I loved Hillary Clinton. I still love Hillary Clinton, but in a way that you still love an ex, but say you don’t because that love is now just irrelevant and painful. I campaigned for her, I wrote about her, I voted for her in the primary and the general election. I believed in her.
I knew her supposed “cold, calculating lack of charisma” was the byproduct of being trained to not seem overly emotional as a female politician. The people closest to her genuinely describe her as a warm, insistently caring, devoted person. I believed her email scandal would amount to a bunch of malarkey, which it did of course.
The main reason I loved Hillary Clinton was her relentless, careful, definitive love for policy. Politics has always been a means to an end, the end being policy. Hillary so clearly understood that politics has true consequences on people’s lives, not just the egos of those running for office. Her well-developed, detailed policy plans would have made American lives demonstrably better.
Because those plans were so overlooked in the media frenzy of Trump, it is worth relaying them now to understand the America we lost out on. She would have reduced the out-of-pocket costs of medical treatment and drugs drastically, including capping costs on life-saving HIV medications. Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act would be expanded so more people could go to the doctor and get healthy without fear. Sexual assault would have been treated seriously in the criminal justice system.
Oil consumption would have been reduced by a third, half a billion solar panels would have been installed and the Clean Power Plan would have been preserved and expanded.
Clinton would have ended racial profiling, cut mandatory minimum sentences and ensured nonviolent drug-offenses didn’t count in three-strikes laws. She would have barred discrimination against LGBT people in housing, workplace, adoption and more, while also ending dangerous “conversion” therapy forced upon children.
She would have capped the cost of preschool to 10 percent of a family’s income. Public universities would have been debt-free, and community colleges tuition-free. $500 billion would have been spent on massively improving infrastructure, creating 6.5 million jobs in the process. The minimum wage would have gone up.
That is the America where I wanted to live. When the inauguration rolled around, nothing in this election would have mattered except for those policy proposals. You can probably tell from reading my byline that I have chosen to spend my education, and life, devoted to public service. But I don’t know anymore if I can invest my life in a system that would value a man spewing hate and whose most planned policy is about building a wall, than a woman who deserved it more than anyone.
I loved Hillary Clinton, but I guess sometimes hate truly does trump love.
Annie Cappetta is a junior majoring in ecosystem science and policy and political science.
Featured image courtesy of hillaryclinton.com