By Margaret Johnson
I can distinctly remember a conversation I had in the second grade with a friend of mine while reading “The Boxcar Children” and eating graham crackers. I recall her saying that she wanted to be the first female president.
In retrospect, I realize it probably wasn’t very polite to shoot down her dream, but I firmly told her Hillary Clinton would be the first female president, and that it wouldn’t be long until Hillary gave her inaugural speech. That was 2002, and, finally, despite taking much longer than I anticipated after her loss of the 2008 Democratic nomination, my opportunity to vote for Hillary is in clear sight.
There’s always been something special about Hillary, something that set her apart from all the other iconic First Ladies. Not only do I have a great amount of respect for a woman who so gracefully endured the public humiliation of her husband’s sex scandal, but I have a deep admiration for the work Hillary contributed during her husband’s time as president.
Hillary was involved in directing health care policy and spoke out about women’s and children’s issues. Hillary’s heavy influence within the presidential administration would only prepare her to further her career in the future. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I respect her as much as I do.
Rather than act as a fashion icon or hostess, she, more than any other First Lady, capitalized on the opportunity of her husband’s presidency. She put herself in a position to prepare for her own career and meet her own goals rather than simply support her husband’s agenda.
So, growing up, Hillary had held a special place as a female role model in my eyes. She was the first feminist I had encountered as a child. She didn’t put herself on the back burner for the sake of her family; she worked endlessly to promote and pursue her own career goals. She was poised, intelligent, tough and relentless in her passions. And that’s exactly the kind of president I want.
If Hillary is elected, the Oval Office’s glass ceiling will finally shatter. As she advocates for women’s rights and centers her agenda around women’s issues, glass ceilings across all industries will hopefully follow.
In fact, you can expect her presidential campaign to be quite similar to that of her “No Ceilings” project that she runs alongside her daughter, Chelsea Clinton. The project seeks to eliminate poverty among women by providing them with education. Reflecting this project, Clinton’s platform will look to promote equal wages for women and lead efforts to improve educational opportunities for young girls in order to provide them more opportunities in the future.
Even further in regard to women’s rights, Clinton doesn’t believe the government should have the authority to intervene in the personal reproductive health of women.
But don’t be fooled to think that all Hillary cares about are women’s issues. Her multifaceted experiences as head of the Task Force on National Health Care, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State ensure that she’s passionate about many other issues and is well prepared to handle them.
Her equally strong backgrounds in foreign, domestic, health, economic, environmental and other areas of policy make her a very well-rounded candidate. Voters can expect Hillary to support issues ranging from investing in green technology and clean, renewable energy, to universal health care and lowering the cost of a college education.
Her commitment to helping the struggling middle class is also an area that Clinton is passionate about. An advocate of equitable taxing for the country’s elites, Clinton will look to tax America’s wealthiest citizens and use the money to invest in the development of public services.
Clinton supports the “Buffett Rule,” which would raise income taxes on America’s wealthiest citizens and could contribute to lowering the federal government’s debt.
All in all, Hillary is a force to be reckoned with. Her collective support is gaining strong momentum as the 2016 election approaches and citizens across America wait for her to officially announce her presidential campaign.
Her tough stance on foreign policy, her passion for gender equality and her overall knowledge of the inner workings of the federal government are all valid reasons for a citizen’s vote. For me, however, the election is about more than just the issues. I’m voting on behalf of the second grade girl who’s been waiting for a tough female role model to beat the boys at their own game.