We are approaching the year anniversary of Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton. He lost the popular vote by close to three million votes, promptly claimed massive voter fraud and then set up a phony voter fraud commission to vainly prove his point.
Since the election we have learned more about widespread Russian interference on behalf of Trump and the GOP, as well as possible collusion with the effort by individuals in the Trump campaign. We will see what comes out of Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Many of us are stressed every day wondering what craziness Trump will inflict on the world. Perhaps we should consider what might have been, the what ifs of a Hillary win, what has been lost and what opportunities were squandered this year.
Rather than millions of Americans waking up worrying about losing their health care, President Hillary Clinton would have worked with Congress (yes, even a Republican Congress) to place Obamacare on firm footing for the future. Hillary’s deep knowledge of the issues and lifelong concern for women, children and poor Americans would have made her a fantastic leader in healthcare reform this year.
Hillary would have developed an employment program to repair our infrastructure while keeping climate change issues at the forefront of her policies. We are left to wonder if Trump will continue to ignore the scientific reasons behind the unprecedented stream of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes hitting our shores this year.
President Hillary Clinton would not have withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. We are now the only country not to join except for Syria.
Any tax reform program would have benefitted the middle class, ensuring that the wealthy, Wall Street and corporations paid their fair share. Instead, what is proposed will be another huge increase to the deficit and further enrich those who are already wealthy.
Rather than eviscerating the State Department and ranting and raving at the United Nations, President Hillary Clinton would have promoted diplomacy. American’s rivals abroad would have respected and worked with President Hillary Clinton. The Russians knew her well, and feared her enough to work hard to undermine our electoral processes. They knew that a President Clinton would have opposed continued Russian aggression in Ukraine or the Baltic States and would have pushed back hard against interference in our elections and those of our European allies. North Korea would have known that they could launch missiles if they chose, but that they would face a determined—and unified—coalition of nations opposed to their provocation. They would not have been facing this blustery man in the White House who has alienated our allies and insulted other nations at the UN. Lacking basic diplomatic skills, he is a bull in a china shop. America would be stronger, more secure, and more respected today under Hillary Clinton’s leadership.
It goes without saying that white supremacists would not have found any encouragement from President Hillary Clinton.
Immigrant fathers and mothers and their children who had worked hard for years, and tried to contribute, would not be rounded up and put in jail. President Hillary Clinton would have treated immigrants with dignity and respect, acknowledging that we comprise a nation of immigrants. Her policies would have protected the vulnerable young “Dreamers” from threats of inevitable deportation.
Trump is eviscerating protection for gay and transgender people. Our transgender soldiers are left to wonder what fate awaits them after Trump’s military transgender ban. Even the Pentagon was caught off guard and wants to slow down this ban. President Hillary Clinton would have expanded the Obama Administration’s LGBT policies.
Trump wants to eliminate funding for the arts. In his first federal budget plan, he proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Hillary would have committed to funding the arts. She would have never taken such draconian steps to remove a critical part of this country’s culture.
Merrick Garland, a moderate and universally respected Appeals Court Judge, who spent most of 2016 waiting in vain to be approved by the Republican-dominated Senate, would be on the Supreme Court. Instead, Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s cynical plan of delay and obstruction worked last year, and now we have Justice Neil Gorsuch, who smiled and obfuscated his way through the Senate confirmation. We now have him and his reliably extreme conservative vote for the rest of his presumably long life.
President Hillary would not have made it easier for mentally-ill people to buy guns. The rule was a response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which a mentally disturbed man shot and killed 20 young children and six adults.
Trump has even rolled back the nutritional requirements for school lunches in a replay of Reagan’s “ketchup is a vegetable.” Not only does it seem that his sole focus is to dismantle Obama’s legacy, he is also erasing one of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s signature accomplishments. Goodbye healthy school lunches, hello childhood obesity.
Trump is shredding the rules about equal pay for women, and of course, access to family planning. The funding for Planned Parenthood, which caters to the general health needs of many women, would not be in dire jeopardy.
This list could go on with more disastrous right wing policies on the environment, education and consumer protection.
Finally, we would have had our first woman president. All of our daughters and granddaughters would have seen the example of a courageous and confident woman leading our great nation. President Hillary Clinton could have forged a strong alliance with the current world’s most powerful woman, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Women leaders would not have had to bear the daily indignities of working with a President who disrespects women and brags about sexual assault. The Women’s March on Washington would not have been in anger and sadness, but in joy and happiness.
May our country learn a lesson from this tragic mistake of 2016.