Before I talk about my endorsement, I would like to explain how I view the Constitution. I remember talking to a friend who subscribes to Constitutionalist and Tea Party ideology, and the topic of our conversation was the Constitution. I told him that I didn’t care for Constitutionalism because it has a very narrow view of what the Constitution is. I told him that historically, even as it was being written, the Constitution could be and still is read many different ways, yet Constitutionalists arbitrarily pick one narrow interpretation. My friend replied, “No it doesn’t. There is only one way that the Constitution can be read. It is explicit. The Founding Fathers wrote it one way. That is it. There is no other interpretation, and any other interpretation is wrong, and is not harmony with how the founding fathers wrote it.”
It is my belief that the Constitution was intentionally written in ambiguity. Ambiguity leaves a space for interpretation where all parties can walk out a winner. What does the word “arms” mean? Does an arm mean a bb-gun? Does it mean an armored tank? Does it mean a bazooka? What does all “men” are created equal mean? Does it mean a black man? A women? What a natural born citizen mean? Is Ted Cruz a natural-born citizen, who was born in Canada from an American mother? Is John McCain, who was born in Panama on a U.S. base from two American parents a natural born citizen? These terms were written ambiguously so that the founding fathers (who rarely ever agreed with each other) could walk back to their states as champions, and so they could define the Constitution differently however they wished. I believe they wrote the Constitution ambiguously so that “We the People” could define the Constitution differently based on our ever changing needs and our values. I do not buy that there is one way to read the Constitution, and that only a few historical figures (such as Thomas Jefferson, John Randolph, James Monroe and George Wythe) were the sole authorities on its interpretation.
At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter who I vote for to be President. Never, will a singular vote cast represent a definitive change in polling results. Voting, rather, is an introspective activity that reflects how the individual feels about a particular candidate or ideology. It is an enabling power that allows a voter to excercise voice. Because of this, I do not object to people who want to vote their conscious, or vote for third party candidates. It is important that people vote for who they think will make the best President, and that they not vote out of fear of someone else winning.
Although my vote may not sway an election, cumulitively it does matter who we vote to be our next President. This year I will vote for Hillary Clinton because she best represents many of my own values. I encourage all other Americans who are not sure for whom they will vote to give Hillary Clinton one last look before casting their ballot. I will list a few of my values in hope that undecided voters can best understand why I support Mrs. Clinton for President.
I value Civil Rights. I think that there is more that we can do to “even” the playing field, even just a little bit. I do not believe that life is fair, and it is set up that way, but I think that if we can, as a society, be understanding to people with a disenfranchised history, than the world would be a better place.
I value a functioning capitalist market. This means we need competition. I value a President who will not allow certain businesses to get too big. I think that it is time for someone to bust certain monopolies in America to allow for better competition, which is better for Americans.
I value diplomacy over military. I would like a President (and members of Congress since theoretically they are the ones who vote to go to war) to vote to go to war as though their children were on the front line. I don’t want to say that I object to military. I am grateful we had an arsonel during the Cold War, and I believe it is important to be ready in the event that war becomes necessary, but I do not think that US involvement in a ground war has been justified since World War II.
I believe in common-sense gun laws. I value the second amendment, that people have a right to arm themselves, but like all rights gun ownership has its limitations. I value gun restrictions because I value life.
I value life, and I am unapologetically pro-life. I value the lives of humanity, from conception to old age and death. I recognize that we need to support babies, but I also recognize that we need to support mothers. I am pro-choice, because I am pro-life. It is my belief that the safety of all life is preserved when women do not live in fear. I believe that fewer abortions occur when women have access to proper medical facilities, including access to abortion. I know not everyone shares this belief, and I respect that. It has been said that about one in three women will have an abortion by the time they are forty five years old. I do not like the idea of locking up 1/3 of the female population (whose lives I also value) for having abortions. If so many women choose to abort, to me, this means we gave a societal problem, more than a legislative problem. I’d attack abortion over the pulpit, not in Congress. In the spirit of life, I also value life sentencing for the most heinous crimes. I do not believe in capital punishment under any circumstances. I value programs that promote the life of Americans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. I am saving $350 a month because I signed up. I do not think that I could afford insurance right now without it.
I value renewable energy. I have seen how oil companies can stifle progress. Oil has undermined the solar industry in Phoenix. I do not believe fracking is the way of the future. I am moving to Oklahoma next year, and human-made earthquakes are now a common occurrence. I value the Boy Scout adage, “Always leave a campground cleaner than you found it.” Mining and oil companies must be accountable for the havoc they wreak on environment. I value animal and plant life.
I value education. I believe all children should have children to quality education. I think that great ideas pertaining to education come from both the right and the left. However, my experience is that the right is much quicker to slash funding. I taught High School in AZ. Governor Doug Ducey slashed $100 million from the budget in one year. Many teachers, including myself, left the state. I believe Democrats are most likely to support public education. I’ve lived in Utah, Arizona, Texas, and (next year Oklahoma ), and in all these states, the public education is severely underfunded. Because of Texas’s strict Head Start policies, I cannot get adequate preschool for my four year old, and all private preschool in the Dallas area costs about as much (if not more) than our rent. Republican educational policies allow the rich (often white) to do well, and the poor (often racial minorities) to do poorly. I’ve lived in Maryland and Vermont, and the public education is awesome. With few exceptions, I think Democratic-run states value public education more than Republican-led states. I like living with smart people. It is good for democracy, and the right thing to do.
I have other have many other values that I will not mention in this article, but I think I have given enough to give you a window on my values. In summary, I value progression. I believe that the Constitution allows for my values to be instituted. I will vote for Hillary Clinton, and I will do it proudly. Hillary Clinton’s agenda is in closer harmony to my values than those of other candidates in this General Election. I believe that she will bring her values and her experiences to truly help keep America great. For these reasons and more, I am happy to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America. My singular vote may not have the power to sway an election, but it does have the power to define who I am and what I value. I encourage all to take up your right to raise your voice and vote your conscious.
Brian D. King