I am a retired veteran and will vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as president. My position is based not on partisan political considerations but on the ability to govern.
While on active duty I served under eight presidential administrations: five republican and three democratic. As a senior flag officer I worked closely with elected and appointed officials from both parties and remain in contact with many of them. I meet often with national security officials, some serving and some out of office, from both parties. I have voted for candidates from both parties over the years. I have observed the effects of unqualified, unprepared, ego-driven political appointees.
That experience resolves me to oppose those who appear motivated by an attraction to the “prestige” of public office rather than the exhausting, self-sacrificing, ego-deflating reality of it in national service.
Duty in government requires those who are best prepared in knowledge, experience, and insight and have the stamina to remain focused on the demanding tasks of developing and executing policy. It’s not for the easily bored or for those who are drawn to it by a need for glamor or public acclaim. For every famous senior official there are hundreds of thousands whose life’s work is dedicated to the satisfying but publicly unheralded nature of service to the nation.
With that in mind, I support Clinton for president.
Over three decades, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent trying to slander her name. The list of conspiracies and lies used to attack her is seemingly endless.
While President Barack Obama has had to deal with tremendously hostile scrutiny in office, nobody comes close to what Clinton has had to endure for the past quarter century. Every move she’s made, every decision she’s delivered has been placed under the spotlight of antagonistic criticism that should cause thoughtful people to wonder why. No other political leader has ever had to answer to a comparable number of questionable inquiries, investigations or accusations.
Yet here she is.
My principal focus in this election is on national security.
Serving the nation as commander in chief demands deep knowledge of how our government works to achieve strategic goals and the self-control to avoid getting bogged down into tactical micromanagement. When the unexpected happens, the person behind that desk in the White House needs to be clear-headed and disciplined, must understand how today’s problem fits into the big picture, and must bring all their background and judgement to bear. And when it comes to putting America’s men and women in uniform in harm’s way, the president must be guided by a sober understanding of the sacrifices that may be required.
Strategic command is no place for the erratic behavior and scattered ideas we have seen from Donald Trump -- people’s lives and the safety of our nation are at stake.
He has demonstrated how little respect he has for the sacrifices of service members through history and today. He says Sen. John McCain is no hero because he was captured - actually, he was shot down and badly wounded during one of his many combat missions over enemy targets.
Trump disparages our allies, disrespects today’s military leaders (and says he’s inclined to replace them with his current supporters as they do in a banana republic); praises Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (who spent much of his career in the KGB); is unconcerned about proliferation of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons, and is egregiously uninformed and disinterested in matters of military doctrine, logistics, training, or military justice. He is a grave danger to the future security of our republic.
Clinton has approached this campaign for office with deeply researched policy proposals, a clearly articulated approach to the world, and the care to get the details right. A commander in chief has to rely on the team, gather all the facts, understand the full state of play, and – only then – decide with courage and act with confidence.
That is how Clinton approached the very difficult job of rebuilding America’s standing in the world in 2008. It’s how she rallied both friends and adversaries to isolate Iran from the global economy and force them to the negotiating table over their nuclear program. It’s how she supported the president in the raid to bring justice to Osama bin Laden.
The words a president says matter and the White House Situation Room is no place for a childish tantrum. For even as they make the small daily decisions of securing our country that dominate the news, presidents have to remain mindful of the strategic goals that will keep our country safe, strong, and prosperous far into the future.
Clinton has the temperament required to lead, the respect for sacrifice required to make decisions with moral courage, and the experience to keep us safe. Accordingly, I trust her and I do not trust her opponent.
Kevin Green is a Navy veteran residing in northern Virginia.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.