This election is unprecedented and unparalleled to few - if any other - presidential election in American history. One candidate is extremely overqualified to serve as Commander of Chief and the other is overwhelmingly underqualified to step up to the challenges that surround serving as the next president in 2016.
It is not an unbreakable rule that one must have prior political or public service experience in order to run for office.
Indeed, individuals who have gained experience had to simply just run for the first time at some point. It can be argued that those with more experience are better fitted to serve in their elected role.
This is not always the case and depends on perspective, as I initially supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton despite Hillary’s list of achievements while in the public sphere being seemingly longer and more note-worthy, and not to mention simply more widely known.
There are numerous examples of other characteristics, such as speaking ability, being primary factors in an election rather than a strict resume perspective. I believe that Hillary Clinton not only has more experience but also that her experience has prepared her to serve as one of the best presidents this nation has had.
In a literal sense, both candidates are equally qualified to be president: you only must be 35 years of age, a resident of the United States for at least 14 years and a natural born citizen of the United States.
The difference lies in, as played out in this election and virtually all of our lifetimes, their life experiences. The Republican Party nominee Donald Trump can speak to several decades living in media spotlight and working in real estate development and various businesses. However, Trump cannot speak to any tangible experience in an elected position or any intimate relation with governmental knowledge and procedures.
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Hillary served as a U.S. senator from New York, a first lady at the state and federal level, a law professor and also in the federal executive branch as Secretary of State for four years.
For instance, she helped champion a bill that provided health-care for first responders following 9/11 and to secure $21 billion in federal aid for the city. As first lady, she played the primary role in passing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that has insured 8.4 million - many of them low-income - children and garnished widespread bipartisan support.
As a secretary of state, she helped negotiate allied support for sanctions on Iran. These cooperative sanctions, enforced by several world powers, are what pressured Iran to negotiate their nuclear weapons capabilities out of existence.
Most notably as a woman, she has pushed for a universal standard of respect for women and the expansion of women’s rights across the globe.
However, the focus should not only be on her past. Her current policies provide a progressive and hopeful vision for our government and political climate. Hillary explicitly advocates for minority groups such as people of color in the criminal justice system, those with physical and mental disabilities, veterans, the elderly and women.
Campaign finance reform and voting rights are key components of her proposals to keep our voting process fair and accessible. Her support for college affordability is evident in her policies to allow refinancing of student loans and make community college free.
A largely ignored but increasingly pertinent issue is the state of our infrastructure; and Hillary plans to repair and expand roads and bridges, connect all Americans to the Internet and expand public transportation.
Lastly, overall, Hillary believes in a strong economy that focuses on the wealthiest individuals and entities paying their fair share to operate within and reap the benefits of our governmental and societal institutions and individuals.
I support Hillary Clinton for president because of her longstanding and productive three-decade long career in politics and her vision for bring America together and stronger - not further apart. Based on each of these particular examples, Hillary Clinton is qualified and experienced enough to serve as an exceptional American president and has all of the nuanced abilities it calls into use.
Not to mention the sheer excitement of electing the first woman president and shattering a major glass ceiling during this process.
Emily Hale is the State Federation Chair of the Alabama College Democrats.
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