This November, our country has a choice. In the age of globalization, we are more interconnected with the world than ever before. We must choose how we will present ourselves to a world that now watches our every move.
Are we going to be welcoming and inclusive or isolationist and hostile? Will we stay true to the principles our country was founded on or shut ourselves off and give in to fear?
We cannot give in to the racist, Islamophobic and fear-mongering rhetoric the man at the top of the GOP ticket promotes. America is better than this. Leaders like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold believe in taking swift and forceful action to protect Americans both at home and abroad, without resorting to tactics fundamentally contrary to American ideals.
Clinton and Feingold believe in targeted military efforts as well as strengthened diplomatic relations to bring stability to the global community. They also know our foreign policy does not begin and end with combating ISIS and barring all immigrants from our country. They realize inclusivity and diversity is what makes the United States great.
Both the Feingold and Clinton campaigns have put forth plans that encourage Americans to volunteer abroad to build bridges and promote mutual understanding. Our greatest diplomatic dilemmas will never be solved if we refuse to listen to the advice of the international community. Republican nominee Donald Trump has criticized the UN, praised the anti-immigration motivation for the UK leaving the EU and threatened to remove the United States from NATO. We need a president who understands the importance of international institutions. What better representative to the global community than a woman who has already served as our top diplomat?
With all of the focus on terrorism centering around ISIS and other dangerous threats abroad, it’s easy to forget that the biggest threat to the security of American lives has nothing to do with our foreign policy. According to the Center for Disease Control, 91 Americans, on average, are killed with guns every day. No politician can claim to fight for the safety and security of Americans but not fight for restrictive gun legislation to help safety on the homefront.
A majority of Americans believe universal background checks should be necessary when buying a gun, and passing this common sense legislation would not only improve the safety of the entire country but also show that our Congress actually votes based on the opinions of the people who elect them. Clinton has a comprehensive gun safety plan that will improve the lives of all Americans, while Trump listens only to lobbyists from the National Rifle Association.
So in this election, we must choose. Our options are between Trump, a candidate who has repeatedly advocated for war crimes, and Clinton, someone who has long worked with the international community to solve our greatest problems. We need someone with concrete plans to address this nation’s security concerns, not someone who simply incites fear with no solutions in sight.
Eliana Locke ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in political science.