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Wed Feb 10, 2016, 02:09 PM

My gratitude to Hillary

The first Presidential Campaign I participated in was 1964, when I carried a sign that said "Bury Goldwater" to a Lyndon Johnson rally at the University of Minnesota, with my older sisters carrying a larger "LBJ for the USA!" banner.

The first Presidential Caucus I attended (still too young to vote, though) was 1972. My stepfather took me, even though he knew I was a McGovern supporter, and he supported Humphrey.

Significantly, that was also one year after the House of Representatives approved the Equal Rights Amendment 354-24, and the Senate approved it 84-8. Think about those numbers for a minute.

It was also the last Minnesota DFL caucus before the 1973 Supreme Court handed down Roe V. Wade, and everyone sensed that was coming.

The first Democratic Presidential candidate I got the chance to vote for was Jimmy Carter, in 1976. The DFL District Convention that year (yes, I was a delegate from my Precinct,) was a shitnado of chaos and conflict, thanks to the MCCL delegates attempting to derail the platform process with their multiple anti-abortion planks. (MCCL = Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Google it. Long and revolting history, and I was there from the beginning. Got its momentum in the district that would one day be represented by none other than ol' Crazy-Eyes Bachman herself.)

By that time, too, Phyllis Schlafly and the other helots of the patriarchy had fluttered down and swooped out of their cave to land on the necks of any number of former supporters and fence-sitters on ERA. Within two years, state ratifications would grind to a halt, and in 1979 the recission bills started popping up in states that had already ratified.

1980 was the year of "The Patriarchy Strikes Back." We watched the progress already made begin to erode, faster and faster with every year.

Even so, women kept pushing. The list of inspirational leaders who kept on in the face of the growing backlash is long, and their work many times salvaged measures of victory from tidal waves of intended defeat.

Hillary is one of those women. She went to law school, became a Congressional counsel, determinedly pursuing a self-charted course to a political career, negotiating her personal life on her own terms, and standing up with intelligence and determination to more than FOUR DECADES of vicious, calculated, sexist opposition from the patriarchy. She modeled grace under fire uncountable times. She beat the establishment at its own game, again and again. She used the tools at hand: negotiation, leverage, compromise, deal-making, horse-trading.

She has always been her own woman and steadfastly lived her own vision of feminism and the success possible for women in a patriarchal culture. Others who claim feminist ideological leadership, with differing visions, have tried to co-opt her to their version of "what is a feminist" and reviled her with "no true Scotsman" attacks when she kept steering her course based on HER vision.

I met Hillary in 1992 when she swung through Minnesota with Ira Magaziner to do some policy work with the Clinton campaign. I was a Harkin supporter, but she impressed the hell outta me. I wished SHE were the one running for President. She understood how government functions, and, more importantly, how those functions affect the real lives of real people, especially the vulnerable and marginalized. She "got" all of the policy goals our Jobs Now Coalition group and its allies were pushing, and promised to take them back to the campaign.

It's always hard to tell, once ideas get fed into the sausage-making hopper, where their traces are in the eventual product, but I had then, and still have, good reason to believe she kept that promise.

If Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee, I will work my ass off for her. I believe she would be a good Chief Executive, and so many light-years better than the toxic clowns in the GOP car that it would become a matter of life or death to elect her rather than any of them.

If she becomes President, I believe she will work hard to stave off the worst depredations of the ideological nutbags, overcome the obstructionism of Congress (with, probably, just slightly less success than Obama has had in that area,) and make small increments of progress toward a more equitable, functional, sustainable America. Small increments are not to be despised, they tend to be less vulnerable to backlash, more sustainable, and often have surprising cumulative impact down the road. Another Clinton presidency would be anything but a disaster for America.

And as "America's first woman President," I would cry tears of joy at her inauguration, too. Say what you like about symbolism, it has power, and this one is long, long, LONG overdue.

But I'm still voting for Bernie in the NM Primary, and hoping to vote for him in November.

Sustainable as small increments of change are, there is also an important role and a strong effect to be had from scaring the hell outta the Oligarchy. (See: Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 1932-1945) That, too, is long, long, LONG overdue.

And as much as I respect Hillary's integrity to her own vision of feminism, and her assessment of what it's possible to achieve in the arena of government in pursuit of equity, function, and sustainability, I have my own vision, my own priorities, and my own beliefs about what is possible.

Bernie Sanders better aligns with a broader array of those beliefs, and better represents my vision, as a Democrat who grew up in the 1960s and came of age in the early 1970s. Yes, even the "feminism" part of those beliefs, because MY vision of feminism is grounded in awareness of the interlocking agendas of patriarchy and oligarchy.

I am not going to participate in any discussions that bash either candidate. I believe such discussions, well-intended, sincere and passionate though they may be, are counter-productive at best, to both candidates. In the short term, during the primary process, and certainly in the longer term when we go up against the money of the machine, they will weaken us.

I believe it is possible to contest this primary as a fight of ideas and vision, and WIN, no matter who the nominee is. I also believe it's possible to contest this primary as a fight of memes and mud, and LOSE, no matter who the nominee is.

I have no illusions that this post will change anything on DU. I'm putting it in my Journal because when I acknowledge gratitude, I benefit from that acknowledgment.

unequivocally,
Bright

16 replies, 1471 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply My gratitude to Hillary (Original post)
TygrBright Feb 2016 OP
1000words Feb 2016 #1
TygrBright Feb 2016 #3
one_voice Feb 2016 #2
TygrBright Feb 2016 #4
bettyellen Feb 2016 #5
MineralMan Feb 2016 #6
H2O Man Feb 2016 #7
Tom Rinaldo Feb 2016 #8
cyberswede Feb 2016 #9
Fumesucker Feb 2016 #10
longship Feb 2016 #11
TygrBright Feb 2016 #14
farleftlib Feb 2016 #12
TygrBright Feb 2016 #16
frylock Feb 2016 #13
erlewyne Feb 2016 #15

Response to TygrBright (Original post)


Response to 1000words (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 02:32 PM

3. YVW. Thanks for the K&R!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 02:13 PM

2. Nice.

K&R

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Response to one_voice (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:07 PM

4. Thank you! n/t

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:11 PM

5. Thanks for this: "I am not going to participate in any discussions that bash either candidate."

 

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:15 PM

6. Very nicely done!

Thanks for posting a truly original post! We need more of that here.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:18 PM

7. Outstanding!

Very well said! It was a delight to read this powerful essay.

And while it doesn't change everything on DU, it definitely is a welcome change, in and of it's self. Thank you for this.

Recommended.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:21 PM

8. An outstanding OP and personal statement. I gladly K&R this.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:43 PM

9. Great post - happy to give it a rec.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:48 PM

10. Thank you for giving me something to think about

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 04:01 PM

11. What a wonderful and heartfelt post.

It is always good to relate to personal experiences. Thank H2OMan for pointing me here. I agree. It is one of the best I've read in a while here.

Kudos to you!

And have a heart, although you seem to already have a rather large one. Always a good sign, my friend. The least I can do is give you a small token of appreciation.

My best to you.

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Response to longship (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 05:15 PM

14. Thank you most kindly!

To you, and the other DUers who've "hearted" me, a big "MWAH!" of appreciation.

And for the kind words, as well.

gratefully,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 04:07 PM

12. K&R

 

I am no fan of HRC but I do respect her strength and determination and recognize that she has had to put up with megatons of hatefulness that would have felled a lesser woman. From her days on the campaign trail and through both of WJC's terms in office right on through the ridiculously puerile and offensive Monicagate, I often spoke of her as the poster child for grace under fire. When people attacked her for not leaving her husband, I knew it wasn't weakness that kept her in the marriage and I said so. I was pleased when she decided to run for office on her own because I knew she is not someone who was born to, or who aspired to, play second fiddle to any man. She's got brains and then some and I wouldn't have expected any less than achieving success that was hers and hers alone.

I am also voting for Bernie Sanders in the primary, and I will vote for HRC over a republican in the general but it won't be easy for me. It is past time for one but I can wait for the first female president.

If anything could change the primary infighting it would be what you wrote, but thank you for helping me step back from my usual very vocal distaste for Hillary 2016 and remember what an amazing person she is.

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Response to farleftlib (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 11, 2016, 02:52 AM

16. Thank you for this reply.

It's important to respect and acknowledge the intensity of our feelings, both positive and negative, and the investment we have in change for the better.

Being able to step past the feeling layer while maintaining the integrity of our vision takes another whole level of commitment and discipline.

appreciatively,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 04:20 PM

13. Thank you for sharing!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 05:33 PM

15. I enjoyed your post

I'm a little older than you - drafted in '68.
My favorite abbreviation was FTA (? the army).

Hated LBJ (well, ... I didn't like him). He
had to part the presidency because of a
guilty conscious. He killed a lot of GI's.

just like GW.

Go Bernie

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