Many Haitian-Americans voters may be skeptical about Hillary Clinton as president, but that doesn´t compare to the outright horror that many of us feel about the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency. As Haitians, we´ve had more than a 200 year history of strongmen politics, with women being discouraged from participating in the political life of the country. The impact of this has been devastating on our country as any earthquake or hurricane. We would caution the American voter to learn from Haiti´s experience:
Do not allow yourselves to become the victims of incompetent con-men. Haiti has had its share of reckless strongmen as rulers and the impact of these unqualified despots on our country is self- evident.
Do not take it lightly when a foreign superpower meddles in your affairs. Do not allow others to sway your election and undermine your democracy for their personal interests. The history of Haiti is laden with foreign intervention and the result speaks for itself.
Do call out voters who allow themselves to be easily manipulated by demagogues who won´t hesitate to destroy national institutions to create a cult of personality around themselves. This election cycle has proven that poor countries are not the only ones which suffer from this weakness. In any country, the greatest wall that can be built against tyranny is a vigilant citizenry.
Do call out evangelical voters who use their faith to hide the flaws of unqualified candidates. It is one thing to forgive a licentious candidate, but quite another to promote that candidate as the appropriate leader for a nation or for the free world. In both Haiti and in the US, the collaboration of faith leaders with immoral politicians is unacceptable and a pathway to catastrophe.
Do listen to the message that you are stronger together, but hold every politician accountable to make sure that they deliver on their message. And whatever you do, never embrace a leader who flirts with hatred and racism. This is why at Bookmanlit, we have chosen to endorse Hillary Clinton.