FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hillary: Another Feminist Perspective

by LAURA SANTINA

Chelsea Clinton recently forwarded me an article by New York feminist Robin Morgan in support of her mother’s candidacy. Though Chelsea and I have never met, I somehow ended up on one of her thousands of listserves. Morgan’s piece listed contemptible misogynistic behaviors practiced in various locations around the world and in different periods of history. By way of somewhat questionable logic, she bundled them all together as proof that Hillary is the best candidate, and angrily denouncing naysayers, fired it off.

I would like to support Hillary. I am a feminist and Hillary’s candidacy represents the chance to witness the shattering of the last glass ceiling. Like many of my ilk, Hillary represents our unrealized or postponed opportunities, and for our mothers and grandmothers, the never-dared-to-dream dreams of roads untraveled. I would like to support Hillary, but I can’t.

It’s not the acerbic, attack-dog demeanor of her campaign. It’s not her discomforting air of entitlement or her unfortunate lack of charm. I’m not much of a charmer myself. It isn’t even her embarrassingly childish proclamations such as, “I’m ready to lead!” or the “red phone” fairy tale. After all, her campaign rhetoric fits the Checkers speech mode established by Richard Nixon in 1952 and which, according to George Packer, still dominates our elections.

I can’t support Hillary because I don’t know who she is and I don’t think she does either. I followed a trail of clues in search of Hillary Rodham Clinton and found myself at the feet of a political party hack whose core values are—and have been for a long time—a liquid gas poised to morph into anybody or anything it takes to win.

Hillary’s friend, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, was active and at her side in all the photo-ops at the start of her campaign. Hillary was apparently completely comfortable with Madeline’s part in Bill Clinton’s policy of the seven year sanctions against Iraq which caused the deaths of 567,000 children (the lowest approximation), comfortable with Madeline’s statement when asked about these numbers: “The price was worth it.” She was comfortable until a lot of 2008 voters let her know they were unhappy about the whole Iraq affair, including her vote to attack the country. She was comfortable with Madeline until hordes of young people and new Democrats came rushing in to support Barrack Obama. From one day to the next Hillary switched horses and Madeline disappeared.

From the start, Hillary not only proudly assumed credit for everything that happened when her husband was the President, but absurdly added her years as First Lady to her political resume. We knew that her actual “experience” started with her position as a U.S. senator, but, like the plumber’s wife who talks handily about clogged toilets even though she has never wielded a plunger, we overlooked it. It was close enough. After all, she could have been the president if she’d had the chance. However, when she came up against real, live, disgruntled Pennsylvania voters who had lost their jobs offshore because of NAFTA, she switched horses, telling us she hadn’t agreed with the NAFTA pact pushed through by her husband, anyway.

Hillary and Bill have always openly supported “free trade” agreements. Hillary was highly comfortable with the fact that Bill and Mark Penn, her chief campaign strategist, were aggressively working to seal the trade agreement deal with Colombia. Lori Wallach of Global Trade Watch expressed dismay with Bill’s “chummy relationship” with a Colombian president whose administration is “under a cloud” for association with paramilitaries, assassinations of hundreds of labor unionists, and the forced displacement of thousands of Afro-Colombians. On the campaign trail Hillary learned that dealing with Colombia was considered not so cool. She switched horses again, and Penn disappeared. The fact that Bill is—and will be in the future—Hillary’s closest advisor in this and other matters, Ms Wallach found to be “extremely disconcerting.” As do I.

I’m afraid that Hillary’s calculated lie about being under sniper attack in Bosnia—which she and Bill continue to write off as a late night memory lapse but which obviously wasn’t because she repeated it three different times at different times of the day—made me cringe. A mother would never willingly take her daughter into a war zone. Even the fuzziest of brains would fade in Chelsea and fade out snipers on the way to the vocal chords. Calculated lying may be endemic to politics and certainly George W. Bush has perfected the art form, but frankly I need (and I think we need) something better.

The sad, hollow Hillary Clinton-as-feminist myth melted down when I learned that she had served for six years on the Wal-Mart Board of Directors while she was the wife of the governor of Arkansas. A feminist, even a Republican feminist, wouldn’t serve on the Wal-Mart Board of Directors. Wal-Mart is not only anti-worker and anti-union, but it is anti-woman. Two thirds of the Wal-Mart employees are women, ten percent are managers. A gender bias class action suit against Wal-Mart on behalf of one million women is currently pending.

There will be a woman president. She may even be Hillary, but I hope not. We can do better. A woman of integrity will step forward. She’ll use “we” instead of “I” when she thinks about the country and when she addresses voters. She won’t be married to an ex-president or carry the burdens or reap the political rewards of his reign. She’ll be more thoughtful, more truthful and more comfortable in her own skin. She won’t lean on or spout the old male-driven military solutions to the country’s problems. She’ll have a political vision, an inspirational, redemptive, feminine vision of peace and social justice that will tap so deeply into our national pulse that we’ll sweep her into office and we’ll all go to work again reinventing our democracy.

In the meantime, we have a highly promising young male alternative.

LAURA SANTINA is a freelance writer who lives in California. She can be reached at: lsantina@sbcglobal.net

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail