Nontroversy

It must be Spring, because for the first time, this week, I realized that we are finally going to have a woman President of this country after nearly 250 years. How do I know? The best the opposition can do is nitpick about minutiae and petty issues like who selected the 30,000 private, personal emails for deletion.

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Whether it’s taking a pledge to stand up against gender-based violence, donating an old cellphone to help reduce maternal mortality, or supporting women-owned businesses in your community – you can do something today to help build on progress and close the gaps that remain for women and girls in every corner of the globe. — Chelsea Clinton

I am not sure what is really happening in this country that enabled the very people who have so mismanaged our resources to the point that they virtually brought the global economy to its knees less than a decade ago to be re-elected in 2014 but I do believe we will eventually emerge from our stupor. That is what the tides of history show: a steady march toward greater awareness and solving humankind’s problems. In other words, progress.  In the short term, we will have to endure the adolescent schoolyard antics of the politics of our day, which I choose to ignore for the most part.

While the news is increasingly positive in other arenas, the fact that no woman has been able to assume the top leadership position of this country to date is something that should give every one of us pause.  Just like the myth that we have overcome racial bigotry, we apparently have not yet accepted the fact that women are just as if not more capable than men in managerial and leadership roles. And, if you happen to be African American while brilliant, experienced, mature and female? Watch out (hey Dems what were you smoking to allow Loretta Lynch to be pushed into 2015? Can you never stop being naive?).

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I grant you that to be taken seriously, none of us, male or female, can be silly too publicly.  In fact, I have been a serious person from earliest memory and one reason for that is I was heightened from an early age to injustice by virtue of the work my mother did.  Maybe that was also the result of where I was born and raised, in a major metropolitan city with direct connections to the rest of the world. When I would travel east to Europe, I found a sober populace that had just recovered from two catastrophic world conflagrations.  Then I would take a trip to California and there everyone was surfing, barbecuing, and struggling to be glamorous.  New York was in between.  People there are not depressed, they are industrious and involved.  I was raised by active, problem-solving parents and it was assumed I would take a similarly constructive role in society, irrespective of my gender.

One of my favorite authors, P.L. Travers, said that women have three stages, essentially, the maiden, the mother, and the crone. By crone she meant to convey a woman of experience and wisdom who has  put aside feminine wiles and gets down to the business of working and contributing to the betterment of mankind.  The sooner we women assume that mantle, the more effective human beings will be at fixing whatever problems are at hand.

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For six years now, we have seen the thin veil of racial parity ripped back to reveal an ugly prejudice that some people still hold toward anyone that does not conform to the old, white, male ideal.  We have had to endure rumors, myths, conspiracies, attacks, and outright lies about anyone with dark skin because we elected (how dare we!) a non-Caucasian President.

I can only imagine the misogynistic chauvinism we are in for during the next two, as well as the eight years that H. R. Clinton is in that office.  Why would Clinton do this unless she truly believes she has something to contribute that cannot be supplied by yet another rural, conservative man?

Ah, I hear it now, but, the Clintons are so “untrustworthy”. If you believe that, you are heeding the Faux News Network, where this myth was born. If you are still looking to the Murdoch/Koch group for your information, let’s talk after the 2016 election.  I will simply not address lies and ad feminem slander.

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I have said it before, Clinton is not the only woman in this country who could do the job. I may not like every single thing about her.  I think she should be less Wall Street and more Main Street — notice I said less.  But, compared to any of the people that are hustling to be elected from the other party, she is a downright populist.  I don’t want another idiotic war draining my tax dollars, and I don’t think H.R. will make that mistake again.  How she could have believed those patent liars last time, is beyond me, but I accept it and that she has learned her lesson. The Iraq war was a disaster that continues to reverberate all over the ME. I don’t care who is marauding over there, we cannot afford another violent engagement, on any level — we don’t have the spare cash, no American should be blown to bits for it, and we are not the Daddy of the world! If ISIS Haram is rampaging, let the Saudis, Turks, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Emirates, and their allies rise up and take these people down.

We have serious issues to grapple with here.  Violence (including the rise of crimes with guns), racism and inequality are chief among them. We absolutely must repair our crumbling infrastructure, give every willing American a living wage, provide a reasonable floor to health care for everyone (it is our moral duty — especially if we profess to be Christians; read your New Testament and tell me whether Jesus would ignore a dying or suffering neighbor).  We have to strengthen our public schools, our mail service, purge our government of greedy crooks who go to Washington to become celebrities instead of civil servants doing the people’s business. Primary among the areas in which we need to concentrate is extracting ourselves from the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry by expanding alternative energy supplies to the point that they are more cost-effective and thus pragmatic.  I have nothing against fossil fuel as part of our history as an increasingly industrial world, but they have served their purpose and have long since proven to be too environmentally costly at every level, to be sustainable for a healthy future.

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From time to time I remind myself of what more wakeful people have to say about things.  This week I am reading a Byron Katie book, reminding myself to disassociate from my assumptions whenever possible and thereby being open to a more positive reality.  When we are wedded to our thoughts, we are ‘identified’ with them and lose objectivity.  It is easy to be miserable when you are mired in your own zeitgeist. Katie suggests we imagine what a wonderful world it would be if our negativity was baseless.

It is.

Katie uses a short list of questions that we can apply to vetting our thoughts and assumptions. One is, ‘Is it true?’ and another is ‘What would it be like, if it wasn’t true?’.  She forces us to examine the veracity and basis for our negative thoughts about others, and to imagine how life would be for us, if those thoughts proved to be unfounded.  Can you just imagine if we all thought that despite being who Secretary Clinton is (female, white, older, plain, overweight, guarded, Democrat), we saw her positive features outweighing the negative? It is a matter of perception, because that is exactly how I see Hillary Clinton and so I am looking forward to her time in office.

It doesn’t matter to me what nonsense has been circulated about Mrs. Clinton.  She is the most vetted woman on earth, no less capable than Merkel, who runs Europe. If she were hiding anything in those emails, don’t you realize that whomever they were sent to could un-mask her effortlessly? Have they? They are not lost. But, I am completely uninterested in them. If you are comfortable with Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Cheney and Bush having lied you into a two Trillion dollar war, then what could you possibly fear in Clinton’s personal emails?  It is simply ridiculous.

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Every woman in this country, billionaire or not, should be voting for this woman in 2016.  If we need a man to lead and tell us what to do and how to think, we may as well be chained to the sink, barefoot and pregnant.

But we need to do it for another important reason.  No one should be discriminated against merely because they are female, or black, or gay, Transgender, or old, or young for that matter. If you haven’t done it, pick up a copy of Mo’ne Davis’s new memoir,  Remember My Name, and give it to a child or parents you know.

Think about it everyone. And ladies, let’s know our value.

Images: Beth Byrnes archives, featuring Mary, St. Vincent de Paul Church, Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 Comments on “Nontroversy

  1. Beth! This is wonderful! And hopeful! And just what I needed on a rainy (and somewhat chilly- where, exactly, is Spring?) Saturday morning.

    I have great respect and hopes for Hillary. I wish we had someone of comparable mettle up here.

    Your points about stepping out of our assumptions and looking at a more positive reality are well-taken. I have been too focused on the negative scare-mongering going on here- I might need to shift my focus in dealing with the realities (negative though they may be) of our current political situation.

    I’ve seen Hillary speak a couple of times- impressive at every turn. I hope that your voters are awake and aware enough to see that she is the best person for the job, and allow her to work to repair some of the damage that’s been done, this past long while, to the world- and its freedoms and progress- as a whole.

    I had hope that young Mr. Trudeau might do the same as the head of our government, come October. I’m having second thoughts about that now. We’ll have to see how the next little while pans out- and whether he listens to popular opinion regarding fear-based legislation that will only enhance government powers.

    Have a great weekend! xo

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    • Thank you for all of that, Cole. The only way I know it is Spring, is that I am feeling optimistic. Our weather has been the same for a year: hot and hotter.

      You know, I hate to think it or say it out loud, but what gives me confidence Clinton will win on her merits is the fact that she comes bundled with the other two Clintons who are tremendous assets. All she needs is the edge and we will avoid the catastrophe of a Bush/Walker ticket. And the world will have escaped another crushing administration that makes decisions for the benefit of literally a handful of billionaires.

      Happy Weekend, Cole!! with gratitude for your support. ❤

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    • Well, I guess that is what we always hope for. We each think we know what is best, but, in any event, whatever is next is next and I hope it will signal a happier, safer, more peaceful, inclusive world, with less suffering. Happy Spring and thank you as always Robin for your encouraging comments.

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  2. I shudder even now at the mudslinging that will come. Although wouldn’t it be lovely if we ended up with an all female race? Frankly, I agree with you on so many points. There are many women U.S. senators and governors who would be terrific at leading the country as President.

    The problem, however, is not simply who is elected President, but who is elected in Congress. As with President Obama, he has had a Congress who has fought him every step of the way. Accomplishing reform and change does not begin and end with one person. It’s a systemic battle, and whoever our president is, she will need allies and representatives on both sides of the aisle willing to work with her, not against her.

    Hopefully, Hillary can establish those relationships.

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    • Well, first of all — they will be doing this at their peril. There are fewer people in any given minority than in a whole gender that is half of the world. Women are almost 4 billion people. How tone deaf do you have to be to try and shame or humiliate or denigrate more than half the population?

      This is exactly what lost them the Presidential election. This is a center-left country that has been gerrymandered at the state and local levels such that a right leaning minority seized control, until 2020.

      But the 2016 election is a general one that should give the Democrats a chance to take back the Senate and if they have any intelligence and enterprise at all, they are making sure that happens right now.

      But even with the hideous and self-sabotaging interference he experienced, Obama has gotten a lot done, not the least of which is reducing the deficit by almost 2/3, tripling the stock market, creating 12 million jobs, passing a more humane form of health insurance, taking out major terrorists around the world, getting China to agree to mitigate carbon emissions, and now bringing the prospect of peace to the ME by opening communications and establishing a truce with the major instigator of instability in that region.

      He did all that with the most blatant hostility and racial prejudice we have seen since the Civil Rights era of the 1960s.

      With Bill as her secret weapon, Hillary Clinton will do the same. Thank goodness she is as calm and diligent as she is.

      Let’s you and I do whatever we can to support her. Thank you as always Susan, for your insight and wisdom.

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      • ” if they have any intelligence and enterprise at all, they are making sure that happens right now.” That’s the key.

        You know, Beth, as I was writing my initial comment, I realize that I’m not as optimistic or hopeful as I was a couple of decades ago. I guess all the expectations and disappointments I experienced as someone who was part of the ’60’s generation took its toll, along with those of Clinton’s (Bill’s) personal behavior while in office. All those things have left me feeling simply beaten down.

        True, Obama’s win lifted me, but the vitriol that accompanied it left a bad taste in my mouth that has never left. Maybe this is the year I dust myself off and regain the hope. Both Hillary and Bill still have a lot to offer. Right now, all I can do is pray about it and ask for guidance.

        Thanks for your insight as well. Looking forward to more as we get closer to the election.

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        • I totally understand what you mean, Susan. I have still not forgiven President Clinton for being so irresponsible. We had so much to lose when he simply abused his position and left all of us to pick up the pieces. Gore would have won (and there are some aspects of him, too, I am not wild about, but still … compared with G. Bush …) had Bill Clinton not thrown away his privilege. It took me a long time to get over the 2000 election.

          Frankly, I wanted Hillary to win last time and only accepted Obama as being far better than McCain with that unqualified woman. But, I have come to admire his strength in the face of such irrational and ignorant hatred. I cannot understand how these people fail to see their behavior is despicable and it says a lot about their lack of character.

          But, every time I think that way, people point out that if we take the long view, there has been progress. My problem has always been that I want people to move faster than they do. I always think I am ahead even as a progressive, but even that is a crawl at this point. If only we were here 100 years from now, much of this would be gone. There will be far less abuse of people, animals, and the planet.

          Even Hillary Clinton said this in the most recent speech. In the meantime, we simply have to put a woman in there and it cannot be a wingnut. The stakes are high, internationally now and we need a sane, intelligent person in that seat, no matter how difficult her time there will be. If Merkel can stand it, so can Mrs. Clinton.

          We shall see!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Not an H.R.C fan, nope, not at all. My hope is that the U.S. will change for the better regardless of who wins in the next election. We have our own political problems here, but the thing is, a lot of Canadians don’t care; they seem to think that Canada just runs itself. From Americans, I hear a lot of frustration and cries for change, in Canada, I hear nothing just disinterest and apathy.
    We’ve already had a female Prime Minister and it was eventless. No big deal. Thank goodness. Our first female Premier stepped down last year around this time, she was corrupt, dishonest, and helped lead our province into a financial mess. So in other words, she was no different than any other male leader would have been. This is the sad part about equality, male-female, no difference 😦

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    • JM, I hear what you are saying.

      In a way, that is what we want, isn’t it? No distinction between genders, races, ages, ethnicities or any other secondary characteristic. We want the most experienced, capable, competent and honest leaders we can elect as a people.

      My guess is that your reaction to Hillary Clinton is based on biased media reports that always get the most attention.

      I base my analysis of her, as an individual, on her actual values from the time she was a student at Wellesley College in the late 1960s, through her writings while at Yale, to her legal work during the Nixon era, to her initiatives as First Lady both of Arkansas and the United States, down to her excellent work as a Senator from New York State, my home. Her work at the State Department, for which I did some research in the past, was similarly well done and sincere.

      In all these roles she showed diligence, understanding, caring for the people she served and humility. I have seen nothing in her behavior in any of those roles that would suggest 98% of the negative press she has gotten from biased political sources. The facts just don’t bear them out.

      One corrupt female, your Premier, for example, does not mean all women in that role would or will be similar. They are individuals.

      But, even though Mrs. Clinton continues to work hard and well for the good of the people, those who want their own party to run this country will continue to attack her. I have seen what they have written and almost all of it is completely false.

      But time will tell. I also believe Barack Obama is a good, decent, brilliant man who has done a lot of good for this country and so, I guess, the only vindication for both of them will be the long view of history, when current biases fade and they are evaluated on their actual deeds and merits and not on a political agenda.

      I truly appreciate your offering your views on this as I think many share your sentiments and would like to see them represented here! Thank you so much, JM! 🙂

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  4. Well, one of our illustrious Senators from Texas has just thrown his hat into the 2016 ring. If he is any indication of the quality level of future conservative candidates, I’d say Hilary has a damn good chance of getting elected. Seems like the Right is going to continue playing to the most radical of their base in the coming years, which is a shame. I’d rather see a legitimate race between two equally-qualified candidates than the mud-slinging stupidity circus this one is poised to become. Maybe in 2020?

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    • Oh, yes, I heard that with considerable amusement this weekend, because he knows he has NO chance of ever being President. I think he would like to be Atty Gen or a Supreme. He would fit right in with Thomas, Alito and Scalia. He does provide wonderful theater as does Perry.

      Circus is right! There seem to be no boundaries any more. My Israeli/NY friends think that only the most mediocre people become politicians. Geniuses and philanthropists just don’t want to endorse this broken system.

      I would like to see a Clinton/Castro ticket. No one could top that in 2016. And then, yes, for heaven sake, by 2020 could we please return to sanity and fix our considerable problems?

      Thank you!!! xx

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        • Al’s brother is totally plugged into algorithms and Nate Silver type stuff and he assured me Hillary will win, lol! He totally held my hand in 2012 and was right on the money, so Jeb doesn’t concern me. Plus, I think he will take an extremist like Walker or — shudder — Ernst, that will turn off independents. He has no international credentials at all, except for the radioactive Bush name. Plus, I hate to say this, but he is a bit of a galoot. ;-D Anyway, it will be interesting to see this match-up! I just hope the Dems don’t wobble and try to appease the right.

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  5. You forgot one large group. (But we need to do it for another important reason. No one should be discriminated against merely because they are female, or black, or gay, or old, or young for that matter.) Or Transgender.

    Other wise another great read. 🙂

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    • You are so right, Lana and I am going to fix that! TG this country is coming around on all these groups. Now you and I have to fight against anyone who wants to drag us back to the unenlightened years when it was ok to shame, humiliate, and bully people just because they didn’t fit someone else’s idea of what is ‘normal’. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your writing is brilliant, Beth. Have you considered writing for the Huffington Post?

    I have the Byron Katie book you referenced. I need to sit with it and read it from cover to cover. I have a horrible habit of reading random chapters from various books at any given time. It’s true that if we believe all of our thoughts (especially the negative ones), we can create an entire false reality for ourselves.

    Oh, and regarding the possibility of Hilary running for President. I hope she can overcome this email scandal. I, for one, will surely vote for her if she is able to make a comeback.

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    • Thank you Kim. No, I probably wouldn’t always make them happy if I wrote there. I think my blog will have to do, for now and I always appreciate it when you come over here and comment, busy as you must be.

      I think the email scandal is manufactured. All major government figures, including Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz and Rick Perry and Rand Paul, they all use private email accounts. This is a desperate attempt to convince their base that Mrs. Clinton is an evil-doer. I know her as a Senator from NY and she worked hard for the state, with no scandals or major criticisms. This is all an attempt to prevent her from winning in 2016 and it is unlikely to be this particular email issue that is key, should she have a hard time winning.

      So good to chat with you Kim, as always. You are soooo supportive. ❤

      Like

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