Clinton for President

By ART CULLEN

Donald Trump plotted his way to the Republican presidential nomination by stealing Rep. Steve King’s playbook: Hate on Mexicans, question the civic legitimacy of Barack Obama, build a wall along the Mexican border, foster white resentment of minorities, denounce people who follow Islam. It has worked well in wide swaths of Iowa, this being the definition of a purple swing state. Trump knew how to win the base of the Republican Party. He thinks it will win the White House.

He is wrong.

We in the Fourth District are several degrees off kilter and struggling to find true north. What may play in Odebolt does not necessarily play even in Peoria. Therein lies hope for the Republic.

We have heard enough and seen enough of Steve King and Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton must be elected President of the United States.

Anybody but Trump.

Clinton was not our first choice. Joe Biden was. Like most Americans, we share a vague uneasiness with the idea of the Clintons reoccupying the White House. We still have a sour taste from President Bill Clinton lying to us straight into the TV camera. That distrust is worn by Hillary Clinton as a yoke that may yet weigh her down, whether fair or not.

We have spent the past several years listening to our neighbors be debased as drug runners and criminals when in truth they are working two shifts in the packinghouse trying to provide for their children. It is corrosive to the soul of a community to hear it from our own congressman. It is repulsive to hear Trump ape the same diatribe with such cynicism.

The Mexicans and Muslims are coming to get us! But Obama and Hillary want to take your guns!

Trump defames blacks. He defiles women. He fires people and crushes their dreams through a series of bankruptcies and scams that hurt little people. He is in the midst of trying to tear down a Muslim family whose son died in combat wearing a US military uniform. Sen. John McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate, condemned Trump’s latest remarks.

Where does it stop?

Who will stop it, this ignorance and insanity?

It starts right here.

You can stop it. You can stamp out hate and intolerance. You can fly a flag of liberty for all. You can honor the Lady in the New York Harbor.

First, register to vote. Second, make up your mind to vote for freedom and tolerance. Know that millions of immigrant children’s lives hang in the balance — whether they stay or will they be deported to a nation they never knew, a nation like Honduras wracked by corruption, gangs and violence. Know that they will deliver Storm Lake to a new future through education and hard work.

Make a statement that America is strong. Tell everyone that rural America has a real future through the revitalization that immigration brings. Renew the bonds that make America the longest-running experiment in democracy.

Vote for Kim Weaver against Steve King, for starters.

And vote for Hillary Clinton.

Do we trust Clinton? Not really. She voted for the second Iraq War, which is the cause of so many of our national security problems. She jumped in bed with Wall Street before and after her stint as a New York senator. You would expect as much. Did she order State Department staff into Benghazi? No. Did the control freak in her make her stupid about emails? Absolutely.

Is she a racist, self-centered, sexist pig?

No way.

Hillary Clinton started out as an advocate with the Children’s Defense Fund. She tried to orchestrate a terribly complicated national health care reform and failed, so families could get insurance. As a senator, she stood at Ground Zero with first responders who needed federal assistance. As a senator, she got health insurance for 8 million children. As first lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stood up to the world powers and demanded human rights for women and children around the globe. In her public life, she has given voice to the voiceless.

Under the surface is an idealist tarnished by time and, no doubt, corrupted by power. She has been the victim of a decades-long slander campaign orchestrated by, yes, a vast right-wing machine that has created a caricature that she cannot seem to redraw.

Is Hillary Clinton a good person? Yes. Is she presidential material? You bet. Would she stand up for poor immigrants in Storm Lake, Iowa? We believe it in our very soul.

Is she Donald Trump or, down deep, could her heart be so dark as the Muslim father of the fallen Army solider described Trump’s?

No. Never. Not in a million years.

We must elect Hillary Clinton as President.