45 Reasons I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton

August 1, 2016 § 8 Comments

Those of you who know me, know I love lists…lists of favorite authors, musicians, things to change, possible essays to write…ha, many of my blog posts include lists. I love lists because they:

1) order my chaos

2) reassure me

3) help me remember the important stuff.

Anyway, I have a list about Hillary Clinton. A list of things I admire about her. Things that reassure me she’s moving in a direction I care a great deal about. I campaigned for Bernie because I thought he could get us there faster. But Bernie didn’t win, Hillary did. The good news is because of the Bernie movement, the democratic party has been influenced significantly and become more Sandersesque. Also, my support for Hillary doesn’t feel like dramatic move, and it isn’t because she is the lesser of two evils—I am voting for her because she’s brilliant and passionate and for as long as I’ve known her, she’s been fighting for human rights.

This list of her strengths is not necessarily new, there are plenty available, but few in social media circulation, probably because negativity tends to attract more attention. My list is a compilation of things that matter to me and have been fundamental to my supporting her. And because I’ve heard enough people say, since the Democratic National Convention that they were surprised to learn she’s done so much good, I’ve decided to add my list to the mix.

Oh, and no, I don’t keep a list of her fuck-ups because those are everywhere ad nauseam. That doesn’t mean I don’t have concerns, I do. But c’mon. Does anyone really think a presidential candidate exists anywhere who wouldn’t have some significant errors in judgment and decisions they wish they could take back? You don’t get to that level of leadership sitting on the couch eating ding-dongs. You get there by taking risks. And yeah, sometimes risks turn into big fuck-ups. What matters to me is: Do the positives outweigh the negatives, and is the candidate working for economic and social equality for all? For Hillary the answer is a sonorous YES! For trump, who’s name doesn’t even deserve capitalization, it’s ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

So, please don’t comment about her investigations, her failed real estate ventures, your conspiracy theories and propaganda, your hate or your cynicism or I’ll delete you. There’s been more than enough of that. I’ve read thousands of essays, and comments regarding Hillary’s FLAWS. I’ve read them and considered them and NOW I want to move my energy into what Hillary Clinton does well—WHAT WORKS. Because there are far more positives than people have ever given her credit for, and I don’t know about you, but my confidence and decision making improves when people focus on what I do well, rather than how I fuck up.

Ok. Here’s my list of “45 Reasons I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton”:

1) As a young girl, she applied to NASA and was shocked when she was told that girls were not accepted for the astronaut program.

hillary small girl

2) As a teenager, she organized a baby-sitting group to look after the children of migrant Mexican workers in rural Illinois.

3) Hillary and her college friends were self-confessed “wonks,” the kind of young women who hung around their dorm rooms debating issues all night.

hillary with other college girls

 

4) After graduating from Wellesley, Hillary worked in Alaska, sliming fish in a fish processing plant. The plant fired her and then shut down after she complained about unhealthy conditions.

5) Hillary was one of 27 women in a class of 235 at Yale Law.

6) During her second year in law school, Hillary volunteered at Yale’s Child Study Center, learning about new research on early childhood brain development, as well as New Haven Hospital, where she took on cases of child abuse and the city Legal Services, providing free legal service to the poor.

7) Upon graduation from law school, she served as staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

8) While she was at Wellesley in 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated. In response, she worked with the college to organize a peaceful two-day strike.

9) She was on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action. She worked with the Yale Child Study Center, contributing to the Beyond the Best Interests of the Child, a study of child placement laws.

hillary young adult

10) In 1973, she wrote “Children Under the Law”, which examines Children’s legal rights.  An analysis of her article is here: “What Hillary Rodham Clinton Really Said About Children’s Rights and Child Policy”.

11) President Jimmy Carter (whom I deeply admired) appointed her to the board of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978.

12) She cofounded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families advocacy group.

13) She was twice named to the list of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.”

14) She is the first, first lady to hold a post graduate degree.

15) In 1993, she testified before Congress, on health insurance reform in September. While the plan was attacked and it never came to a vote in the Senate or House, Hillary, as First Lady, raised national consciousness about the problem of citizens who lived without any medical insurance. No small thing.

16) She fought hard for the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997, a federal effort that provided state support for those children whose parents were unable to provide them with health coverage.

17) On health care reform, she was a fierce advocate for a more progressive bill. Very early in the process, a chief lobbyist told her the bill would be too tough to pass, and she said “there are children in America dying every day because they don’t have health care, and you want me to back down because we think this will be hard? It is our job to fight for those dying kids, don’t tell me to give up before we even make the fight.”

18. She set into motion the first American talks with Iran since the 1979 revolution.

19. She sought to increase the research funding for illnesses such as prostate cancer and childhood asthma at the National Institute of Health.

20. She gave voice to the illnesses that were affecting veterans of the Gulf War, with the possibility of their suffering the toxic side effects of chemical “Agent Orange used in warfare.

21. She led an effort, the Foster Care Independence bill, to help unadopted children transition to adulthood.

22. With Attorney General Janet Reno, she helped create the Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women office.

23. During her trips to Africa (1997), Asia (1995), South America (1995) Hillary emphasized “a civil society” of human rights as a road to democracy.

24. She was also one of the few international figures who spoke out against the treatment of Afghani women by Islamist Taliban that had seized control of Afghanistan.

25. She was an active supporter of the United States Agency for International Development, often awarding its loans to small enterprises begun by women in developing nations that aided the economic growth in impoverished communities.

26. She authored books! For the spoken word version of her book, It Takes a Village, Hillary was the recipient of a Grammy Award. And her memoir, Living History, sold over 3 million copies and was translated into many foreign languages.

27. Her 1995 speech at the Beijing women’s conference when she stated, “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

28. On Nov. 7, 2000, she won the U.S. Senate seat for New York State.

29.  She sat on four Senate Committees with a total of eight subcommittee assignments: Senate Committee on Armed Services with three subcommittee assignments, on Airland, on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, and on Readiness and Management Support; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee with three subcommittee assignments on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property, and Nuclear Safety, on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water and on Superfund, Waste Control, and Risk Assessment; the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, with two subcommittee assignments, on Aging and on Children and Families; and the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

30) After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center, Hillary worked to secure $21.4 billion in funding to assist clean up and recovery and to provide health tracking for first responders and volunteers at Ground Zero and to create grants for redevelopment.

31) As an advocate for her state, Senator Clinton led a bipartisan effort to bring broadband access to rural communities; co-sponsored the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act; included language in the Energy Bill to provide tax exempt bonding authority for environmentally conscious construction projects; and introduced an amendment calling for funding of new job creation to repair, renovate and modernize public schools.

32) She was a vocal opponent of the Bush Administration’s tax cuts.

33) In 2007-2008 she proved to be the first woman in history who occupied a position of elective national office as a member of a national party to enter and remain in a presidential primary race to the end of the season.

34) When Obama won the necessary number of delegate pledges. Hillary delivered a moving concession speech in Washington, D.C. emphasizing that she was not interested in having a cult personality following, but instead she’d rather achieve dramatic change in the executive branch. She endorsed the candidacy of Obama. Throughout the fall, she campaigned vigorously on his behalf and after he won the 2008 election, he named her as his Secretary of State.

35) In January of 2009, Hillary became the 67th Secretary of State, the third woman and the only former FLOTUS to serve in this capacity. She served as the primary advisor on foreign affairs to the President and enacted presidential policy decisions through her department.

36) A strong supporter of fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan, stating its long-time security as crucial to global safety, she forcefully urged Harmad Kharzi into assuming a more pro-active role in reducing the terrorist influence of the Taliban in his country.

37) As Secretary of State, Hillary focused special attention on the international rights of women, economic empowerment in financially depressed regions of the world, and held “town hall” type meetings with direct questioning from the public, in the United States and these countries: Manama, Bahrain, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Astana, Kazakhstan, Melbourne, Australia, Christchurch, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Pristina, Kosovo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Islamabad, Pakistan (twice), Tbilisi, Georgia, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Doha, Qatar, Manila, Philippines, Lahore, Pakistan, Moscow, Russia, Abuja, Nigeria, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nairobi, Kenya, Bangkok, Thailand, New Delhi, India, Mumbai, India, Baghdad, Iraq, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monterrey, Mexico, Brussels, Belgium,  Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan.

38) She has been outspoken on the need for a ban of assault rifles and was a supporter of more rigorous background checks for those who seek to own weapons.

39) Recently, Politifact, a Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking organization, gave Hillary the best truth-telling record of any of the 2016 presidential candidates.

40. She played a leading role in achieving a cease-fire in Israel’s 2012 conflict with Hamas.

41. Hillary believes climate change is real and trump dismisses it as a minor problem.

42. On June 6, 2016, Hillary became the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party and the first woman in the United States 240-year history to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party.

43) In her DNC speech she said Sanderesque things like this: “I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should.” And then, she promised to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling by constitutional amendment, if necessary. She also upbraided corporations that offshore jobs and game the tax system, saying, “It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.” And she added, “I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.”

44) At the DNC, she also said:

“If you believe that companies should share profits, not pad executive bonuses, join us. If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage, and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty, join us. If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care, join us. If you believe that we should say no to unfair trade deals, that we should stand up to China, that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers, join us. If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman’s right to make her own health-care decisions, then join us. And, yes, yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay, join us. That’s how we’re going to make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.”

45. She’ll be nominating three Supreme Court Justices, and a person with her background and history for social justice is the kind of person I want making those nominations.

End of list….though I may add more…

When I look at this list of Hillary’s accomplishments, I see someone I would have liked to hang out with, someone I would have loved to talk long and deep about politics and life and motherhood and how despite years and years of accusations, investigations and ridicule, she never gives up, she still shows up.

I’d want to ask her where she gets her endurance.

I see a brilliant woman who has spent decades in public service, unrelenting in her commitment to the poor and middle class.

I see a human who has genuinely fought for progressive values her entire life.

I believe Hillary Clinton has a keen sense of her place in history and she wants to leave a legacy the world and her granddaughters are proud of.

I want to see Hillary Clinton walk into the oval office and sit in that presidential chair with her granddaughter in her lap, and say, “Well, damn, Charlotte, we may not have landed on the moon, but look where we are!”

hillary thoughtful

 

 

 

References:

Gerth, Jeff and Don Van Natta Jr. 2007. Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

King, Norman. Hillary: Her True Story. New York: A Birch Lane Press Book.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-lux/the-hillary-clinton

Osborne, Claire G. 1997. The Unique Voice of Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York: Avon Books.

Sheehy, Gail. 2000. Hillary’s Choice. New York: Ballantine Publishing Group.

Solomon, John. “What You May Not Know About Hillary Clinton.” The Washington Post. December 9, 2007. Accessed: February 23, 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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