One of the most famous lines of Dr. House in House M.D. is “Everybody lies.” House’s statement is particularly true of politicians who have such a reputation for dishonesty that lying is almost expected of them. Because of this, it is better to judge candidates on their behavior and experience, rather than on their words. This is especially true of candidates in the 2016 election. Donald Trump will almost certainly be the Republican nominee, while Hillary Clinton looks likely to be the choice of the Democrats. Those who must choose between Trump and Clinton ought to look at how each candidate has acted in the past to determine how each is likely to act in the future.

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Trump doesn’t have a political record. He is running on his business record; but his business dealings have often been questionable. For instance, according to The Economist, one retired owner of a construction business that worked on an 11-month project at Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino said that Trump almost bankrupted his company after the business mogul failed to pay the workers for the work they had done. He owed them 200,000. Lawyers allegedly told the workers that “Trump would procrastinate with expensive litigation, as he had done many times before.” Trump’s reputation for not paying his workers was so well-known, says the Economist, that contractors labeled his failure to pay a “Trump Discount.”

Clinton, meanwhile, has a political record to run on. Clinton played a role in bringing terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden to justice. She bravely spoke of women’s rights in a speech to China – where women are often greatly oppressed. She has also significantly increased US exports to China. Furthermore, Clinton has been instrumental in cementing trade deals with countries that are sometimes hostile toward the United States and its allies – including Iran.

Harry Reid, Democratic leader in the Senate credits Clinton with strengthening the State Department and improving America’s reputation after the Bush administration allegedly tarnished it. He suggests that Clinton was instrumental in improving US relations with Cuba and in preventing Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons. Reid also credits Clinton with the creation of CHIP, which provides health care coverage for American children who would otherwise remain uninsured.

Clinton has served America from within the White House as first lady, in the capitol as Senator and abroad as Secretary of State. She has been involved in crucial decisions, such as the handling of Osama Bin Laden, and she has maintained poise and balance throughout her career. Trump’s accomplishments, meanwhile, have often only been won at the expense of others. While he thinks of himself as a business leader, others point out that the businesses he has ties to have gone bankrupt multiple times. His record with ventures like the Taj Casino suggest that he is either an extremely bad judge of his financial situation or that he intentionally cheats others.

While he thinks of himself as a business leader, others point out that the businesses he has ties to have gone bankrupt multiple times. His record with ventures like the Taj Casino suggest that he is either an extremely bad judge of his financial situation or that he intentionally cheats other businesses and individuals – priding himself on ruining their businesses on lives, because he believes that it shows that he knows “the art of the deal.”

In the 2016 election, both leading candidates will bill themselves as the best. Trump will praise himself as a man who is able to “get things done” and “make America great again”. Clinton’s actions and experience, however, speak louder than words. While Trump may speak of getting things done, Clinton has already done them. While he may speak of creating American greatness, Clinton has helped make America great by making sure that the country’s children are well taken care of. Experience matters. Clinton has it.

    References
  • Burton, B. (2015, September 15). ‘It’s kind of hard to pick one accomplishment’. Retrieved from Politico: http://www.politico.com
  • Reid, H. (2015, September 17). ‘Nearly every foreign policy victory of President Obama’s second term has Secretary Clinton’s fingerprints on it’. Retrieved from Politico: http://www.politico.com
  • The Economist. (2016, May 14). Donald Trump and small business: Scourge, not saviour. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from The Economist.