Lucy Report — june 12, 2016
There is no doubt, now, that this election will be historic. Either the country will elect its first woman president, or will choose a demagogue whose potential to damage in the name of feeding his dragon-sized ego knows no bounds. But I don’t want to talk about him this week. I want to talk about her.
I am with her. At the beginning of the election, I was conflicted. I saw Jeb Bush running, as well as Hillary Clinton, and I don’t like it when we coronate royal political families, as we seem wont to do. And it seems there always is a trail of suspicion following Hillary. I do believe much of it is created by the Republican smear machine, because if she had really done all the things she has been accused of, she wouldn’t still be standing.
But lordy, she sure does give them bait. Innocent? Perfect? Um, no. And she has been a divisive candidate in the past. And I am sick and tired of divisiveness.
I took my time. I took the tests. You know the ones. The extensive quizzes where you are polled on multiple policy issues to see which candidate most aligns with your beliefs. Bernie came out on top, but then there was Hillary, just a couple of points behind. And oddly, everyone I know got Bernie Sanders on that quiz. Hmmmm.
Satisfied that either candidate would be a good match on policy, I began to listen to the “how.” I put aside how I feel about Bernie and Hillary as candidates, and began to consider what I think about each as president. I wanted to get swept up in Bernie’s dreams, but I’m not sleepy. Here, there was no contest. Hillary Clinton is probably the most qualified candidate to run in my lifetime.
Then this video below sealed the deal. While I don’t always agree with Hillary and the way she goes about the business of politics, I do think that she has proven that when she seizes the platform, she uses it to advance the causes of rights for women and children. Let me tell you, in the historical and current political system, it is damn hard to get power when you are putting women and children first.
And so this week, Hillary Clinton became the first woman candidate of a major political party. I celebrate this moment. If, say, Carly Fiorina had become the first would I have celebrated? No. I would have acknowledged. But I never believed I would support any woman. I remember having this very debate back when Elizabeth Dole was running back in 2000. But a qualified, experienced candidate who shares many of my political and policy views, you bet. Naturally, much has been written this week about this moment. Here are the articles that have stuck with me:
Standing on the shoulders: Time Magazine offered up this quick history lesson of the other women who forged the political path for Clinton. I wish I could have voted for Shirley Chisholm, for her campaign slogan alone: Unbought and Unbossed.
Hiding in Plain View: I saw a couple of Twitter posts and then this NPR piece on how so many of Hillary’s supporters are staying quiet. It has stuck with me because I recognized myself in these stories.
You gotta give it to her: The headline — “It’s Time to Admit Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily talented politician” — on this Ezra Klein article on Vox kind of pissed me off. I read the piece anyway, and it seems an extra lengthy defense. But a defense nonetheless.
Gender Equality Takes Center Stage: This week, First Lady Michelle Obama is hosting the United State of Women, a special summit to promote gender equality. She’s enlisted a lot of celebrities (I’m sure to the chagrin of the feminists who hate celebrity feminism) and heavy hitters. I’ll be watching for the news that comes out of the event. You can, too, at theunitedstateofwomen.org. #stateofwomen
Follow-up from last week: The letter from the victim of sexual assault by Brock Allen Turner has rightfully gone viral beyond anyone’s imagination. The victim wrote a statement so powerful it feels like she was speaking for millions of women through all of time who have been sexually victimized. I posted on the Lucy Report page on Facebook the subsequent letter the father wrote about the unfair treatment he feels his son received for “20 minutes of action,” as well as a story about the two men who came upon the incident and held Turner until police came. They are heroes. You’ll also find Joe Biden’s letter to the victim there.
There is a bid to recall the judge who gave such a light sentence led by a Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber and a group of Democratic women in Silicon Valley. And you can help by going to RecallAaronPersky.com and making a donation. By week’s end there were news reports that some prospective jurors called into Persky’s court were refusing to serve on a trial in which he will preside.
It’s all about perspective: I leave you this week with this quirky, off-beat little story (the kind Atlas Obscura serves up so well) about how women changed birdwatching. I think it makes a wonderful case for including women. Their perspective can change the way things are done.
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Thanks for reading — Editor, Reagan Walker