Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

We the people

Protest in Richmond (photo by John P. Flannery)

Protest in Richmond (photo by John P. Flannery)

There’s a Chinese curse – “may you live in interesting times.”

We are living in “interesting times,” in fact, in quite challenging times.

We worked our heart and soul to elect the first woman president of the United States.

That’s both interesting and “historic.”

Virginia wanted Hillary.

The nation needed her.

According to the popular vote, the nation preferred that Hillary Clinton be our next president.

But the electoral college is the constitutional measure of such things, and thus we shall have a failed casino operator, Donald Trump, as our President – a crass, disrespectful, cursing, hate-filled, lying, intolerant bully, who pretends to know much about everything, while having little experience at much of anything having to do with public policy and governance.

This man ran down our nation for the last year, picking fights, pushing people around, promising somehow, by these tactics, that he’d make America great again.

Trump doesn’t know what makes this nation great.

It is that we conceived of ourselves as a nation as one united – one from many.

This “got-your-back” promise of unity has been our nation’s North Star, what we have fought to perfect from the very beginning.

We have struggled in fits and starts, not without pain, not without blood and suffering, indeed, not without a civil war, not without women being jailed and tortured for demanding the right to vote.

The French made a gift to this still young nation of a tall statue, a maiden who stands with a flaming torch of liberty uplifted high for the whole world to see, beckoning the suffering masses to our shores to find freedom.  We’re not going to go back on that promise, are we?

What could be a more grievous violation of what makes us great, than to divide our nation.

President Lincoln said – “a House divided cannot stand.”

More than any time in my life since the 60s, have we seen such intolerance by a presidential candidate based on a person’s skin color, gender, religion, nation of origin, and sexual orientation.

Mature citizens who are hardly politically obsessive, who are just plain folk, cannot sleep.  Perhaps you couldn’t either.

Children cry at home and in class because they know and they fear we are re-defining our nation’s social contract; they are being counseled.

Protesters take to the streets, the vice-president elect is booed at a theater in New York, and the President rebuffs an actor’s plea for reassurance, signaling the President elect’s low threshold to strike out at others.

We are also hard-pressed in the history of American politics to find anything like Russia’s intrusion into our presidential election.

FBI Director Comey irreparably intruded into this election in the final days of the campaign.

These compromises of our electoral process eclipses Nixon’s dirty tricks in 1972. Continue reading

Presidential timber

hillary_clintonWhat kind of person climbs out of bed to fight to lead the country when told to stay in bed because of pneumonia?

What kind of person, still sick, wearing a bullet proof vest, in the heat of a NY day, but on a momentous public day, especially for NY, forgoes recovery, an easy excuse, because she doesn’t want to miss a ceremony, a public ritual, remembering and honoring those who died on 9-11?  It meant that much to her.

Plainly, it’s the kind of person who has given all her life and was first noticed when she spoke truth to power in a graduation address.

And she hasn’t stopped since to speak her mind and make a difference when and as she had the opportunity, and, when no one else would lead, Hillary did.

Women have always had to do more, and to do it better, to be taken seriously in this nation – even now

Wouldn’t you know in this election year there is a roar of sexism and male chauvinism tearing at Hillary Rodham Clinton at every turn, from the clothes she wears to the way she laughs, how serious she is, indeed every act or decision she’s made in her life, for fear the nation will follow electing a black man with electing a white woman, to steer the ship of state.

Like many, I felt a sense of deep concern when Hillary had to leave the NY ceremony because her recovering body wouldn’t let her stand and stay, and this was soon replaced by rage at what people said and now say, days later, about Hillary, for being human, for giving her all, to the point of exhaustion, and contracting pneumonia.

I know more than ever, given her sacrifice to lead, her warrior commitment, what a fine example she is, for every other citizen to mimic, who claims to be a patriot, that the choice is clear, favoring the only candidate who cares about everyone from kids to seniors and everyone in between.

We need a person, and Hillary is that person, who will work for us no matter our color, our nation of origin, our sexual identity or preference, even, I believe, our partisan preference.

We need a person who has cared her whole life for this nation and its promise.

We need a woman who will bring us together.

Not drive us apart. It was a former great official from Illinois who warned that a nation divided could not stand.

This year there is a pathogen loose in our politics preaching division and disunity and hate and intolerance.  Continue reading

Homeland insecurity

concordmilitiaWe have changed our definition of what’s freedom.

I stand in court rooms in defense of the Accused and invoke the presumption we are all innocent including those charged.

Our government treats us, however, as if we are all presumed guilty, that we must prove otherwise, and we are all treated as suspect for the commission of some unstated possible terrorist act – without any evidence whatsoever.

We have become accustomed to being searched and radiated at airports and public buildings, though we comply reluctantly.

For years now the government, “our” government, has also been collecting every bit of information it can about who we are, what we do, what we say, where we go, what we write, our financial holdings, and with whom we associate.

Our personal information is being inhaled into the government’s mammoth data banks at the cost of our expectation and right to be let alone.

Yet, we brag our freedom is the envy of the world.

The fear of those who would govern this nation is compromising the freedom of the governed.

When 9-11 occurred, I was ashamed of the members of Congress.  Little has changed since. Continue reading

Sexism in America

Two great women (Hillary Clinton and Holly Flannery) and one impressed guy

Two great women (Hillary Clinton and Holly Flannery) and one impressed guy

On how far we have to go – well, we have quite a ways yet to go on respecting a woman’s dignity and right as a person to be treated as an equal.

On NPR, the next day after Secretary Hillary Clinton accepted the presidential nomination in the City of Brotherly Love, there was an on-air discussion among both men and women wondering – “Why didn’t Hillary cry?” and “Wouldn’t that have helped?”

Is a woman not perceived as human unless she sheds a tear? This semi-conscious sexism drives me crazy. What’s most distressing is that any woman would suggest another woman should cry for some calculated political effect – what I consider a disappointing form of sexist masochism.

If Hillary had felt the moment in such a way that she cried, then fine, but to suggest this as the projected and expected profile of any woman is sexist.

So yeah, I think these NPR commentators, men and women, were sexist pigs (with apologies to my pet pigs). Continue reading

The glass ceiling shatters!

Hillary Clinton – shattering the glass ceiling

Hillary Clinton – shattering the glass ceiling

Shirley Chisholm in 1972 was the first black person to announce for President, and the first woman as well.

Shirley said, “I met more discrimination as a woman than for being black. Men are men.”

Shirley faced death threats and knew she might likely fail but ran anyhow to “change the face and future of American politics.”

In 2008, two separate candidates vied to “change the face” America presents to the world.

America fulfilled part of Shirley’s prophecy in 2008 with the election of then Senator Barack Obama.

This year we are trying to meet Shirley’s second hope – to inoculate the oval office against the sexual discrimination Shirley suffered.

I’ve worked for some great women over the years who pushed against the glass ceiling and some were certainly inspired by Shirley.

What sex discrimination has been and mostly remains today is that a woman must excel, be better than a man, to hope to be treated equally.

Over the years, I’ve worked with Bella Abzug, and Liz Holtzman and Mary Sue Terry and Emilie Miller and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Maxine Waters and Loretta Sanchez and Nancy Pelosi. I served as Special Counsel to Rep. Patsy Mink from Hawaii and Rep. Zoe Lofgren from California.

All these women were strong, striving to make a difference, to advance individual rights, with the stamina required of women to break through the slights they suffer, like when a woman makes a point among men and women, but is not heard until a man repeats the point she made.

It’s an encouraging shift toward equal rights this year that more men found they could hear what Hillary had to say.
Continue reading