It’s Primary Day in New York, one of the biggest primaries of the 2016 election, and I’m casting my vote for the most qualified and woman-friendly candidate on the ticket: Hillary Clinton. Here’s why.
If you live in New York State, then today is the day to make your voice heard and I’m proudly standing up for Hillary Clinton for president. I know she will pull our country back together, not tear it apart. Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have spent their campaigns vilifying and scapegoating illegal Mexican immigrants, promising to spend billions to build a wall at the Mexican border and $200 billion to deport 11 million people — as if this was our country’s very top priority.
Do we really think we’ll make America “great” by bankrupting us with a wall and mass deportations that will terrorize every neighborhood in the country? Do we want to live in a police state? Both men have demanded that Muslims be banned from entering the country, that Muslim ‘neighborhoods’ be patrolled by police and that mosques be put under surveillance. In other words, they maintain that our 3.3 million law-abiding Muslim citizens should all be treated like potential terrorists.
Across Southern and Midwestern states, Republican state legislatures have been busy passing discriminatory anti-LGBT laws, including notorious public and school “bathroom” laws. These states want to force transgender people to only use the bathrooms corresponding to the sex on his or her birth certificate. In other words, Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox would be forced to use men’s restrooms.
Plus, so-called “religious freedom” bills are making it legal in many states for people to discriminate by refusing to provide service to LGBTs. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and too many other Republican politicians have been intensely focused on dividing us by pointing out our differences, encouraging bigotry and trying to turn us against each other. But America is greatest when we all come together as equals with equal rights and strive for common goals that inspire and empower us all, no matter what our sex, race, religion, ethnic background, gender identity or political orientation.
I believe that Hillary Clinton is the best person to work to heal these rifts as president. She has vowed to protect LGBT rights, and has reassured Muslims that they are an important and welcome part of our American community and that they are in fact our best defense against potential Islamic extremist terrorists. She supports immigration reform that gives the 11 million illegal immigrants living here in the shadows, a path to citizenship, and that enables “dreamers” to become citizens.
While I feel that Bernie Sanders also ideologically agrees with all of these things, I don’t think that he has the same experience as Hillary in negotiating sensible solutions and the sometimes necessary compromises or steps that will make progress towards these goals possible. Hillary is a realist, who nevertheless did substantive work for New York in her eight years as Senator of the state. It says a lot to me that an overwhelming number of New York State’s elected officials all support Hillary — not Bernie — because they’ve worked with her and know that she will get sh*t done.
Now here’s a key, key reason that I’m supporting Hillary: she supports and will protect every woman’s right to choose. I don’t think that politicians – most of them men- should be making decisions about a woman’s reproductive healthcare. Politicians need to get their laws out of women’s uteruses and their decisions about contraception. We don’t tell them whether they can get prescriptions for Viagra — which insurance happens to pay for — or whether or not they can get a vasectomy. In fact, we don’t tell any adults what kind of medical decisions they can or cannot make, except for when it comes to the medical procedure of abortion.
Hillary has vowed to protect a woman’s right to choose if she needs a safe and legal abortion. She has also promised to protect the funding of Planned Parenthood — which provides all kinds of healthcare services to millions of women , including breast, cervical and ovarian cancer screenings. Hillary was the only presidential candidate to point our during the primary debates that “we’ve had eight debates before; this is our ninth. We’ve not had one question about a woman’s right to make her own decisions about reproductive health care — not one question”. She continued, “It goes to the heart of who we are as women, our rights, our autonomy, our ability to make our own decisions and we need to be talking about that.”
In contrast, Donald Trump opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest, and announced that women should be “punished” if they had an “illegal” abortion. Ted Cruz opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Bernie Sanders is thankfully pro-choice, but has not been repeatedly vocal on his stance, like Hillary.
Finally, on gun control, Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who supports a series of sensible federal gun control measures that will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and potential terrorists, while not inhibiting the rights of responsible gun owners. She also strongly supports getting rid of the law prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Bernie Sanders supports it. He does not believe that the parents of Sandy Hook children should be able to successfully sue the manufacturer of the assault weapon used to slaughter their children.
He also insists that the gun industry plays no part in the American epidemic of gun violence, which left 33,000 dead in 2010. Really?
As for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, they are all about more guns, everywhere — including the middle of Fifth Avenue — all the time.
For all these reasons, I choose Hillary as my New York State primary choice for president.
Who will you choose? Let me know.