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

 


February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Neve Gordon
Israeli Labor Party Adopts the Apartheid Mantra
Kristin Kolb
The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail