An open letter to Hillary

IF I vote for you, this is what it means – and what it doesn’t

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

Congratulations on winning the nomination of your party, a goal you have sought for a long time. Let me introduce myself. I am a lifelong Republican about your age who never has voted for a Democrat for president. Now I find myself in the situation where my party has been captured by a totally unqualified, unsuited candidate for president. I cannot, and will not, vote for him. This makes me angry, given the qualified candidates who ran in the Republican primary. I voted for John Kasich, but could have supported Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. They all had the ability to bring people together, reach across the aisle and get things done. Something like Bill Clinton did, when he was president. I could sit this election out, or vote for Johnson and Weld, very attractive former GOP governors running on the Libertarian ticket. However, unless they convince people they have a chance, that is too risky. So, I think I am going to vote for you.

I am writing to tell you what a vote for you does NOT mean IF I vote for you:

• It does not mean I am voting for the platform your party just adopted, largely to appease a socialist. There is a lot of nutty stuff in that platform, and I hope you forget about it five minutes after you are elected.

• It does not mean I think social programs should be expanded so more and more Americans are off the tax rolls and on the welfare or other assistance rolls.

•.It does not mean every student from a family with an income of $125,000 or less should get a free education at a state= university. The last time I checked, there are 50 or more state university systems, with different tuition systems, rates and qualifications. How in the world can you pull this off? Get serious

•It does not mean ignoring the deficit and national debt. It was interesting, listening to the Democratic debates, that how you are going to reduce the deficit and pay off the debt never came up, as you tried to out-Bernie Senator Sanders in how to spend us into oblivion. I have some hope that the example of President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich, two people who knew how to make a deal, no matter what their other characteristics, might lead you to try to restore fiscal sanity to our nation. My former law partner and senator, Warren Rudman, who had great respect for your husband and served him well, was an advocate of fiscal restraint. Learn from the Concord Coalition.

•.It does not mean I am supporting anyone else on your ticket. Our fine Senator Kelly Ayotte, and congressional candidate Rich Ashooh, both of whom know how to reach across the aisle, will get my vote, and I hope will be a check on the craziest tendencies of your platform, while helping with the best.

• It does not support the international adventurism you apparently have pursued in various places. Until there is a reasonable alternative, leave stability alone.

• It is not an endorsement of your credibility. This email thing has been a mess. Other situations have not helped your reputation for credibility and selflessness.

On the other hand, let me tell you why I am voting for you, IF I vote for you:

•You have had a lifetime of service, if not always accomplishment, and I hope the experiences you have had as an attorney, wife of a governor, first lady, senator and secretary of state have taught you much. Your opponent has no governmental experience, no failures in this realm (although plenty in others) and therefore has had no chance to learn from his mistakes.

•At least you are within the 40-yard lines of political and governmental reality. Your opponent is not even on the playing field.

• You have the support of a lot of people who know how to make government work. I hope you enlist them all to help our country.

• You aren’t Donald Trump! We cannot have him as president. I really like the fact that your husband and you have become friends of George and Barbara Bush, two of the finest people our country has produced, and the second President Bush as well. That is the kind of image we need in leadership.

IF I vote for you, I hope you remember all this, and I hope you do a tremendous job for us all. After all, we get only one president at a time, and our fate is up to you. Good luck. (Now, how are Johnson and Weld doing in the polls?…)

Brad Cook

Brad Cook, a shareholder in the Manchester law firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, heads its government relations and estate planning groups.

Categories: Cook on Concord