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.
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.
For 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.
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.