Why this Ex-GOP is voting for Hillary

Why this Ex-GOP is voting for Hillary
Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit to Chicago on May 20, 2015. (John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune)

I’ve never voted for a Democrat for President. I’ve been voting for 44 years and have always voted for the GOP nominee. Many Republicans have announced they will vote for Hillary, as a protest vote against Donald Trump’s nomination. The list of protest voters is long and impressive and includes a former Republican President, First Lady, and former members of the Cabinet and at least one former GOP National Security Adviser.

I’m not one of those protest voters. I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because I support Hillary Clinton. In my opinion, she is the best candidate this election cycle by a wide margin. Here are my reasons.

She is not a trade protectionist and never has been. As a Senator, she voted for free trade agreements with Australia, Chile, Singapore, Morocco, and Oman. She offered strong support for an agreement with Jordan, who is a key nation in the war on terror and at peace with her neighbor Israel.

After her husband brokered a deal through the Senate that ratified NAFTA, Hillary spoke to the World Economic Forum. She thanked business leaders in attendance for supporting the agreement and admonished them to support fast-track for her husband so he could get more agreements in place. Hillary recognizes that the Senate abuses its advise and consent powers often, and trade does equal jobs.

When she has objections to trade deals, they appear to be political and not substantive. Her opposition to TPP appears to be purely political and not on substance. That is the political reality of being a candidate. However, as a Senator and as Secretary of State, she has consistently done the right things on trade issues and supported trade expansion.

Hillary is a thinking public official and is not a slave to party ideology on trade. Many Senators are free traders, or not free traders. Not Hillary Clinton, she judges each agreement on its own merits then makes up her mind. I consider that a strength.

That does not mean she is anti-labor, to the contrary, she has made sure trade agreements expand union’s ability to organize in nations where we have free trade agreements.

I am supporting her because she is not an isolationist. China still is an awakening economic giant. Hillary recognizes that cooperation in areas of common interests opens more doors in China than does confrontation. When confronted, China seals itself off and digs in. When dialogue continues, change occurs.

I’m supporting her position of strengthening our military alliances, which opens the door to American defense sales to our allies, and for wanting to end budget sequester on military spending. To be frank, an across the board cut in military spending could cost us our security, not to mention put our service men and women at risk.

She recognizes diplomacy is also a tool of foreign policy and is not relying strictly on using our military might to bully our way in the world. She will use military action if there is no diplomatic solution, and the threat is a clear and present danger. The day of cowboy diplomacy will come to an end.

I support her because I believe climate change is real, and not a hoax. The scientific evidence is too overwhelming to believe otherwise.

I am voting for her because of her position on a woman’s right to choose. I do believe the pro-life movement should have a voice in the abortion debate on the demand side. If they want to reduce abortions, convince women of their position and demand will dry up. Trying to force a religious belief on the nation as a whole under the weight of the law is against the separation of Church and State.

I am voting for her because she believes in a safety net. The old and the poor are just as deserving of quality healthcare as the wealthy. Good care should not be just for the privileged. Social Security and Medicare will not be destroyed by her Administration.

I’m voting for her because she supports free enterprise. She is not now, nor ever has been, a socialist in spite of rhetoric to the contrary. She believes in trade and business expansion. She also believes in entrepreneurship and innovation. She also believes in more local decision-making rather than a Washington solution to business problems. Case in point, she made local autonomy a centerpiece of her campaign against Lazio for the US Senate in 2000.

I am voting for her because she supports expanding rights to the disenfranchised rather than denying basic rights to our fellow citizens. Currently, at the Federal level, it is legal to discriminate against members of the LGBT community because of how they express their sexuality. How someone expresses their sexuality is no one’s business except their own and they should not be denied a job, a home, a loan, or denied an opportunity to better their life because of their sexual orientation.

This list is not a comprehensive list of reasons I am voting for Hillary Clinton. I can sum it up this way, of all the candidates who ran this election cycle, Hillary Clinton has the most federal experience of any candidate in the field from either party. She has had to make hard policy decisions and having been in the White House already, there is little in the way of on-the-job training she will have to do.

Hillary’s views on policy and my views on policy match in most cases. Her views on trade are the same views that attracted me to the GOP before they became protectionist. She recognizes business is now global and not just for the large corporations but for small and medium size business too.

In my view, she is not the lesser of two evils, rather the right person at the right time.

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