Hillary Clinton: a Challenge for Polite Liberals
With Obama, polite liberals got a pass: they got to vote for a black man who was without the baggage of the black struggle up from slavery.
None of Obama’s ancestors were ever slaves in America. Obama missed nearly all the trials of growing up a black man in America by literally being on islands in the Pacific during the 60s and 70s.
For 2016, I wanted Kristen Gillibrand to run. Like Obama was a black without the baggage of the civil rights struggle, Gillibrand is a woman without the baggage of the women’s rights struggle.
Hillary is much more challenging — more like a Jesse Jackson.
Jesse had MLK, Jr.’s blood on his shirt. Jesse was beaten, called a n***er, refused service at the lunch counter, and told to drink from the “colored” water fountain. Jesse rose above this, but he had baggage and history Obama only learned of second hand. Obama is as close to that historical struggle on a personal level as I am (I am white).
Hillary has lived the women’s rights struggle. She was a girl who wrote to ask how she could become an astronaut, and her government told her girls could never be astronauts. Hillary had to fight to get a student to be allowed to speak at her nice polite girl’s college commencement: girls should be seen, not heard.
Hillary tried to keep her last name, but the sexism of 70s and 80s America forced her to change to give her husband a chance to succeed in politics.
She was the first female partner at her old boys’ club Arkansas law firm, the first female Senator from New York (Gillibrand is the second), and many other firsts. It is not easy being first. She has taken no end of sh** and been accused of being too pushy, a bitch, a lesbian, not feminine enough, and more, just because she wanted to get things done.
Hillary still gets questions about who will pick out the flowers and holiday ornaments if she is President. That she had to say she will, in deference to male and female roles, says we are not a country beyond sexism, like we are not a country beyond racism.
Hillary comes with a lot of baggage. It is the baggage of the American women’s struggle for the last 200 years to be recognized as full members of society. It would be easier if we had a Democratic candidate who didn’t have the scars of the women’s liberation movement.
This time, we polite liberals are going to have a harder vote to make than for Obama. Hillary can’t be half male for us.
Copyright © 2016 by Al Lee. All rights reserved.