It was about a week ago that the nation received the long awaited headline “Hillary Clinton Announces Candidacy for 2016 Presidential Race.” Everyone saw it coming, yet somehow her try for office was a questionable move. She has been portrayed as a strong, female leader from day one. She was strong when her husband was unfaithful, she was strong while under scrutiny for her personal emails, and she was strong when reporters chased her ‘Scooby’ van. But the question I pose to women across the nation is this: Does it show strength on our part for voting for the only female candidate thus far?
It is an incredibly empowering feeling, ladies, to see one of our sisters up among the big dogs, brawling for the ultimate job: President of the United States of America. However,just because she is a woman, and you are a woman, it by no means is a mandate for your vote. What you need to consider is the evidence, not the genetics.
Has Mrs. Clinton been truthful? No, she has not, evident in the scandal surrounding the business she did on her personal email account. This is a huge no, no in a government job of any type. Strike one against her integrity, a crucial value every leader should have.
Has she presented honor in the actions she has taken in the past few years? On some platforms, yes, as she maintained it well when faced with an adulterous spouse. On others however, innocent lives were lost, seen in her refusal to take action in Benghazi. Strike two against her honor. Has she shown loyalty to the American people? No, she has not, again, as seen in the horrific Benghazi terror attacks of 2012 when she left the American Embassy to their own devices instead of ordering assistance for them. Strike three against her loyalty to America.
Has she shown truthfulness when addressing the American people? No, again, she has not. She claimed that in 1996 she landed in Bosnia under heavy sniper fire as she went to support the troops, a mere seven years before we nearly lost the beloved Brian Williams to a barrage of sniper fire from deep within the unforgiving Iraqi desert. Recent footage of that very trip has proven it wrong as young children ran to bring her flowers, and Mrs. Clinton, all smiles, walked calmly to her vehicle. That’s strike four, you’re more than out. If you are voting for someone who lacks just these basic, yet integral leadership values, then you in turn are showing a lack of strength.
The sad fact of the matter is that females will be voting for Mrs. Clinton simply because she is a woman. To have a woman in office would be amazing, and yes, it should happen soon, but choosing the first female candidate to jump in the running is like choosing the first car you look at on the lot. Know your facts, know who you are, know what you think; know what you need to know. It does not make you less of a supporter of equality to decide to give your vote elsewhere. In fact, it makes you a more intelligent woman. A woman is a strong being, with integrity, with passion, with moxy and know how. Therefore, if you stand for what you believe, and choose a candidate who best represents that, you in turn are a strong, self sufficient woman.
Being a woman is knowing who you are. Being a woman is knowing what you want. Being a woman is being strong in the face of adversity. While Hillary Clinton has displayed all of these characteristics, I do not think that she is the best person for the office at this point in time. There has been too much of a shadow cast over her character in the past few years. She has shown instability as a leader, which is something we simply cannot stand for in our current global climate. Who we need is someone with a reputation that has no holes punched in it. We need someone who is upright, and who will be not only be a strong leader, but a strong image for our country as well. So ladies, I implore you, pay attention, learn your facts, and make your own decision. And most importantly, know what you think, and who you are.
Emily Vannoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org