The 2016 election cycle has been unique in almost every way. The presidency of Barack Obama has been fraught with unprecedented division with GOP leaders openly admitting that they preempted good ideas simply because endorsing it would mean their opposition had put through good legislation (Source 1, Source 2).
This, in our opinion, has hindered our country. From not allowing a Supreme Court nominee to be appointed, which has lead to many landmark cases being dismissed, to multiple government shutdowns, and even a law being passed which may allow people in other countries to sue the US government (Source). There is no excuse for this unprecedented gridlock, hatred, and division.
Much of this division goes well beyond a disagreement in policies. I, as a minority, have witnessed firsthand similar effects in my life: when all other things were equal, I have received extra scrutiny, obstruction, and even condescension for ideas I have presented. I have had ideas taken from me without credit at a higher rate than non-minority counterparts.
This is not a post about minority rights or endemic racism. These few paragraphs are here to establish some context.
To put it simply, Bow Tie Financial Group’s endorsement for the 2016 presidential election is Hillary Clinton.
This is not a begrudging endorsement nor is it a defeated one, akin to selecting the lesser of two evils. This is an enthusiastic, no holds barred, standing ovation endorsement.
This is an enthusiastic, no holds barred, standing ovation endorsement.
This post will lay out our endorsement in three sections:
- Why Clinton
- Why not Trump
- Why not Third Party?
Hillary Clinton has an incredible track record spanning decades. She has shown herself to be open to new information, dogged in her pursuits of passion, and an incredible listener to both allies and opponents.
Clinton is renowned in the political sphere for listening to people. Tom Harkin, Iowa senator from 1985-2015 said, “With Hillary, you’re in a meeting with her, and she really listens to you.” Ezra Klein, writer for Vox, laid out in extraordinary depth, how Hillary Clinton flies under the radar by quietly listening rather than boasting in his piece here.
Secretary Clinton is known for taking notes on conversations about peoples hopes, problems, and worries and sorting through them every couple months to get a bearing on what people need. She actually takes notes on what people say are plaguing them and does what she can to act on it.
This has been how she came to the conclusion the fight against opiate addiction needed more funding, that specific parts of veteran’s affairs needed changing, and any number of other policies.
In addition to listening to citizens she also listens to scientists.
Climate change is an incredibly real, incredibly dangerous foe to the human race. It has lead to more extreme weather events in the past few years than we have ever seen before. It is so real that insurance companies have acknowledged the change and are rating future projections with the effects of climate change factored into them. These are not inexpensive projections, either.
Wildfire risks are worse, hurricane and tornado risks are worse, and crop and livestock yields are threatened.
There is a 97% consensus by scientists that climate change is caused by humans (Source: NASA). Every argument against this staggering number of experts is based either on religious texts (which for our representatives to hold over science violates the First Amendment), on ignorance (which for our representatives to not listen to experts is inexcusable), or on lobbyist request (which is dangerous).
Hillary Clinton has not shied away from climate change. Yes, she has to deal with many issues brought about by massive energy conglomerates and their lobbyists. With that said, she has incredible plans to shift the US to clean energy, mostly solar and wind.
Donald Trump has claimed Clinton’s clean energy initiatives would cost the US $5 trillion, which is patently false (Source: PolitiFact).
On the economy: even a major Forbes.com contributor has extolled the effects of the Obama economy despite incredible media bias against it. We, as a country, have not only recovered from the ravaging our financial markets took from 2007-2009, we have recovered more than we lost. (Source: Forbes)
From that article (bolding is ours):
Obama’s administration has recovered all losses from the Bush crash, and gained more. Looking back further, we can see this is a common pattern. All six of the major market crashes happened under Republicans – Hoover (1), Nixon (2), Reagan (1) and Bush (2). The worst crash ever was the 58% decline which happened in 17 months of 2007-2009, during the Bush administration. But we’ve had one of the longest bull market runs in presidential history under Obama. Consistency, stability and predictability have been recent Democratic administration hallmarks, keeping investors enthusiastic.
One other thing to note is that net job creation under President Obama has been 9.3 million with a gross of over 14 million (Source: CNN Money). Gross is over 14 million because that’s how many jobs his administration helped to create, yet only an effective gain of 9.3 million because of how many were lost in 2008. A Clinton presidency continuing this trend would be most beneficial for our country.
According to Oxford Economics, a Trump presidency would set the US back $5 trillion, while a Clinton presidency would continue to grow the economy 1.5-2.3% each year through 2021 (Source: CNBC)
Of course, we still have massive income inequality regardless of the jobs created. Clinton’s economic policies will work to address that, Trump’s will not.
Aside from those incredible reasons, there’s her record on foreign policy, crime, bipartisan work, equal pay, and many other things (Source: VoteSmart.org).
Manufactured Scandals: The Media Case Against Clinton’s Trustworthiness
In an incredible piece for the Huffington Post (link – warning, some NSFW language), Larry Womack lays out the incredible bias for Clinton which is based heavily on the fact she’s a woman. It should be clear to most women that had a man acted with the forwardness and business aptitude Secretary Clinton displays, he’d be labelled “powerful” and a “go-getter”.
Regarding Benghazi, there were more attacks and deaths during Bush’s terms than Obama’s (Source: PolitiFact) and that 100% of Republican congressmen voted to cut $300,000,000 (million) from the US Embassy Security budget (Source: floor transcripts via CNN).
The last committee (also, the 7th committee and the 12th investigation) to investigate these attacks on the US Embassy faulted the Obama administration, not Hillary Clinton (Source: CNN). This is simply a tired red herring to distract us from the many accomplishments of Secretary Clinton.
Speaking of red herrings, the email scandal showed that Clinton not only operated within the law of the time (Source: FactCheck), she was one of many politicians to use private email servers, including Condeleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and John Kerry (Source: The Guardian).
Finally, the Clinton Foundation. FactCheck shows that the vast majority, 88%, of their funds goes toward their programs, not overhead and salaries (link). This is competitive with most major charities. This article from FactCheck.org outlines all the good the Clinton Foundation performs and all the non-scandals they’re involved in.
Why Not Trump?
The reasons for “why not Trump” are incredibly vast. For the purposes of our agency, we’re going to cover only three reasons: economic indications, personal security, and civility.
Donald Trump touts an economic plan which he claims will create jobs, decrease the national debt, otherwise improve the economy (Source: his website). Every major economic analysis from independent companies say this is not the case. Moody’s determined it would “significantly” hurt the economy (Source: Politco) and the Tax Policy Center determined it would increase the federal debt by $7.2 trillion in the first decade alone, and $20.9 trillion by 2036 (Source: Tax Policy Center).
2036 is the time many of my clients should be finalizing their final steps to coast into retirement. That is not the time for our national debt to balloon out so largely.
Much of this section is about things which go unnoticed by many, though which affect an incredible amount of people.
We are a minority owned company with ancestry in Mexico, England, and Poland. It should go without saying that any bigotry, racism, or demagoguery must be completely and vehemently condemned. It should go without saying, yet it obviously doesn’t.
There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about Donald Trump’s rampant xenophobia (fear of the “other”), racism, and quickness to blame perceived problems on minorities. He called for a blanket ban on Muslim immigrants (Source: Washington Post). He called Mexican immigrants rapists who bring in drugs and crime, without even a cursory nod to documented or “legal” immigration (Source: Washington Post). He has made incredibly terrible remarks demonstrating his willingness to sexually harass women and demean their status in the workplace, whether working at a beauty pageant or otherwise (Sources: The Frisky, CNN, Daily Kos via CBS, US Weekly).
This list isn’t even touching on incomprehensible list of allegations of harassment against Mr. Trump.
Speaking to his racist tendencies (Partial list here) — we can’t even call them undertones because of their brashness — Donald Trump is quick to bemoan people due to their heritage. Whether it was claiming bias against a judge due to that judge’s Mexican heritage (despite him being born in the US) or his attacks against the parents of a Gold Star recipient because they are Muslim, he has shown himself eager to discount the beautiful diversity which makes this country great.
Not only has he outwardly spoken against minorities, he has been happy to cozy up to such figures like the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Yes, the infamously disgusting white supremacist David Duke has endorsed Trump and Trump refuses to strongly disavow his endorsement. Every single statement he has made against the former leader of the KKK and current white supremacist has been lip service and obligation.
Even beyond that, almost every racist faction, whether they be Neo-Nazi, white nationalists, or any of their ilk, have endorsed Trump due to his policies (Source: Mother Jones).
As a Jew whose ancestors fled tyranny in Europe, the proposed ban on Muslims is more than unconstitutional: it is morally abhorrent.
As an American with proud multi-cultural heritage, the lack of strong condemnation against white supremacy and the oppression of minorities, including calling for unconstitutional and racially oppressive poll watching, is unfathomable.
As a human who wants to improve the world for my generation and the ones to follow, his lack of acceptance of climate change and his economic policy is unsustainable and misguided.
Why Not Third Party?
This is an incredibly difficult question to address. I have to break it down in two sections: third party policy and third party validity. That is, how do the third party platforms stack up and are they even electable?
There are two third party candidates running: Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein. Let’s begin.
Gary Johnson would seek to privatize prisons, get rid of the Federal Reserve, and views taxes as a means for competitors to fight each other. He views the IRS as an industry which wastes the time of its 100,000 employees. He has proposed a flat tax and a consumption tax, both of which have been shown to disproportionately affect lower income people.
Dr. Jill Stein seeks to get the US solely on clean, renewable energy by 2030, force Israel to stop defending themselves from missile attacks from neighboring Palestine, and…well…I can’t find any concrete plans from Dr. Jill Stein on her website. There are a lot of platitudes with no planning.
Are They Viable?
This brings us to the elephant in the room: is a vote for either of these third party candidates useful?
Some people believe that voting for a third party candidate will send a message to either party, that voting their conscience is more important than bringing about as much actionable change as possible.
Others believe voting for a third party is a “wasted vote”. That since their polling numbers are so incredibly low and they stand practically no statistical chance of election, their vote and voice will get lost in the sea of the majority.
I agree with both sides. On one hand it’s critical to feel you’ve done the right thing the best you can. I understand that. Being able to sleep at night feeling you did all you could is a luxury some people cannot afford. There is an inherent privilege in being able to do that, knowing that whatever happens, your general welfare will remain fairly stable.
On the other hand, in this historic election, with all the foibles of Donald Trump, a third party vote potentially helps give voice to the hate and demagoguery which has propelled him up. That hate and bigotry has already fueled anti-Semitism, violence against latinos, and violence against protesters and press.
Giving voice to those actions is a complicit and silent endorsement of those actions. With two electable candidates, one of who seeks out the rights of all and one who is happy to let those rights fall away, one must weigh pure conscience with practicality.
For those reasons I, and my agency Bow Tie Financial Group, cannot endorse any votes for a third party candidate.
Throughout my career I’ve encountered people who weren’t licensed in insurance peddling fake health insurance policies. They said “I choose not to be licensed so I don’t have the regulations”. I picked apart their supposed-insurance programs in front of them as they sweated and denigrated my meticulousness. I researched the effects their programs had on families in front of them and debunked their work to their face.
In this election we have a reality TV entertainer riling up anger and sowing hatred while an experienced politician with over 30 years of experience and service doggedly working for us. Neither candidate is perfect, for sure, though one is obviously far more flawed than the other.
Just as we wouldn’t want an unlicensed insurance agent protecting our family, we don’t want someone who makes money off of free press generated by controversy running our country.
We deserve the best, most qualified, steadiest candidate out there. That candidate is, by far, Hillary Clinton and I am proud to give her the endorsement of my company, the Bow Tie Financial Group.