The dust has settled on what has been one of the most wild and unpredictable primary seasons in the history of modern American politics. After a resounding win in the May 3rd Indiana primary and the subsequent suspensions of Ted Cruz and John Kasich’s campaigns, the keys to the Republican kingdom were handed to Donald J. Trump. With a lead of 300 pledged delegates (which grows to nearly 800 when superdelegates are included) and 12.5 million votes cast in her favor, Hillary Clinton has an insurmountable lead in her quest to capture the Democratic nomination.
We now have two presumptive nominees: Clinton and Trump. That is America’s choice. This election is a choice that will have repercussions for not only our lives, but also for the lives of our children and grandchildren, the stability of our domestic political institutions, and the image we project to the global community.
In making this choice we should ask ourselves a few questions: Do we accept demagoguery? Xenophobia? Sexist and racist appeals? Bluster and bravado? Inexperience? Instability? For myself and the rest of the Penn for Hillary team, these questions have an easy answer.
Today we urge the Penn community to unite behind Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and support her in her quest to be the next President of the United States. We have had the privilege to work with Penn for Bernie, Penn for Kasich, Penn Democrats, and College Republicans this semester in various capacities to register voters, engage in civil, respectful political dialogue, and try to elevate campus discourse. While we have varying levels of ideological differences and visions of what is best for the future of the country, we share a common bond.
We all love our country, and we are all patriots. We all want to leave this nation and planet better than how we found it. We want to give everyone a shot at the American Dream. We are passionate about the beliefs we hold. Regardless of where we fall on the political spectrum, the devotion campus political leaders and activists have demonstrated to our respective causes this semester has been admirable.
I’m proud to have worked across the aisle with Republicans and with our friends at Penn for Bernie during this primary season. It has reinvigorated my hope that if this sort of bipartisan cooperation on campus is not a fantasy, then it does not have to be a fantasy in Washington either. If we elect Hillary Clinton, a candidate whose message of pragmatic progressivism has resonated with more people than any other candidate’s message this primary season in terms of votes cast, compromise is possible again.
Progressives, Secretary Clinton has proven to be a champion of women’s rights, universal healthcare, gun control, and so many issues that are core to what liberals like myself hold so dearly.
Independents and Republicans, Secretary Clinton has continuously asserted the fact that she is willing to hammer out deals and seek alliances with those across the aisle. No issue is off the table. She will not be a president for Democrats only. She will be the president for all Americans. She will fight for fairness, equality, and sustained growth. This notion is not hypothetical. She has proven this ability both in the Senate and as Secretary of State.
I urge my Penn peers to reject the rhetoric of Donald Trump. This is not who we are.
Americans are angry. There is little doubt about that. But do we shrink in the face of fear mongering? Do we cede our hard fought liberty and what generations before us have built to kowtow to a message of bigotry? This is not America. This is not the legacy of the Party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, or Ronald Reagan either. The Democratic and Republican parties are stronger and more vibrant when the other party challenges the other’s ideas and pushes for innovation and compromise. A Donald Trump presidency eliminates such a possibility.
Our Founders feared this sort of demagoguery. James Madison warned in Federalist 10, “Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.” In short, shame on us if we are fooled by this man.
Please help prove the Founders right and assert that this great American experiment was not a misguided one. We are better than this. Regardless of whom you supported in the primary, it is time to unite around Hillary Clinton this November.