I Don’t Trust Hillary

Most Americans—even some of her supporters—will recognize Hillary as a career politician with “unbridled ambition.”  There seems little debate over how much she wants to be president. It seems like a goal she’s been working towards for her whole political career, maybe longer. She is a true Washington insider, in an election year where that feels like the last thing we need.

As a Sanders supporter, I have serious trust issues when it comes to Hillary. While her level of dishonesty is inline with 95-99% of politicians, it seems extreme when compared to the pure authenticity that Bernie brought to the race. 

Something occurred to me the other day, though. Hillary can be trusted to do what’s right for Hillary. This is hardly uncommon among politicians and part of the reason why American’s are so fed up, but it is an important distinction because it makes clear a few critical areas where, I believe, Hillary can be trusted.

(Note: If you are about to stop reading, be sure to read #3 first, as that’s where the most important distinction lies.)

Supreme Court

It’s likely that the next president will appoint four Justices. A partial list of the issues that could be decided on include:

  • A woman’s right to choose
  • Voter ID laws developed to disenfranchise voters
  • ‘Religious Freedom’ laws that impact the LGBT community
  • Immigration

Supreme court justices serve a lifetime appointment. Imagine all of the matters that will either be decided by a Clinton or Trump appointees. This matter alone will have a huge impact on our country for decades to come.  I trust that Hillary will appoint Justices who are fair and ethical, and who will help us move forward, and not backwards.

Economic Policy

Much of her economic policy has been, arguably,  ‘stolen’ from Sanders, and—now that she’s the nominee—that’s a good thing.  The specifics that are especially important include:

  • Raise minimum wage
  • Progressive tax – (i.e. rich people pay their fair share)
  • Student loan debt

This is an area where some of my fellow Sanders supporters may be worried about her flip-flopping. The question is, what’s best for Hillary? The answer is pretty simple. She does not just want to be in office for one term. In order to win the 2020 primary, she will need to prove herself on these very issues. 

Making Change

I was caught off guard by a realization. You know that kind of surprise; when you notice something that instantly seems obvious. My ‘light-bulb moment’ was this… Hillary has worked for decades—maybe her whole life—to be president. Do you think winning the presidency is her final goal? Of course not. She wants to be an amazing president who—by the time she leaves office—is considered one of our best presidents. I told you it was obvious, but wait, here’s the thing…

Why does this matter? She can not reach that goal by keeping things the same or by just doing a little better. Her detractors often insinuate—or tell us outright—that she will do anything to become president. While that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, imagine the level of drive and focus she will bring to goal of being an amazing president. She has laid out her platform for accomplishing this, and it’s been heavily influenced by the Sanders movement.

Suddenly—with this single realization—my decision switched from voting against Trump to voting FOR Hillary and excited to see what she’ll do.

Better than Trump

Obviously, when compared to Trump, Hillary is more trustworthy  in every respect of the job. You can’t even trust Trump to do what’s best for Trump. With zero self-control, he can’t even seem to cover his own butt.  Can you imagine doing anything that might lead to Donald Trump with the nuclear launch codes?

Why we don’t trust Hillary

There’s an old selling axiom that goes, “People buy on emotion and rationalize with logic.” This tendency—that we all share—is an important starting point. Often—when pressed—people will give specific ‘logic-based’ reasons why they distrust Hillary. God knows there are plenty. However, in order to base your decision on logic, you’d have to come up with some logical reason why potentially electing Trump makes more sense.

So why do so many of us have a gut-level, emotional, distrust for her?
Here’s what I think…

She doesn’t communicate in an authentic fashion. It’s almost impossible to come across as genuine when you constantly filter yourself to avoid making a mistake that might cost you your life’s work.  Authentic communication is derived from a single internal driver.  

It’s the confidence expressed in authentic communication that creates our visceral attraction to it. At the same time, we need to understand it’s often not confidence in the message. What we are picking up on, is the confidence the communicator has about how safe it is for him/her to express an idea. This is why listening to someone be vulnerable will often feel authentic. Opening yourself up like that requires you to have faith that what you are saying won’t hurt you.

Good actors can communicate in a way that feels heartfelt, even when it isn’t because they know that they aren’t speaking their own truth, but acting. For example; An actor might play a Neo-Nazi and say things that are personally abhorrent to him/her. Those lines can be delivered in a way that feels 100% authentic to the listener because both the actor and audience understand it’s not real.

Good liars often communicate in a way that feels authentic, as well. Sometimes they are just using basically acting skills, though with different motives. Often this is derived from their ability to convince themselves that what they’re saying is true, if only for a short period of time.

Why is this a problem for Hillary? Because she’s a planner. Taking the risk of opening up without the filters is too much. It doesn’t mean she isn’t committed to many of the same causes we are. It just means that she’s very careful about how she communicates. This attention to detail, and planning, are all further indications about how committed she is to being president, and to helping the country move forward.

And, why does it matter how we judge if people are authentic or not? It’s important for two reasons. First, it’s good to understand how people ‘fake it,’ and not be naive enough to think everyone who we perceive as authentic, is. Second, you can make a decision if it’s OK to trust someone who isn’t coming across as authentic when there are extenuating circumstances.

Another thing we should probably acknowledge that nobody is 100% truthful and authentic 100% of the time. Polite society, our personal privacy, as well as several other factors, make it so we don’t always present our true self. In fact—most of the time, most of us, are not presenting a totally authentic form of ourselves—but does that mean people can’t trust us?

As a last note on trust in general, it’s perfectly reasonable to trust someone in one area and not another. You probably have a friend who is always late, might forget you at the airport, but on the other hand, would give you a kidney if you needed it. We make these kinds compartmentalized trust judgments, all the time.

Bonus trust point… I trust Hillary not to start a nuclear war.

Sure, that’s the kind of thing that goes without saying, but can you really say, with 100% confidence, that you trust Trump not to.

I’m not trying to stop you from voting for Trump

Don’t get me wrong, if I could I would, but let’s be honest. If you’ve read this far, you are unlikely to be a Trump supporter.

If you are a Sanders supporter considering a protest vote, you might consider what you really want to protest. Odds are Hillary will win, and your vote won’t matter, but a landslide victory will send a message to the Trump supporters that they are in the minority. We won’t elect a candidate like Donald Trump. EVER! That’s a protest vote worth casting.

As the sole copyright holder of this piece, I give you permission to use this content in part or in whole. It’s my honest hope that professional writers, actors, media people, etc., pick this up and share these important ideas.