Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Herstory

So, last night was pretty epic, yes?

I haven't been around in a while, but it feels right to break out the keyboard and write down how I feel about the nomination of a woman for President of the United States.

I know this will sound odd in a post about a history-making woman, but I miss my dad. He was the political junkie in the family. I came to political activism much, much later. I suppose it's a testament to the good governing of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman (dad's heroes) that my childhood was fairly stable. Daddy was born at the beginning of the Great Depression and lived through WWII as a teen-ager.

What must that have been like?

Dad wanted Hillary to be the nominee in 2008. Hindsight's 20/20, and Father Knows Best. (I supported Obama all the way. As soon as he became the nominee, Dad was a hundred percent on board.) Looking at all that's happened over the past few years, we might have been better had Dad's preference prevailed.

But it didn't.

And now it has.

I kept thinking I might get a text from one of the women in my family – I'm the matriarch, so it would have been my daughter, a daughter-in-law, or my granddaughter. But none of them are political or even history buffs. It wouldn't resonate with them the way it would have with my dad or does with me.

So here's how I feel this morning.

Hillary Clinton will and must be the next President of the United States. The stakes are too high for any other outcome. I'll do all I can possibly do to make sure Donald Trump never sees the inside of the Oval Office. It terrifies me that he is now getting security briefings on sensitive issues.

Hillary Clinton is not perfect. No candidate is, but she comes with an extraordinary amount of negatives, courtesy of popular media that feeds on negatives and a populace all too willing to let the media do their thinking for them.

But here's the truth. Hillary Clinton has been under scrutiny for decades. She's always done what she felt was the right and good thing to do, given the circumstances and facts before her. I can say that, even though I don't know her, because the results bear that out. You can watch the many, many speeches from the convention last night and learn more of the quiet, private good she's done in her lifetime.

You can watch Fox News to hear the negatives and, yes, the lies. Because Fox is an entertainment network, they're not bound by the truth.

I don't have stars in my eyes for Hillary Clinton. Neither she nor her pick for vice-president have the charisma of the First Couple or the fire and sizzle of many of the up-and-coming Democrats. (Our bench is deep, and wow are we fortunate for that. Especially considering that the Republicans have majorities in the House and Senate and Donald Trump is the best they could do.)

We live in a time where solid, measured government is necessary. President Obama is so darned good at it. He doesn't let emotion take over, but you know how he feels and where his heart is.

Hillary Clinton is good at it, as well. We will expect more of her, because she's a woman. She will, right or wrong, have to work twice as hard to earn the respect of an equally qualified man. It's astonishing that our country, often called the most powerful in the world, regards women as not good enough for governing, but just fine for accessorizing.

Here's the thing: No one in America – man or woman – is more qualified, more experienced, more committed, or more ready to lead this country than Hillary Clinton is. Whether you like her or not is irrelevant. We're not voting for Homecoming Queen. This is serious.

Hillary Clinton has made tough decisions, run into obstacles, changed course, weathered storms, dealt with private matters in public, and taken public matters to heart day after day after day. She's looked at life from not just both sides, as Judy Collins sang, but from all sides. That's what you do when the stakes are high. And that's what you do when you have to do the best, most-right thing, no matter who's watching.

In the end … for a host of reasons I can't really articulate …

I'm with her.

8 comments:

Timi Townsend said...

Nice post, Debbi. But what do you mean when you say it might have been better if Hillary had been the candidate in 2008 and not Barack?

Debbi said...

I mean that maybe this country would have been more ready for and accepting of a woman president than they were a Black president.

MadAnne said...

As you know I was a Bernie primary voter. I was quite surprised at my emotional reaction at the end of roll call and nomination. I think the country's reaction would have been misogyny instead of racism. Anyone other than white men seems to produce an extreme reaction.

Timi Townsend said...

Ah, I see. It is unfortunately true that Obama has been the target of some amazingly jaw-dropping and vile racist hatred, and sometimes I wonder if having him as President, while a real boon to liberals like ourselves, has not further polarized the racist right.

What concerns me now with Clinton's candidacy is that the same climate of hatred in the Right is flourishing, this time not towards Blacks but towards women (although I know some far right folks think she panders to the Black community and thus must be reviled as though she were also a woman of color).

Then, too, I'm not happy with the way so many of us liberals demonize Trump and the Far right. It does not add to civilized discourse and obscures what should be the real issues in the election. As Michelle Obama said in her speech on the opening night of this year's DNC, when they go low, we go high. I want us liberals to do that rather than to stoop to the kind of name-calling and hatred that the Trump supporters indulge in.

Debbi said...

I COMPLETELY agree with your last paragraph, Timi ... when they go low, we go high was THE highlight of Michelle Obama's speech, and something that just simply won't leave my mind.

I've been saying for a while now that all the racists will turn into sexists (as if they weren't already) when HRC is nominated. (How's *that* for taking the high road? NOT!) But it appears to be heading in that direction.

As for Trump ... I suppose if the stakes weren't so high I'd just laugh at him. I laughed when he announced he was running. I'm not laughing any more. If anyone deserves to be demonized, it is he. I'm probably better off keeping my mouth shut. Especially here in WV, where he enjoys YUUUUUGGEEE popularity and everyone carries a gun.

Debbi said...

I wonder, MadAnne, if the country couldn't have weathered the storm of misogyny better than the racial tension we've endured. We'll never know, of course.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

Debbie, you said " She will, right or wrong, have to work twice as hard to earn the respect of an equally qualified man." I'm afraid that, as a man, I'll have to disagree. Because Hillary already has worked MORE THAN twice as hard, and twice as long, and twice as effectively, and ten times as thanklessly as so many men, and damned few were equally qualified. And still Hillary has not earned the respect she is due, and that lack of respect comes from men and women alike.

When I showed my respect for her by campaigning for her during the 08 primary, I became a racist, not in fact, but via the taunts of Obama supporters, who had no problem putting Hillary down for being and Uppity Woman. Believe me, this so-called racist won't become a misogynist. I likes my women Uppity!

Debbi said...

GREAT comment, Kitten! Well said, and thank you for saying it!