Category Archives: Hillary Clinton in 2016

Don’t Let Feminism Stop You from Voting for Hillary

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I was a young women the last time that feminism became a hot topic and on that occasion the movement was already on the agenda because of the book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidan, but the birth control pill gave women a true sense of relief and empowerment and gave the movement true impetus. If you could plan your pregnancies then you could be in control of a high-powered career, have children, and “have it all” as we said. Single women could experience some of the freedom men did while expressing their sexuality without, it seemed, an unwanted pregnancy which, even now, has the power to put a women’s life on an entirely new path, perhaps ruining their pursuit of a talent that would have made a key contribution to her culture.

I also remember the pressure from feminist leaders to make all women sign some sort of unwritten pledge that we would behave, from this time forward, in certain ways that they felt would further the women’s movement. Many of us were not quite ready, however, to give up our new freedom from male domination only to be dominated by an agenda set by women. We did experience a certain sense of sisterhood and there was a considerable high to be enjoyed by expressing the strength it gave us when we operated as a political and cultural bloc.

So I understand as well as possible what young women are saying about feminism in the 21st century being perhaps not quite the same as 20th century feminism and of not wanting to be disenfranchised by feminism in the way that women were once disenfranchised by men. But I also cannot help but remind myself that women are always being asked to wait for something else to happen before they take center stage. There is always an issue more pressing or a person whose needs are greater and so women, perhaps reluctantly but obligingly, agree to wait a while longer. Now we feel like we must wait for the revolution to happen. Why can’t we have a woman in the White House and a revolution at the same time? Hillary gets what we want and need as Americans. Why do we require, once again, a man to do the job? I do admire the steadfastness of Bernie Sanders and if he becomes the Democratic candidate I will support him. But for now I will hang with the sisters.

I don’t think Hillary asked Madeleine Albright to say what she did, although she probably expected it because she has heard it before. Once it had been said I am guessing that Hillary would just smile respectfully because Albright is the elder stateswoman to Hillary. Hillary says that even if young women don’t vote for her she will fight for them if she wins the day. I do not think that Hillary is running as a feminist. I do believe she is clear about the various needs of all Americans. I do not support her just because she is a woman, but she is the only really qualified woman we have produced so far who also has the desire to do this job. I hope that people, including young women, will not reject Hillary just because the fact that she is a woman seems to require that they vote for her. But I do hope they will think carefully about the positive reverberations that will echo into their own futures if Hillary breaks up that boy’s club now once and for all.

By Nancy Brisson

Anticipating Hillary’s Campaign

Would anyone describe a man as cold and calculating? They might call a man ruthless but women are not generally described in that way. Cold and calculating sounds smaller, less powerful than ruthless. It sounds petty. Would we rather have a President who can be cold and calculating which suggests that all actions taken are weighed without emotion and with at least one selfish eye focusing on what is in it for me, or one who is ruthless? We would hope for a President who is somewhat selfless, who puts the needs of the nation before his/her own needs. Ruthlessness can be read as simply giving no quarter to one’s enemies, which the nation’s hawks would find laudable, or it can be read as rapacious human greed as a filter for any and all decisions, which no one really sees as laudable. Cold and calculating describes someone who never behaves from altruistic motives. Calling Hillary cold and calculating is sexist, but subtle enough that not everyone sees it. If the label sticks it is deadly; who wants a President who is cold and/or calculating?

I have already written that the Republicans have been extremely disruptive and have challenged the Obama Presidency at every turn. They have been the root cause behind a historically contentious six years. They have basically walked over the legal line on some very key and hard-won rights. We have a law which says that abortion is legal but Republicans are working to make abortions impossible to get in some states. What they are doing is against the law, but they just keep appealing court decisions so that their illegal activities are always in adjudication. Meanwhile they busily write more rules that make it impossible for women to access that technically legal abortion.

They know all Americans have the right to vote and yet the GOP has passed thousands of local laws that make it harder for people to vote and the courts seem to be upholding these laws. Because of these seditious activities (and more) I will not be voting for any of the Republicans who have announced or will be announcing a run for the Presidency regardless of how moderate they sound as they campaign.

If Hillary runs I do plan to vote for her. I am, however, like everyone else. I want to know where Hillary Clinton stands on the issues. I want to hear how she talks about the issues. Since I cannot in all conscience vote for any Republican it really doesn’t matter to me where Hillary stands on the issues. She has to come down to the left of folks like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, et al.

Still, I would like to know what she thinks about the Trans Pacific Trade agreement, known as the TPP; will she continue to halt the Keystone Pipeline because it threatens fresh water resources in Nebraska; where will she stand on money in politics and Citizen’s United? Exactly how will she help the middle class? How will she hold her own against the obstructers, the greedy right wingers who think that they are paying for our benefits and that they no longer want their tax dollars to go towards these programs. They don’t want to pay for abortions; they don’t want to pay for Medicaid, or food stamps, or welfare, or Medicare, or Social Security. I did not know Americans got to pick and choose which laws their dollars would be used to support. I thought our tax dollars went into a single fund to be spent on all programs the people asked Congress to fund. Who knew?

What does Hillary believe is the right size for our government? How much regulation of Capitalism does she believe is necessary to protect citizens from unbridled greed?

Has she put together some kind of package to offer the American people and what is in it?

Does she believe with Obama that diplomacy and negotiation are the correct ways to approach aggressive nations, or is she more hawkish? It is clear that her “yes” vote on the Iraq War will follow her, that her opponents will try to frame it as a deal breaker. However, I remember what Saddam Hussein was like, so belligerent and bellicose. When George Bush and his loyal henchmen (or was he the henchman) hammered home numbers of MD stockpiles that were supposedly carefully hidden within the boundaries of Iraq and told us that there were, in fact, mobile arms factories that could evade our observers, I began to think that we would have to go into Iraq or Saddam might take us out while we were busy hunting terrorists. They lied and yet she is too blame. This is a typical Republican strategy. Blame the opposition for your own sins, do it often, and do it loudly and hope that it sticks. I don’t have a problem with how Hillary voted on the Iraq War.

I love peace, though and feel that we must have peace now more than ever so that we can turn our attention and our dollars to solving pressing global problems. I also believe that all nations must understand that we will go to war if we have to.

Food and fresh water will become scarcer and scarcer as the population grows and grows. If we don’t keep the world on a peacetime footing and work together to solve survival issues before they actually threaten our survival we won’t have to imagine the apocalypse, it will arrive.

Hillary needs to address big picture problems that need solutions more and more desperately every year as solutions to these problems keep being put off by meaningless distractions and by contentious awakenings around the world. She will, at the same time, have to address domestic challenges that are threatening to make the American middle class disappear and that are destroying hopes of upward mobility.

I wish Hillary did not even have to run against these hooligans from the GOP. How does anyone take them seriously, but she will be expected to. I think I may turn off my TV until the election. There is no way this can be pretty.

By Nancy Brisson