The Trump candidacy has done many things, one of which is divide lifelong GOP voters. These Americans align most with the aims of the Republican Party and want to vote for the Republican nominee, but for a variety of reasons, many believe that this year they cannot.
Admission: I did not support Donald Trump’s candidacy during the primary and even held out hope that a contested convention could have resulted in an alternative Republican candidate. The voters determined it was not to be, and now there are, realistically, two choices: Trump or Hillary Clinton.
It’s understandable that many Republicans continue to be wary of Trump’s candidacy. It’s up to Trump to earn the support of those critical voters who want to support the Republican nominee, and it’s possible he will begin trying. But, amid the Trump-saturated media, here are a modest five reminders why Hillary Clinton should not be elected president of the United States.
1. Her Foreign Policy Record Is Dismal
No doubt you have heard that Hillary’s view of the world and her foreign policy experience is far more preferable to Trump’s unsteady, uninformed policy of disengagement. I have my own concerns with Trump’s statements on foreign policy. But he has not yet received an intelligence briefing, nor does he have a fully developed team of advisors.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has a long record, and it is dismal. Just as disengagement is wrongheaded, creates instability and conflict, and can cost American and ally lives, so does naïve arms control, poorly executed intervention, and aimless, protracted warfighting.
For example, the Obama administration’s intervention and subsequent handling of the conflict in Libya has proven to be a disaster. Rather than admitting that the way the United States intervened was a mistake, that its efforts to work with the Libyan government after Qaddafi was toppled were futile, and its negligent security provisions to U.S. personnel there resulted in the tragic death of Americans, Clinton continues to defend the Libya campaign and misrepresents the details surrounding Benghazi. Should she be elected president of the United States, we should expect haphazard intervention, subsequent half-baked “plans” for what to do next, and constant deflection of responsibility when things go horribly.
Also, Clinton is responsible for “Russia reset,” which has empowered Russia, made the relationship between it and the United States far worse, and seriously undermined the U.S. strategic posture generally. The entire plan to improve relations with Moscow was predicated on the absurd assumptions that Russia shared U.S. interests in improving relations and that it would abide by arms-control treaties despite having a long record of cheating.
One of the great “achievements” of the Obama-Clinton reset was signing the New START Treaty with the Russian Federation. It was supposed to significantly lower deployed strategic nuclear weapons of both countries. Instead, Russia has been pouring money into its nuclear program and may even have more deployed strategic warheads than the United States.
Combine this with the fact that the Russians refused to allow the treaty to restrict their tactical nuclear weapons. Thus, it continues to have roughly eight to ten tactical nuclear weapons—holding at risk NATO allies—for every one American tactical nuclear weapon.
Moreover, Russia continues to violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which demonstrates its intention to threaten NATO with nuclear weapons and its persistent willingness to cheat despite on-the-ground inspections, and we have a situation in which nuclear use is more and not less likely. Of course, its support for the Assad regime in Syria and its invasion of U.S. ally Ukraine also showcases just how seriously the Russians take U.S. threats.
The Iran deal is yet another Obama administration “achievement” Hillary Clinton has lauded. The Obama administration made concession after shocking concession to the Iranians, and settled on a deal that achieved almost none of the objectives Obama officials had originally said were required for a “good” deal.
The Iranians were not required to come clean on what the International Atomic Energy Agency has described as military dimensions of the nuclear program. Rather than anytime, anywhere inspections, Iran will receive plenty of notice before inspectors arrive. Instead of restricting the missile program—delivery systems for nuclear warheads—the Iranian missile program is not included in the Iran deal.
President Obama has admitted the Iranians could cheat and that the deal has pushed back an Iranian nuclear weapon by a year. So, in one year, we could be dealing with a nuclear Iran that has been welcomed into the international community, rather than isolated, and with an improved economy and military power.
Adding insult to injury, because of the Ben Rhodes interview, we have proof of what many people already knew: the Obama administration set out not to persuade the American people about the merits of the Iran deal, but to dupe them into supporting it. We have every reason to believe that a President Hillary would continue the Obama administration’s feckless pursuit of arms-control deals with America’s enemies at the cost of American strategic advantage.
2. Hillary Clinton Is Responsible for Effectively Offering State Secrets to Our Enemies
Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is painfully underappreciated. Anyone who has held a security clearance is familiar with how serious classified information is treated—by everyone, Republican, Democrat, and bureaucrat alike. In Congress, officials and their staff can have a highly partisan debate one minute, then walk into a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) and suddenly unite in common purpose.
It’s actually quite amazing. They listen intently to the information presented to them, and although they might disagree with what to do about the information, the classified information is treated as precious, invaluable property of those in the U.S. government charged with safeguarding the American people.
We are in a fight every minute of every day to keep those national secrets out of our enemies’ hands and in the hands of true-blue American patriots who have been vetted so thoroughly that regardless of partisan politics they will hold the rule of law above all else. Hillary Clinton is not such a person.
In August 2015, the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General found grave security breaches in Clinton’s email correspondence. These aren’t slight mistakes that happened once or twice—these are grave security breaches that effectively held out national secrets to our enemies for the taking. As described by John R. Schindler, “Most seriously, the inspector general assessed that Clinton’s emails included information that was highly classified—yet mislabeled as unclassified. Worse, the information in question should have been classified up to the level of ‘TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN,’ according to the inspector general’s report.”
To make matters as worse, Clinton’s private email was utterly unencrypted for three months. This means whatever information was sent during that time is almost certainly in the hands of those constantly trying to hack government computers—the Chinese and the Russians.
Whatever her motivations for handling her emails in this manner, Hillary Clinton’s behavior makes absolutely clear that her judgement is so poor, and her respect for the rule of law so lacking, she should not be entrusted with a security clearance.
3. The Clintons Have a Lengthy Record of Corruption
The Clintons are known for their corruption. Many people are familiar with the years-old scandals of Whitewater, Troopergate, Paula Jones, and Monica Lewinsky, Vince Foster, Juanita Broaddrick, and the more recent Benghazi cover-up. Some of those are (obviously) less her fault than Bill’s, but in a Hillary Clinton administration, we would not get her without Bill, of whom she is still doggedly defensive.
However, another major scandal warrants a still greater degree of public scrutiny. According to press reports, the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of State. Setting aside whether some of those donations met the technical legal guidelines, they certainly scream “unethical.” As secretary of State she should have had no financial conflicts of interest with doing what is best for the country.
Moreover, while Hillary is perfectly happy to lecture the American people about “women’s issues” in the United States, she also appears perfectly happy to accept donations to the Clinton Foundation from countries with records of terrible abuses against women. Saudi Arabia has been especially gracious and, according to media reports citing foundation disclosures, has given $10 million since 2001.
Additionally, the Friends of Saudi Arabia, co-founded by a Saudi prince, gifted the Clinton Foundation at least $1 million. It strains credulity that someone with this judgement will carry out policies that will defend American ideals and strengthen U.S. influence abroad, and it is hard to fathom the kind of deadened conscience required to accept donations of this sort, especially when she knew they would be scrutinized during a White House bid.
4. Hillary Clinton Is Zealous for Hyper-Liberal Causes
Those dismayed by the Obama administration’s edict to schools to allow boys and girls into the bathrooms, dressing rooms, and showers of the opposite sex had better take heed. Under a Hillary administration we should expect more of the same.
Hillary Clinton’s life has been dedicated to pushing left-wing causes. She has spent decades pushing for socialized medicine and, as she likes to remind supporters, “before it was called Obamacare it was Hillarycare.” She is ardently anti-gun and hostile toward the Second Amendment. Her support for abortion goes far beyond the typical pandering we have come to expect from Democrat politicians. She is a Planned Parenthood-promoting passionate defender of the “right” to kill preborn babies up until the very last days of pregnancy. When asked if she is satisfied with Roe v. Wade she answered, categorically, in the affirmative.
Think she might at least leave people alone who disagree with her radical leftist views? No chance. In fact, she has argued that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Hear that, Christians? Hillary Clinton is not merely agreeing to disagree with you—she’s calling on you to change your religion.
In fact, in a contest of liberal causes versus religious liberty, she’s on the side of forcing those with deeply held religious beliefs to violate their consciences. For example, while speaking to the Human Rights Campaign in 2015 she mocked the notion that business owners can refuse specific services that violate their deeply held beliefs. Most recently, after the Supreme Court’s decision to kick back to the lower courts the Little Sisters of the Poor case involving Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, she tweeted:
Every woman, no matter where she works, deserves birth control coverage. This shouldn’t be a question. #SCOTUS -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 16, 2016
5. Hillary Clinton Will Push Her Agenda Through the Supreme Court
The next president of the United States will appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices. Four. Just imagine the damage four more left-wing activists could do from the Supreme Court for the next several decades.
Thanks to a column penned by Harvard Law School’s Mark Tushnet, we don’t have to work too hard to think about what they might be like. He has outlined it for us. Steve Hayward has done us a service by pulling out the most stunning portions. Here’s just one.
The culture wars are over; they lost, we won. Remember, they were the ones who characterized constitutional disputes as culture wars (see Justice Scalia in Romer v. Evans, and the Wikipedia entry for culture wars, which describes conservative activists, not liberals, using the term.) And they had opportunities to reach a cease fire, but rejected them in favor of a scorched earth policy. The earth that was scorched, though, was their own. (No conservatives demonstrated any interest in trading off recognition of LGBT rights for ‘religious liberty’ protections. Only now that they’ve lost the battle over LGBT rights, have they made those protections central – seeing them, I suppose, as a new front in the culture wars. But, again, they’ve already lost the war.).
I concur with Steve’s suggestion that “Senate Republicans should read this statement aloud in a hearing of the Judiciary Committee prior to announcing that it will confirm no Democratic appointees to the Supreme Court.” Of course, this is only possible if Republicans keep the Senate.
In the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting in the Obergefell decision that imposed gay marriage nationwide:
[I]t is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create ‘liberties’ that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.
Hillary Clinton has a record of deadly foreign policy blunders, judgment so poor she effectively allowed U.S. adversaries to take state secrets, corruption so deep she feels no shame in receiving piles of money from countries with appalling human rights records, zealous advocacy for left-wing causes, and interest in stacking the Supreme Court with activist judges. These are all worth keeping in the front of our minds as we navigate the next several months leading up to the conventions and the general election.