Hillary Clinton’s reputation has come under fire in recent months, as republicans desperately try to derail her presidential campaign. Conservatives have stopped at nothing to discredit her, from exaggerating the emails ‘scandal’ to probing her husband’s personal affairs. So far none of it has amounted to anything significant, and no major scandals have been reported in any respected media outlets. The attempts to smear Hillary smack of desperation, and do very little to detract from her exceptional track record and strength of character.
Hillary’s breadth of experience ranges from foreign policy and national security, to fiscal policy and job creation. Her years in the senate and as Secretary of State have exposed her to some of the greatest challenges in our nation’s history, such as the war on terror, the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the Arab spring. Through her responses to each of these crises, Hillary has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has what it takes to lead and defend this nation. Perhaps what is most admirable about Hillary, is that despite being a democrat she is not afraid to take a hard line position when it comes to terrorism and foreign policy. Following the September 11 attacks, Hillary strongly supported military action in Afghanistan and our intervention in Iraq. She also supported the patriot act in an effort to fight and prevent terrorism both domestically and abroad, despite opposition from some of the more liberal members of her party. Thus Hillary has been both a strong supporter of social policies to uplift the most disadvantaged in our society, yet at the same time taken a strong stance on terror and foreign policy.
In 2011, after her appointment as Secretary of State by President Obama, Hillary faced a crisis in Libya as human rights protests against Muammar Gaddafi’s tyrannical regime began to escalate into civil war. Faced with the tough decision of whether to intervene, Hillary took heed from UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Samantha Power of the National Security Council, and decided to intervene on the side of Libya’s freedom fighters. This intervention, although not strictly an act of war, lead to the successful overthrow of Gaddafi and the institution of a free Libya. Hillary’s adversaries have criticized her decision to intervene in Libya, claiming that Gaddafi’s rule was somehow preferable to the new leadership, but the hoards of protesters crying out against Gaddafi’s human rights abuses would no doubt beg to differ. Libya is still in the process of rebuilding itself, but there is little doubt that the future for its people is both bright and filled with hope and freedom.
Conservatives tried to question Hillary’s role as Secretary of State in 2012, when a group of militants attacked the American Diplomatic Compound in Libya, tragically killing the US Ambassador and killing and injuring several others. Hillary’s detractors claimed that she was warned of insufficient security at the compound before the attack. However experts have subsequently admitted that the situation was largely out of her control, and that it is ludicrous to give the Secretary of State sole responsibility for this unfortunate event.
Hillary later came under fire for keeping her work related emails on a private email server, a story that was blown so far out of proportion that conservatives were talking about her ‘prosecution’ and ‘imprisonment’. To this day, there has been no legal action against her for these supposed crimes, despite a large number of right-wing pundits claiming that this was a criminal offense.
Other attempts to taint Hillary’s reputation include delving into the personal affairs of her husband, which even if true, are entirely out of her control. It’s sad that the opponents of Hillary cannot seem to debate her on the issues that really matter to the electorate, and would rather attack her character in order to undermine her campaign. Luckily, the majority of Americans are not buying the lies of the smear campaigns , and are making their decisions to support her based on her solid track record and campaign promises. I hope for the sake our nation, that we can learn to partake in civil discourse and keep the sleaze out of politics. Voters should be able to make up their minds about candidates without irresponsible pundits clouding their judgment with propaganda, half-truths and slander.