Even in my morning coffee group of Hillary supporters there are those who question why Hillary keeps talking about the election. Incredibly one or two have even suggested she should just disappear from the scene. One even bought into the lunacy that Biden or Sanders could have beaten Trump conveniently forgetting neither one has ever shown they can win a primary.
Interestingly they never suggest the election was fair. They all agree Hillary was targeted by the Russians, there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, there was Comey, and most even agree Sanders refusing to endorse right after he lost, as Hillary graciously did for Obama in 2008, implicitly left the impression for many of his supporters he condoned continuing attacks on her.
The fact is Hillary lost and that won’t change. But the 2016 election with all its weird twists and turns will be written about in history books for future generations to study. There are Congressional investigations, an FBI investigation, a Special Counsel in the Justice Department, and the President all either investigating and/or talking and tweeting about the election. Still some say Hillary shouldn’t.
Many have suggested she could shut down any discussion of the election when asked by the media or by interviewers when she speaks to various groups around the nation. Some even suggest she shouldn’t be speaking at all. In other words allow the rest of the world to continue to talk, give their opinions and put their slant on what happened, and she should sit back silently. Advice given to women for years.
There are clearly many sides to what happened in the campaign. As a volunteer I wasn’t privy to insider discussions. My name came up numerous times in the Podesta hacked emails but was there in reference to columns I wrote passed on through his email. As a volunteer and fundraiser I followed the campaign closely; watching as Clinton’s Campaign Manager, Robby Mook, was savaged during the first few primary losses and elevated to hero status when the campaign won across the South. He again became the goat when Hillary lost the election by less than 100,000 votes in a few states causing her to lose the Electoral College even though winning the popular vote by nearly three million. While there is a saying ‘hindsight is always 20/20’ in this case it isn’t that simple. Even had Hillary gone back to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan as some have suggested they haven’t been able to answer what she could have told those voters? What could she have said to counter the lies Trump told them? Those voters were desperate enough to believe the lies about reopening coal mines and factories and getting all their jobs back. The Obama economic recovery while great hadn’t yet reached those voters and Hillary ran a campaign, and rightly so, saying she would continue the Obama economy and build on it till everyone benefited from it. That clearly wasn’t what those voters wanted to hear.
The media’s fascination with Hillary’s emails was totally frustrating to me as a volunteer so I can’t imagine what it was like for her as the candidate or for the paid campaign staff who had to deal with it every day. Clearly it was a mistake to use the private server and that was compounded by not immediately doing a full mea culpa; instead doing that tortured press conference at the UN. But many believe if it wasn’t emails it would have been something else. The emails were just so easy for the media to latch onto. The NY Times broke the email story with a blaring headline which was reported in papers and media outlets across the nation. The Baltimore Sun ran a headline “Hillary Clinton may have broken federal laws: NY Times.” Turns out she didn’t break the law.
We all watched the campaign, both the primary and the election, witnessing its ups-and-downs. We watched missteps and mistakes Hillary made including the one where the New York Times reported on Hillary’s comments at Nancy Reagan’s funeral with the headline “Hillary Clinton Lauds Reagans on AIDS. A Backlash Erupts.” It took a few days to get past that. But that happens in campaigns and she did get past it.
So on November 8th Hillary Clinton after having to deal with Russian hacking, the media’s lack of serious reporting on it, and Comey’s news conferences, did what many thought impossible; she lost to Donald Trump. She did what 16 Republicans and the media assumed impossible when they lost to Donald Trump in the Republican primary.
Since November 8th we have found out just about everything Hillary said about Trump during the campaign was right. In one debate she warned the American public “I think that this is such an unprecedented situation we’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 intelligence agencies – civilian and military – who have all concluded that these espionage attacks come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our elections. I find that deeply disturbing.” Seems until recently she was the only one who found it so disturbing. The media generally let it slide until after the election finding it easier to continue to focus on her emails.
So today we reached a time when people and some in the media suggest Hillary should stop talking about the election. They imply she should be the good sport, the good woman, and turn the other cheek not responding to questions about the election. Disregarding what others say about it which in many cases is constant criticism of her and her campaign. She should just be quiet and allow the FBI, the Justice Department Special Counsel, the investigating committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives to talk and not comment. Somehow I think if Hillary were a man she wouldn’t be asked to in essence; ‘sit down and be quiet’.
Knowing what I do about Hillary having followed her career since first having met and heard her in Little Rock in 1990 I am sure there is much about the campaign she would like to stop talking about. Had she lost a fair election that is most likely what she would have done.
But reality is this election will be talked about and written about for years to come. Based on what we are hearing from President Trump and seeing him do; firing FBI Director Comey and removing the United States from the climate pact among other inane acts; the chapter in a future history book could be titled “How a foreign government interfered in a US election helping a moron steal the Presidential election from the most qualified person ever to run for the office.” It will include the names of the people who will have been indicted and what they were indicted for. It will talk about an FBI Director who was fooled/spooked by soviet fake news and everyday American voters who were fooled by it all.
So suggesting Hillary stop talking about what is on the tongue of every American and people around the world comes off as both misogynistic and sexist. Asking the woman who got three million more votes than the moron sitting in the oval office to walk away reeks of the same things. Asking the woman who has spent her life fighting the good fight for women, children, healthcare, economic equality for families, minorities and the LGBT community to stay silent is in one word ‘outrageous’.
Hillary did the right thing on election night. She graciously conceded and made the required phone call. She even attended the moron’s inauguration. She has been watching as the Democratic National Committee, for which she raised millions of dollars, flounders as it apparently bows to the will of the person she defeated by nearly four million votes and who proudly says he is not a member of the Democratic Party. I am for everyone whether they supported Clinton, Sanders, Biden, O’Malley or anyone else who is willing to speak out as a Democrat and fight for Democrats to join and work within the Party. But being willing to identify as a Democrat shouldn’t be considered a very high bar to meet.
The time has come for us to celebrate Hillary and not attack her for continuing to speak out. After all she is a brilliant woman with a wealth of experience the nation and the world can benefit from. Judging from her commencement speech to the Wellesley class of 2017 her sense of humor is still intact as is her passion to support others and encourage them to strive for excellence and service. She has formed ‘Onward Together’ a PAC showing how ready she is to support the causes she cares about and help younger generations wanting to participate in the political process to succeed.
Hillary didn’t hurt the nation when she lost; the voters who cast their ballot for the moron now in the White House did that. There are 66 million of us who voted for her for many different reasons. I did so because I wanted to see a highly qualified woman in the White House. It was time for a brilliant, experienced, compassionate woman to follow the first African American President into the history books. My vote was cast for the woman with the ability to actually become the ‘leader of the free world’. The woman who stood for fairness, decency, economic equality and civil and human rights for all.
So what Trump and his campaign did to her; he did to us. Any collusion with the Russians against Hillary was collusion against us. He may have destroyed Hillary’s dream of becoming President but for the moment he destroyed our dreams for a better nation and a better world. But like Hillary we don’t give up, we get up; we fight back, we resist, and we make it clear to the rest of the world the people of the United States are better than the person temporarily sitting in the White House.