I could highlight all of this, but that would be obnoxious. I’ve been running amok with the highlighter lately, trying to rein that in.
But the urge just speaks of my agreement on most, if not all, points. All of this, everything you wrote up there, had me nodding in the affirmative.
I rightly identified you as an anti-nuke (anti-war?) zealot because we know our own when we see them. I’ve been a pretty radical flaming leftie my whole life (even in the womb, if my father was within earshot) and have friends who have done lots of hard time for the aforementioned blood-throwing. I supported them and agreed with their cause, but age and pragmatism have crept in and I just don’t see these activist hijinks moving the ball forward anymore. It’s easy to scream righteous when you’re young, I see it in my own young adult children (at least one of whom is ‘Bernie or bust’ — wrestling with that one). But life beats you up, teaches you things like pragmatism and patience, logic and forgiveness.
I was Bernie all the way, but am revisiting Hillary’s career — her entire career, not just the ugly bullet points that make up a caricature — and am heartened by much of it. I think you’re right — she’s smart and competent and she’s on the right side of some important issues. She’s also filthy rich and has Lady Macbeth hands when it comes to some things. But who are we kidding — this is America! It’s ugly and, yes, sometimes it’s about finding the least ugly, the least evil. But there’s value in there, too. Nothing is pure good, there’s no such thing (okay, maybe chocolate).
One of my favorite things about her speech, and the thing that, I think, is at the heart of her unpopularity was this —
The truth is, through all these years of public service, the “service” part has always come easier to me than the “public” part.
She’s been there for the service part, no question, since she was a very young woman. That’s tremendously important. She’s been involved, fought many good fights and I don’t believe it was calculated or driven by a lust for power. She’s a true, old-fashioned public servant. Trouble is, America since maybe Kennedy, has put a lot more stock in the ‘public’ part and good luck if you don’t play to the crowd the way the reality tv public expects. You must be an electrifying speaker, magnetic and charismatic, easy on the eyes, jovial in crowds. People must desire a beer in your company and maybe one of your winks. She doesn’t, and never has, played that game. She’s awkward and stiff. She’s put her head down and played the tremendously boring game of inches, moving policy toward a hopefully better future. Isn’t that the kind of person we want? Or we should want?
Remember when ‘they’ said that Gore used too many big words and chided Kerry for his ability to speak French? Aren’t those good qualities in a person who will need to deal with world leaders, policy-making, a byzantine economy and all the complex intellectual demands of the job? Why does this conversation even need to happen? Idiocracy doesn’t seem so far-fetched, does it?
Wow, I sound like a Hillary supporter. And I suppose, to my own great surprise, that I am.
I’ll never get my father on board, however, he of the ‘one-party system, they’re all the same, nothing ever changes’ curmudgeonly jade. Bernie’s not left enough for him (and if we’re talking theoretical, not-real-world fantasy, he’s really not, is he?) — but he won’t vote Trump. I think he may just sit this one out, for the first time in his politically active life. And I think that’s sad.
As for me, I’m with her. Still learning new things with my hard-earned pragmatism.