This has not been an ordinary election season.
It’s bred apathy and cynicism across the electorate, and it’s pitted the first ever female nominee of a major political party against a sexist, inexperienced businessman-turned-politician.
Too often, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is seen only as an alternative to Republican nominee Donald Trump.
But Clinton herself is an exceptional candidate. A vote for her is not a vote for the lesser of two evils.
Instead, a vote for Clinton is a vote for experience, dignity, stability, compromise in leadership and a vision for the U.S. that encourages inclusivity and American ideals.
As a former first lady, senator and secretary of state, Clinton is a driven and qualified candidate for president — certainly the most qualified America has seen in recent history.
On the other hand, a vote for Trump, a known and proven racist, bigot and misogynist, is a vote for an extreme antagonist with absolutely no political experience and no demonstrated drive to compromise.
Where Trump falls short, Clinton excels.
Clinton has proved herself to be a resilient and capable candidate. Her savviness in terms of economic policy, the environment and especially foreign affairs will ensure that she sets the U.S. on a prosperous track for years to come.
Clinton’s commitment to infrastructure improvement will expand roads and bridges, and establish clean energy initiatives that are responsive to the realities America and the world are facing. Her five-year, $275 billion infrastructure plan will foster economic growth and provide employment opportunities for thousands.
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As secretary of state, Clinton worked hard to improve this country’s relationship to other foreign governments, relationships that had been strained during the George W. Bush administration and American intervention in the Middle East. Under a Clinton administration, this kind of inter-country dialogue will only continue to grow.
While Clinton works to promote unity at home and abroad, Trump breeds divisiveness. Trump has given new life to a scary, hyper-nationalist faction of the Republican party. This has been misconstrued as leadership, but it’s no more than fear- and hate-mongering.
At this point, Trump has proven his inexperience, his complete disregard for American citizens and his poor temperament, so focusing on Trump’s inadequacy is an insult to Clinton’s candidacy.
In this election cycle, the stakes are high. Wasting your vote on a third party candidate or refusing to vote on Nov. 8 are privileges with potentially disastrous consequences. This is not the election year to throw away your vote trying to make a point — one that will be moot if we have to deal with a bigoted president for the next four years.
In contrast, we have a candidate who has demonstrated her commitment to education, women, health care, dignity — all the things that America takes pride in.
With the University of Wisconsin making voting so simple, there is no excuse not to turn out.
Despite obstacles like voter ID laws, which can prevent out-of-state residents from voting, the university will have voter ID printers available at polling places around campus on Election Day — all you need is a driver’s license or WisCard.
Voting in this election is crucial for the future of this country. American greatness, the supposed end goal of Trump’s campaign, cannot be achieved with a president who incorporates xenophobia and sexism into America’s political agenda.
But a vote for Clinton will foster national and international stability, providing a strong foundation for a competent president to implement her well thought-out policies to better America.
We at UW profess to be a politically active and engaged campus, in the heart of a “progressive” city that values human dignity, democratic discourse, freedom and equality. Clinton embodies all of these ideals and has done so her entire political career, making her not only the better choice than her opponent but the right choice to represent UW’s core values.