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.
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?).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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