By Rep. Darrio Melton
Each time we go to the polls to vote, I think about how meaningful the opportunity is to cast a ballot for a candidate I truly believe in. When I think back about how far we’ve come–from jelly beans in a jar to bubbles in a bar of soap to billy clubs on a bridge–I can’t help but view the right to vote as an obligation, not just a privilege.
That’s why I’m voting for a candidate who will continue to build on the economic progress of President Obama. When President Bush left office, he left behind a mess. We were hemorrhaging jobs and facing the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. President Obama turned America’s economic climate around and set the record for the longest streak of private sector job growth.
America needs a fighter who understands our delicate economic balance and will work hard to make sure people at every level of employment are treated fairly and given an opportunity to succeed.
We deserve a President who will stand strong and refuse to cave to opposition. We need someone who can make hard choices and understand the stakes in tough decisions–someone who will stand up for the people who make America great.
That’s why I’m casting my vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Secretary Clinton understands that empty campaign promises are nothing if you don’t have the ability to pass your policies in Congress. What sounds good on the campaign trail is going to be “dead on arrival” in Washington, and we deserve someone who will be honest about what she can accomplish and who will set reasonable, attainable goals for progress.
America understands there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and I firmly believe Americans don’t want hand outs–they want hand ups.
When it comes to putting someone in the White House, we’re not just choosing the candidate with the best logo, the craftiest messaging, or the smartest soundbites. Celebrity endorsements and hashtags aside, we’re choosing the next President of the United States of America. We’re choosing the Commander in Chief of our military. We’re choosing the person we trust to navigate our nation for four years of whatever the world deals us.
I’m choosing a candidate who has stood up for equality in education through her work with the Children’s Defense Fund and as a co-founder of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
I’m choosing a candidate who lead a UN delegation to Beijing and proudly proclaimed for the world to hear, “women’s rights are human rights.”
I’m choosing a candidate who has served in the United States Senate, who has seen the ins and outs of the Executive Branch, who has fought to secure health insurance for children across America, who has sat in the situation room and made the hard choices, and who is easily the most qualified candidate for President America has seen in a generation.
Shattering the glass ceiling is just a bonus.
I’m with her, and I hope you are too. See you at the polls!
Representative Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.