Our Hillary

Linda shares her thoughts on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the sad–and vicious–state of the Republican Party.

At first I was angry about the sexism lobbed at Hillary.  Now I am sad.  What kind of a society are we becoming?  At the RNC convention there was talk of lynching Hillary, putting her before a firing squad, among other threats of violence.  Last weekend a float in a local suburb’s parade had a an effigy of Hillary in a coffin!  It won a prize.
Dump Trump
As a grandma and an educator I am appalled at the rhetoric bandied about.  I am more than appalled and grieved that my countrymen are using guns and killing others to express their opinions. It’s barbaric.  A gunman goes in and kills his fellow citizens in a nightclub in Orlando.  Police kill unarmed black men.  Snipers kill other policemen who have no connection to these actions.  Now elected leaders at a convention use the rhetoric of killing to say what in a former age would be a disgrace.  And their colleagues do not condemn them! Where are Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and that born again evangelical Mike Pence?

It’s interesting yet distressing to me how the vile strains of homophobia and sexism are still so strong.  Since the 1960’s so many have lobbied hard and long for change. After last years’ decision on marriage equality many thought the issue was settled.  LGBTQ folks have the same rights as everyone else.  But so called religious liberty laws have sprung up in many states. Of course the appalling carnage at a gay nightclub last month is another example of the horrors of homophobia.

hillary-clinton-2016-president-electionFor Hillary Clinton, there has been a scurrilous campaign that can only be called sexist.  Many women in my age group feel an affinity to her. She is smart and hard working.  Like us she studied hard in college and devoted her life to helping others.  We see her continuing to work so very hard when it would be easy to languish in her achievements and maybe occasionally give a speech while taking care of her grandkids.  Instead she has decided to use her considerable skills, knowledge, and experience to enter the grueling race for the White House.

We women feel sure if a man had the experience that Hillary has, he would be honored.  Instead everything she has done has been examined most scrupulously.  For example, Whitewater. Congress spent millions to discover it was what she said it was, a failed real estate deal.  Benghazi was investigated ad inifinitum.  This latest investigation, which is the worst in my mind because it could cause her the White House, concerns the emails.  Tens of thousands of emails were examined with what FBI Director James Comey asserts was a fine tooth-comb. Only eight or nine out of those thousands with a small “c” in the bottom line, meaning classified, were deemed wrong.  Hardly a need for the public excoriation she has been subject to.  Especially when the next day at a Congressional hearing, Comey admitted that nothing of danger was revealed.

Meanwhile the Bush/Cheney team gets a pass at starting a horrible war for weapons that never existed. This has not even been investigated nationally despite the deaths and violence that have persisted for this past decade.  This ongoing war has spawned terrorists hitting Western targets. It has unleashed the terrible carnage in Syria.  Yet former President George W. Bush is treated as a kindly pater familias.

People protesting against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policies rally outside of Trump Tower, June 21, 2016 in New York City. Trump held a private meeting with hundreds of conservative Christians and evangelical leaders. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Now a con man, a much married, much sued, and often bankrupt billionaire (we do not know his worth for sure since he will not release his tax filings) gets to call her “crooked” with little backlash.  He is free to spout racist nonsense and to propose walls, deportations, and registration of one religious group.  In fact, this is almost everything we should be against as Americans.  Yet he has unfettered media attention.  Millions are snowed by his dangerous swill of charm and outrageousness.

I am almost overwhelmed with despair.  It’s so hard to keep up one’s hope, to not be terribly saddened.  Perhaps Hillary can stay true to her values and show by her stamina and dignity that sexism and hatred has not won yet again.


Friday June 17 was the last day of school for students in my district.  On Monday, June 13, the day after the deadliest mass shooting in America at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, I began class by reading a letter I wrote to my students.  I decided to share it here as well      ~Christopher Continue reading #WeAreOrlando

Amoris Laetitia: The Joy of Love

Dear Pope Francis,amoris-laetitia

I am appalled at your recent apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) in that it closes the door on same-sex marriage, saying “it cannot be seen as the equivalent of heterosexual unions.”

Can you be serious?  You know gay people.  You embraced your former student and his husband.  As a Catholic myself troubled by Papal proclamations against marriage equality, I was beginning to see more light with your seeming openness. I was hoping the harsh rhetoric pointed at my son would change.  You seemed welcoming to all. Yet, now you close the door on a marriage of my son, who with his husband is raising two adopted children.  They are raising two beautiful children from birth families who were unable to provide the stability and the  commitment to meet their needs.

You said, “Who am I too judge” when referring to gay priests.  You said “love” is indeed a joy.  You ask the church to be inclusive, but now close the door on some folks?  What a disappointment.

There are all kinds of parents, as there are all kinds of families.  In my long career in education I have seen single, adoptive, gay, straight, handicapped, and many other kinds of parents. The human family can come in many colors and shapes. It is wishful thinking to believe that all marriages include wanted children.  Two parents and kids.  That all pregnant mothers care for their bodies while pregnant, and then can care for their children.  Unfortunately that is not true for many different reasons.  Children need homes. And thank God for couples who are willing and able to adopt children from unstable circumstances.


One marriage I have seen up close is my son and his husband.  They have put in untold hours, untold effort into parenting their children. They think family is a major part of their lives.  No pope and no legislator should denigrate their marriage.  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said:

Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition. Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female. That ended as a result of this court’s decision in 1982 when Louisiana’s Head and Master Rule was struck down.

In a New York Times Op-Ed piece on April 23, the former Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, Harris Wofford, wrote about his late life love for another man.  This is after losing his wife of almost 50 years to cancer. He loved her deeply and never believed he was gay. In fact he thinks it should not be asked of people, “pinning them on the wall — straight, gay or in between. I don’t categorize myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness.”


His fiancé Matthew Charlton, whom he will marry on April 30th, said in a Washington Post article “Why wouldn’t you want to marry the person you have fallen in love with?”  For Wofford the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made him consider marriage again. He was moved by Justice Kennedy’s majority decision and President Obama’s reference to the dignity of marriage in that decision which legalized same-sex marriage. Yes, indeed. The dignity of marriage.  For the Pope to use the infelicitous descriptor of homosexual marriage not rising (a hierarchy?) to the dignity of heterosexual marriage is appalling.  Who is he to judge?  Who is anyone to judge?




As Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked during the hearings for Obergefell, (I paraphrase from my faulty memory), are there whole milk marriages and skim milk marriages? Are there gradations in marriage? Or is marriage today what it should be, the commitment to love someone above all others.  To make a family!

A God who created some people one way and some people another cannot want discrimination perpetuated in His/Her name.  So Pope Francis you are way off base.  I believe a loving Jesus would be dismayed with your words. The Church that helped form my family is pushing us away, yet again.  That is both wrong and very sad.

Yours truly,

Linda Drajem