. Some have criticized that trait, insisting she be more cool, calm, and collected like the man she served as Secretary of State. But in 2008, we needed someone like Obama to help us through the Great Recession and rebuild our broken communities. In 2016, we face weakened allies, emboldened enemies, and a Congress that stubbornly refuses to do its job. Right now, we need a fighter. And the stakes are too high to trust these fights to anyone else.

But as much as we must vote for Hillary Clinton, we must also vote against her opponents. The Libertarian Party offers Gary Johnson, the accomplished former Governor of New Mexico. But his accomplishments suggest the wrong direction for America, the kind of Tea Party solutions more concerned with cutting taxes and shrinking government than helping those in need. Green Party candidate Jill Stein is more liberal but no better, promising progressive change without the insight or understanding necessary to achieve it. Their parties would be better served proving their policies and candidates in city halls and state houses before seeking the Oval Office.

Then there is the Donald Trump, the bombastic billionaire nominated by an intellectually bankrupt Republican Party. He represents perhaps the greatest danger to American democracy in generations, preferring the validation of his ego to the tenants of our Constitution. He supports war crimes, relishes political violence, and openly encouraged foreign espionage against the United States. Dozens of leading Republicans publicly oppose his candidacy, and we welcome their support amid shared concern for our country. We are not another property for Trump to seize, destroy, and abandon.

Eight years ago, we made history by electing our first black president. That did not erase our tortured past or excuse our troubled present, but millions of Americans learned that they too mattered. They too could one day lead a nation that had once enslaved them. Electing Hillary Clinton will not by itself cure the sexism and gender disparities that still exist in our society, but her election will prove that we have changed. And millions more like Jerry Emmett will learn that they too matter in America.

We are stronger together. We always have been, from the unlikely union of thirteen British colonies to the nation we built from every race and tongue and creed. We have come too far for fear and hatred to define our future. I’m with a better, brighter vision for America. I’m with progress for each and every one of us. I’m with the next President of the United States.

I’m with her.

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