By Joanna McClanahan of Ramblin’ Mama
I have heard a lot of rhetoric thrown around this election season. In a way, that’s to be expected. Our media and political sphere have been some strange combination of circus sideshow and spectator sport for as long as I can remember.
Most of the “supportive” articles I’ve read regarding Hillary Clinton paint her as the lesser of two evils. I read an article yesterday that listed all of the reasons you should vote for her, all of those reasons being the different ways that Donald Trump is a certifiably crazy person. (The Federalist article stated that Hillary would also be a “bad president” with zero explanation as to why.)
But here’s the thing: Hillary Clinton is not “the lesser of two evils.” As a former Senator, First Lady, and Secretary of State, she is the most qualified to be President of the United States (not only in this election, but she is also one of the most qualified people to ever seek the office). So why aren’t more people speaking out in her defense? Why do people find her “unlikeable” and “untrustworthy”?
Let’s break this shit down:
The 2012 attack by Islamic militants on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, resulted in the tragic deaths of four Americans. This tragedy occurred while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and, over the past two years, has morphed into a modern-day Salem Witch Trial. Thirty-three hearings have now been held in congressional investigations, in addition to four public hearings, at an estimated cost of $7 MILLION to U.S. taxpayers, all in a deliberate, desperate, and unsuccessful attempt by the GOP to pin the tragedy on Clinton. (Source: Vanity Fair)
While she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used a private email account for department business, as did former Secretary of State Colin Powell (Source: PBS). The FBI investigation deemed this use of classified information “extremely careless” but did not warrant criminal charges, adding that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” (Source: USA Today) Hillary Clinton has admitted that her mismanagement of email was a mistake and has apologized, time and time again.
“I just don’t trust her”
Maybe because the two points above have been exploited and exaggerated by the GOP in a desperate attempt to discredit her? Because, according to the non-partisan, Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site PolitiFact, she is the most consistently truthful of any other candidate from this election season. While showing, in contrast, only 9% of the things that Donald Trump says are “true” or “mostly true.”
The OTHER Emails
This past week WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails, some of which seemed to show staffers discussing how to shrink support for the Sanders campaign. One Debbie Wasserman Schultz email suggested using Sanders’ religious background as ammunition. Wasserman Schultz has stepped down as DNC chair and has been brought on by Hillary’s campaign as an honorary chair. (Source: The Atlantic) I think this situation is sketchy all around, but I also think these selective leaks were deliberately divisive. It has even been speculated that Putin is behind them to try to get Trump elected. (Source: The NY Times)
The truth is that Hillary Clinton is climbing an uphill battle, and it has everything to do with gender bias. She is a strong, intelligent woman in a country where a woman’s value is based on physical attractiveness. Hence, her appearance is under constant scrutiny (take note that the cost of male presidential candidates’ suits are never discussed).
Don’t believe it has to do with gender? Imagine for a moment what this Democratic nomination process would have been like if Hillary were a man and Bernie Sanders were a woman. Now, don’t get me wrong. I would happily have supported an older, feisty woman (a congressional Betty White if you will). But would anyone else have taken her seriously? Now imagine if Clinton and Sanders had both been men. Do you think the contention between the candidates would have carried out as long as it did (and at this time of the Democratic National Convention, arguably still is)?
I have been hesitant to talk about gender in this political race because I can already imagine the eye-rolling and the accusations of playing the “woman card.” But we are one of the only industrialized nations that has never had a woman in highest office. Any man with Hillary’s resume and political acumen would be praised for his assets and assertiveness. But Hillary is seen as “bitchy” because of our deep-seated distrust of women who are strong and outspoken.
Well I, for one, plan to be stronger and more outspoken. I will not be bullied into silence. I’m not going to sit back and hope for the best. There is too much at stake, including an inexperienced, narcissistic, wannabe dictator who has a realistic chance of becoming the next President. I am going to support Hillary Clinton and all that she has done on behalf of education, health care, and veterans affairs. (You can find a sampling of her accomplishments on DailyKos and Politico)
I’m no longer going to bite my tongue to avoid confrontation or because Trump supporters argue in half-truths. The conservative hypocrisy is palpable. (Can you imagine the uproar if Hillary had attended the Democratic National Convention with five children from three different marriages?)
Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is not perfect. She is human and has made choices that I disagree with. But she also has the experience and the tenacity needed to be President of the United States. She is shattering the ultimate glass ceiling in our country and, moving forward, I plan to be much more vocal about the fact that I’m with her.
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