KoreAm Journal – March 2008 Issue
OpEd by Carrie Hyun
BEFORE us is the daunting responsibility to nominate the Democratic candidate for the president of the United States. Korean Americans are playing an unprecedented, deciding role in our nation’s future, but only if we vote.
We are well aware of the enormous challenges that the next president will face: worries about the economy, health care costs, foreign policy, the mortgage crisis and skyrocketing college expenses.
These challenges stress the need for us to take a close look at all the candidates and ask the question: Who will be the best president on day one in the White House? The answer is Hillary Clinton.
From the beginning of this race, Hillary Clinton has powerfully articulated her command and depth of understanding of issues facing Americans, outlining substantive solid solutions to our toughest problems and her experience in driving positive change.
On health care, Hillary made clear that her plan will provide quality, affordable coverage to every American. No exceptions. By capping premiums and lowering costs, she would make sure that 47 million Americans no longer fall through the cracks of our health care system.
On the economy, Hillary detailed her plan to address the housing crisis and help people stay in their homes. By imposing a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and a freeze of at least five years on adjustable rate subprime mortgages, hundreds of thousands of Americans would have a chance to take on manageable loans and keep their homes.
On Iraq, Hillary talked about her plan to begin bringing our troops home within 60 days of taking office, and do it as quickly and safely as we possibly can.
If you want to know what kind of change Hillary would make in the White House, look at what she’s already accomplished.
From helping create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that now covers 6 million kids, to working across the aisle to extend health care benefits to our National Guardsmen and Reservists, Hillary has a record of delivering real results.
Hillary recently said, “Some people think you make change by demanding it. Some people think you make change by hoping for it. I think you make change by working really, really hard and bringing people together to create the change that we need.”
Hillary is that change. For more than 35 years as a mother, attorney, child rights advocate, First Lady and U.S. senator, she has unwaveringly stood by the side of the less fortunate, women and children, veterans and seniors, who would otherwise not have a voice and would not be heard.
It’s also important to remember Hillary’s longstanding commitment to and connection with our community. Hillary knows and appreciates the dynamic history and contributions of the Korean American and Pacific community and recognizes that we have played an integral part of our American story. Despite our achievements, you and I, our family members and friends, still confront issues like discrimination and language barriers, and still struggle to access affordable health care, senior and child care and a good public education.
As president, Hillary is committed to the needs and interests of the Korean American community. A vote for Hillary means she can continue to: fight against racial discrimination; reform our immigration system and prioritize reuniting families; make college affordable and accessible; provide universal health care; support small businesses; and engage our international partners, especially in Asia, to promote democracy and human rights in the world.
Now is the time to get beyond the rhetoric and talk of great change, and to recognize which candidate can deliver meaningful change to best ensure a better life for our families, communities, environment and world. Hillary is that candidate.
My parents taught me to beware of the “flash in the pan” and to chamma, which means to be vigilant and patient, as actions speak louder than words. Remember all that Hillary has done – and all that she will do – and cast your ballot. America and the world will be watching.
Carrie Hyun is a national co-chair of Korean Americans for Hillary. Hyun was the highest-ranking Korean American woman in the Clinton Administration when she was appointed deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She lives in Washington, D.C.