Where the election stands heading into the final weekend

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Trump Clinton

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The election is less than a week away, and judging by the fact that both candidates are historically unpopular, you might be having some trouble deciding which one you’re going to settle for. So, before you decide, let’s just weigh the pros and cons of each one final time. And I’ll go ahead and tell you it’s as con-heavy as you might expect.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has a long career in politics, going back decades. Supporters argue that this gives her a vital element that Trump lacks. However, many credible reports of corruption and scandal have marred Clinton’s potential to become the first female President of the United States.

Pros:

Experience

Hillary Clinton has had a long career in politics, serving as First Lady, a senator, and Secretary of State. She has a lot of experience in policy making and meeting with foreign leaders. In addition, she is somewhat unique among politicians in terms of the amount of thought she puts into policy proposals.

She’s been described as a policy wonk on many occasions. Meaning that like Obama, she would probably bring a thoughtful, cerebral approach to her presidency.

As far as the major candidates go, she’s also the only one with any political experience at all.

First Female President

Clinton would obviously be the first female president, which would be a step forward for gender equality. So if you’re down the cause of Feminism, that’s an obvious pro.

Environmental Policies

There’s no question that Hillary Clinton would be a much better president when it comes to protecting the environment than Donald Trump. While Trump continues to deny that Climate Change even exists, Hillary has described it as “an urgent threat,” and has a number of policies to help protect at-risk species and has promised to uphold the Paris accords to help fight climate change.

She’s Not Donald Trump

For whatever else people might think of her, a fair number of people will probably be voting for her on the basis of the fact that she isn’t Trump.

Cons:

The Emails

As much as you’re probably sick of hearing about the “damn emails” as Bernie Sanders described them, Hillary’s decision as Secretary of State to conduct government business on a private server is probably going to breed controversy for a while to come.

The FBI identified twenty-two top secret emails that were sent from her personal server, which might have compromised national security. That led to an investigation that didn’t really go anywhere, although that might be because her office deleted thirty thousand emails that might have been more incriminating. And recently, computers seized from the home of Anthony Weiner, disgraced politician and husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, revealed some more emails that the FBI is currently going through for any more evidence of wrongdoing.

Is using a private email account as Secretary of State a big deal? Kind of. It was illegal. And though Clinton would argue it was a basic oversight of the law, that’s a tough line to buy into when made by someone with a huge staff of government lawyers. If we’re being honest, she probably did it because she didn’t want anyone in the general public to know exactly what she was doing.

Also, deleting huge numbers of those emails before anyone could see them is some Nixon-level connivery.

Benghazi

After an attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, the senate launched a lengthy and expensive investigation to determine if Clinton was negligent in protecting the embassy and if she had tried to cover that up.

The investigation concluded that no, she probably didn’t. But it did criticize the lack of security in the Embassy and the delayed response to the attack.

Even Chris Stevens’s family said Clinton wasn’t to blame for his death. But Clinton’s angry response after enduring eleven hours of questioning where she asked, “what difference does it make?” whether the deaths were the result of a protest was pretty soundbite-ready and made her look like she wasn’t appropriately upset by the whole thing.  So expect that to continue being trotted out for years to come.

The Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation is, depending on who you ask, either a charitable organization or a money-making making and political influence buying machine for the Clinton family.

Criticism has been leveled against the foundation stating that foreign donors made sizable contributions in exchange for access to Hillary Clinton in her capacity as Secretary of State.

A WikiLeaks revelation revealed that a lawyer hired by the foundation to review these allegations stated that at least some donors believed there was a “quid-pro-quo” relationship where they expected favors in return for gifts.

Ties to Wall Street

Clinton, like many politicians,  has long-standing ties to big corporations. Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and JP Morgan are three of Clinton’s top donors.

In addition, Clinton has received huge sums of money for giving regular speeches to those companies, tying her personal wealth directly to Wall Street.

Many worry that those ties will lead to a President Clinton who goes out her way to cater to business interests.

Her Health (if you buy into that)

Hillary Clinton’s health has been an issue in this campaign. And though most concerns are probably overblown, she does have a problem with fainting spells. Her husband has chalked that up to severe dehydration, but if you’re  that dehydrated that often there’s probably at least some cause for concern.

As far as Clinton’s campaign has publicly stated, she’s as healthy as any sixty-nine-year-old woman who’s on a lot of medication.

She Probably Won’t Be Able To Get Much Done

The fact that the Republicans are probably going to hold on to overall control of the House doesn’t bode well for a President Clinton’s prospects of working with Congress. Most Republican leaders and certainly their constituents have basically declared Clinton public enemy #1 and seeing as being too chummy or even not obstinate enough to any of her policy agendas would be poison to most Republican re-election campaigns.

Of course, that’s not really her fault, but if Clinton is elected we can expect the insane gridlock in Washington to last at least four more years. And Senate Republicans have pledged to tie her up in endless investigations whenever possible.

Last modified: November 3, 2016