>> Wednesday, October 26, 2016
No, when I'm talking about sacrifice, I'm talking the altruistic, totally generous, amazing sacrifice Hillary is making right here, right now to be the first female president. She's fighting tooth and nail to do it, for our sakes, for our benefit, for the good of not only this country but especially the hard-working totally under-represented and overlooked female population in this country. She is totally taking one for the team, and it's a big, painful, soul-scouring "one" indeed and no one knows that better than Hillary herself. She's already been through the valley of death, seen, up close and personal, the hideous maw of malevolence and filth that any woman who steps beyond the role men have long dreamed up for them at the heights of power will face not just getting elected, but every hate-filled day of her presidency. She knows just how horrific what she'll face is, and she's not only willing to go in, but fighting for it just to do so.
You may not think that's bravery or self-sacrifice, but, to me, she's throwing herself on a grenade for the rest of us. As I've listened to the inflated claims of her evil, the insistence that she's every kind of corrupt and cruel, which is totally at odds with a readily verifiable lifetime of public service for the good of others, as I've listened to pundits dismissing her knowledge and experience, her patience and even temperament, her plans and past accomplishments as if they're insignificant next to this or that victimless triviality, as I've listened to even supportive and well-meaning pundits and read journalists trying to make the case for her, but always with caveats and admissions she's imperfect (in case we forgot despite them being blasted 24/7 into our ears for 18 months) like you can't praise an accomplished, caring, knowledgeable, experienced, seasoned candidate without going into a litany of her flaws, I've realized you can't, apparently, if she's a woman. (Though I read plenty of gushing stories about Bernie Sanders and he's no more flawless than anyone else. As we've seen, it's fine to not remind the reader/viewer of those flaws every sentence - unless you're a woman.)
I realized the size and scope of the culture in this country against women, this campaign, in a way I didn't before. Oh, I knew about it, lived some of it, though I've not suffered it as much as many women, not by a long shot. It's not just women haters and Republicans. It's not just the obvious discomfort many people (including some women) have with women in power, but it's the readiness of so many people, men and women, to absolutely unequivocally believe the absolute worst about a woman without so much as a shred of evidence, despite the mountains of contrary evidence. The culture (of both men and women) that assumes the absolute worst spin on a woman must be true. A suspicion voiced, however preposterous, is presumed a conviction even if proven innocent. For instance, we need to know what she said in speeches (never mind that Trump was paid four times more (unbelievably) for speeches and no one cares what he said in them). But, the assumption of guilt is, of course, she was offering her soul for cash despite there being no need or rationale for it to be so. In fact, that sounds ridiculous. That shouldn't take ten seconds to be tossed by the critical thinking filter but an amazing number of people even today are convinced she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak to large collections of employees and basically sell herself off semi-publically for corruption. And that's asinine.
Don't even get me started on an email server she used to get her freaking job done when the tools she needed (and that she asked for) were not available to do all the non-secret work that goes on in a large department while the head of said department traveling all over the world. No information stolen. No harm done. She did believe they were totally benign or she wouldn't have asked for them to be published publically. And if one more person tries to conflate them with generals knowingly and deliberately giving totally classified information to journalists as if what she did is the same, I may become homicidal. I honestly can't believe I've been hearing this brought up as if it's a legitimate concern, a legitimate blight on her judgement or honesty for more than a year. This is a trivial detail she probably didn't give ten seconds of thought and, even more importantly, that had zero adverse impact on her job or national security. Lets. Move. On.
But it's everything. She doesn't speak as well as Obama or Clinton (both, I might add gifted speakers); she doesn't excite. Yeah, no, because she's using facts and actual policies instead of manipulating people emotionally. Oh, the horror. Imagine a candidate that actually appeals to one's intellect. That bitch! She doesn't tell us what she's going to do (well, she does but news organizations turned that off as boring and she has it posted in detail on her website). What has she actually accomplished? Well, yeah, all that but that's old hat. Can't sit and listen to all that, let's bring up the emails again. She has to meet impossible standards and that she manages to do so over and over again is brushed aside with the latest (unsubstantiated) conjecture.
And the stories of her failure. How many times have you heard how Obama totally trounced her in 2008? That she ran a horrible campaign? Would it surprise you to know that she and Obama got within hairsbreadth of each other in terms of people voting, though he had the lead in delegates and superdelegates? But all we hear is how horrible her campaign was even though, when it comes to close, she really was in many ways. How many times did you hear that Bernie Sanders was right up there with Obama in taking her down? Or that his campaign was phenomenal by the same people that dissed her 2008 much closer run? How much false equivalence should we have to swallow when she's running against a narcissistic manipulative bigot who's made a career (but little else of value) by bragging about himself and leaving contractors and creditors holding the bag - basically, if you trusted him, you were screwed.
Whereas Hillary is self-made, as a lawyer, as a diplomat, as a politician. She's sold books and given speeches to make money for herself, then turned around with her family and used her own money and influence to help people around the world. She's fought for children and healthcare and women's rights here and around the world for thirty years (and she has the scars to prove it). She doesn't need to be president to get rich. She doesn't need to be president to get influence. She doesn't need to be president to be heard and to make a difference.
But a woman needs to be president and Hillary knows what the first female president will face. Hillary has spent her whole life trying to figure out problems and solutions for them and she wants to try to get some of them put into place, and has formulated plans that use the Presidency to get many of them done. I'm sure her problem-solving, gotta-butt-in-there, wonk heart is champing at the bit to do good for the people in this country, people everywhere, she cares about. Someone has to and she's the sort of person who goes into action instead of cursing the darkness. She wants it to be her, oh, absolutely. She's built her resume and her experience for just that purpose. She's done her homework and formulated her plans. Damn straight she wants to do it. She's a doer. But, she also knows she'll be swimming upstream during her entire tenure fighting for every inch of progress and fighting against losing any ground already won. And she knows the unrelenting ugliness that will be part and parcel of her Presidency, of any woman's Presidency.
We've seen the last eight years. The unprecedented obstruction of a truly great President who inherited one of the biggest sets of messes imaginable with Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran issues vying with economic tailspins here affecting everything including plenty of mainstream America, and much of the ugliness and obstruction was because he was black. Oh, they would have tried to stop him if he'd been Kerry or Gore as well, but the unrelenting vitriol, the assertions of less than humanity, of dishonesty and corruption and evil all at complete odds with this dedicated patient intelligent and educated man? That's racism right there.Can you imagine if our first black president had been a smart and capable man, but prone to hot temper or antagonism? Obama took one for the team, too, and set an example of patience and forbearance, love for his country despite the hatefulness he and his family were subjected to constantly. We were lucky to have him for a president. We were lucky that he was also the first black man in office.
Now it's Hillary. And I'm damn glad that a woman is poised to take the presidency but I'm down on my knees grateful it's Hillary that's doing it, because I can't think of another woman on this planet so poised and ready, so intimately knowledgeable about the horrible backlash she'll face as a female in power in this country. I've been called a cast iron bitch a few times in my life (not shying away from that either) but the thought of facing what Hillary's about to face scares me silly.
Not Hillary. She's ready. If I'm cast iron, Hillary is Damascus steel, forged with monsoon winds, beaten and battered, heated and beaten and stronger for it. She's resilient, powerful and razor sharp. She knows what she's in for and she's going into the fray anyway, absolutely thrilled by the challenge. She knows that, as Obama did, if she gets through this intact and can accomplish even a portion of her agenda with so much stacked against her, the next woman won't be voted into office despite the fact she's a woman, no matter how badass women can be.
Maybe it will be because she's a woman.