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Why I Wish Hillary Clinton Had Won

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Photo by Mike Mozart | CC BY 2.0

I have to be honest.

I have to be honest and tell you that if Hillary Clinton were president, I wouldn’t have this to-the-bone dis-ease right now. Sure, I’d be ashamed. But I had grown accustomed to this shame, familiar with its unremitting path, a loop from my head to my heart, from my heart to my head. A thought igniting a feeling, a feeling igniting a thought. And I’d be outraged. Outraged again and again by people who say, “Never forget,” memorializing the 9/11 dead without a sliver of compassion for and an acknowledgment of the suffering of countless men, women, and children who live in Afghanistan, Iraq, the countries the U.S. invaded after airplanes were used as missiles in NYC and D.C.

Still, my neurons might not be firing this particular skin-crawling icky-ness I endure when I see a video of Donald Trump, when I read about his behavior. He’s just so exceedingly repulsive. Even more repulsive than George Bush. Yes. Even. More. I conjure an image of G. Bush, clearing brush on his ranch or landing on that aircraft carrier in a flight suit, an ejection harness between his legs to emphasize his package. Then images of Trump’s rear end as he plays golf. Images of Trump, his pasty, bloated face, the mouth (that my sister Laura says looks like a rectum) poised to consume a bucket of fried chicken. Trump, grabbing pussy. Sure, Bill Clinton was a pussy grabber, but he was a smoother pussy grabber. Just as Obama was a smoother war criminal than G. Bush, smother even than B. Clinton.

Recall Obama’s range of smooth. His statement in the wake of yet another murder of a black man. About Trayvon Martin. That Trayvon could have been his son. Obama become teary. Nice touch. This is the preference, smooth and articulate. As Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford said, Obama wasn’t the lesser evil. Obama was the more effective evil.

Now, picture Trump in front of the cameras, self-absorbed, as if he’s celebrating the opening of yet another Trump hotel, selling himself, selling his brand. In Texas, surveying Hurricane Harvey’s destruction, Trump said, “I just want to say: We love you. You are special… What a crowd. What a turnout.”

Reminds me of G. Bush’s mom, Barbara Bush, the disconnect. Her comments about Hurricane Katrina victims housed in the Astrodome:

What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this – this is working very well for them.
When asked about the war in Iraq, B. Bush said “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

Reminds me of a Ronald Reagan controversy, the school lunch program:

…though the purchase was privately financed, the same day that the USDA announced the cost-cutting proposal for school lunches, the White House purchased $209,508 worth of new china and place settings with the presidential seal embossed in gold.

There are specific horrors to being American when you become aware of the truth, when you’ve thrown off the mythology you were taught from the time you were teachable. Knowing this System was built on the inhumanity of slavery. Knowing that racism is pervasive, institutional. Seeing the links in a chain of evil and knowing that presidents are welded into these links. Trump is the emperor now, one without a thread of democratic fiber woven into his clothing—the garments other links-in-chief have worn to conceal the hideousness of imperialism and capitalism.

Everything’s relative though. Trump is so disgustingly repugnant that Hillary Clinton’s cackle, as creepy as it is, possibly could become contagious.

Meanwhile she’s out there, signing and selling her book. THE BOOK, What Happened, her assessment of why she lost the election. No self-examination. No accountability. Just page after page of blaming something, someone.

This is the real reason I wish she’d won: If Hillary Clinton were president, we would be spared her pathetic excuses for losing.

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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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