Grief is a sacred journey

Why I’ll Vote for Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton (wikipedia)

Hillary Clinton (wikipedia)

My college years began with the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963. In 1968, the year after I graduated, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.  The world felt threatening and unstable. A lot like now.

I was a political science major at Cornell with a focus on Southeast Asia and China.  The mid 1960s were the definition of nasty for China and Vietnam. (I had to use the nasty word.) I also learned the word atrocity.

Hillary Clinton entered college two years later and also majored in political science. Along with many Midwestern girls, our college years exposed us to new views and transformed our beliefs. I focused on anti-Vietnam War work. Clinton focused on social justice.

I loved politics then and still do, but during this election, I’ve been quiet. I’ve also been upset.

Rather than watch live debates and news, I usually read articles the next morning and chose which videos to watch. I began this practice in 2012 when my hearing worsened. Because stress aggravates Meniere’s Disease symptoms of vertigo and deafness, I couldn’t make political phone calls, knock on doors, or attend rallies as I’ve done in the past. I donated money and talked with friends in battleground states. I kept one step removed while I fretted.

Recently, I’ve questioned my silence. On top of an obvious disrespect for democracy, Trump went over the line by excusing sexual abuse, showing disdain for checks and balances, insulting everyone who’s not white or male, calling Clinton a “nasty woman,” and threatening all of us with armed violence if he loses. It’s time to speak up.

Elaine in 1969

Elaine in 1969

Clinton about the same time (Uncyclopedia-Wikia)

Hillary Clinton, 1969 (Uncyclopedia-Wikia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watched the first Democratic presidential debate live, because it promised to be interviews about issues rather than a sparring match. It solidified my comfort with either of the major Democratic candidates. I loved Sander’s policy focus, but felt Clinton was the most highly qualified and trained.

Russian Premier Nikita Khruschev at UN, 1960

Russian Premier Nikita Khruschev at UN, 1960

I’ve watched Hillary Clinton for many years as most of us have. I don’t agree with all her choices, but during this election she’s shown power and poise under fire. She can deal with an aggressive antagonist who reminds me of the Russian dictator Khrushchev who yelled and banged his fist and shoe on the table at a UN meeting in 1960. Like the image of Trump hovering behind Clinton at the second debate, it’s an image I won’t forget.

I know Clinton isn’t perfect, but I don’t know any candidate or human being who is. I know she’s experienced and tested. I resonate with her message.

I look forward to voting for Hillary Clinton. I’m grateful for Bernie Sander’s contribution and trust his influence will continue in a Clinton administration. I remind myself that a presidential election is about more than one office. It’s about appointments for Supreme Court and other federal judges, departmental secretaries, and much more. Clinton will choose qualified people.

Hillary_Clinton_Kaine_Campaign_2016_Facebook_Timeline_CoverI’m grateful to cast a vote for a woman candidate. Although gender hasn’t been the primary issue for me, it’s a big deal. And it’s about time.

I’m grateful to Trump, too, although I choke on those words. He exposed the dark underbelly of politics and many patriarchal institutions. He made us face the anger of the disenfranchised and neglected. He shook us hard and woke us up.

I pray we’ll stay awake. Our country has much healing to do.

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Has this election left you unsettled and upset? Has sharing your views exposed you to hostile responses? My blog focuses on grieving and healing, family and the inner life, but I’ve also shared articles about protesting the Vietnam War and protecting the environment. Thanks to Jill Swenson for encouraging me to speak up.

27 Comments
  1. This is a wonderful and important endorsement Elaine! I share your sentiments, and will promote this at AinA as well! Best regards, Skip

  2. Powerful post Elaine. I’m a fairly opinionated person but have tried desperately to refrain from voicing my political feelings. I’ve been watching this election for almost a year it seems and feel as though you guys are trapped with the same choices we have here. It’s pretty bad when a country has to vote for someone who they find as the lesser of two evils instead of someone they’re thrilled to vote for. ‘Nuff said. That’s my piece, I won’t elaborate here. Suffice it to say, I’m just as concerned as all Americans. I love the USA, and whatever happens in the USA, we are sure to always take the fallout, especially in our dollar and investment savings, particularly atrocious times here for seniors.

    • Debby, I don’t feel I’m voting for the lesser of two evils. I like Hillary Clinton and feel good about voting for her. I don’t think she’s perfect, but humans aren’t perfect. I think she’s highly trained and will do a good job. Politics in general has become uglier and uglier as we’ve let money run the show. I’m sorry that’s happened here and all over the world. I hope it can be modified or reversed. I’m sorry Canada is suffering, too. We are connected by strong chords.

      • Indeed we are. You said a mouthful, ‘politics has become uglier as we let money run the show.’ 🙂

  3. I agree with you both.Thanks, Elaine. Well done.

  4. I agree Elaine – Trump has exposed the underside, the shadow – it is up front and clear, not to be denied …
    I wish the US all the best in the upcoming vote for POTUS ..

    • Now that the underside is exposed, I hope we can deal with it. You’ve had to face so much of this in South Africa, Susan. I hope we can find a nonviolent path, but we’re a long way from that.

  5. This is a good companion piece to my post of two weeks ago: Heart on Fire – Guess Who’s Voted for President!

    You mentioned the assassination of President Kennedy, the announcement of which was reported to my English class during my first year of teaching. This election reminds me that the office of president should be held by someone we admire and respect. Enough said!

    • I agree, Marian. Susan B Anthony would be aghast if we didn’t vote. I agree with her. I’ll never forget those sixties. They tested many naive assumptions and forced me to look more closely at our political system. It’s not a pretty sight. I hope we’ll spend more time working on essential issues rather than focusing on headlines and bashing each other.

  6. I like this quite a lot, Elaine. It’s level and true, which we haven’t seen enough of in campaign coverage.

  7. Elaine,

    I’ve also stayed quiet and have not watched much news, getting everything I need from the newspaper and NPR. But I’ve been fearful about Mr. Trump from the beginning. Having spent two years in post-war Germany, at the age of 4 and 5, I saw the damage that Hitler did have never forgotten what I saw and what I heard. I truly believe that Trump could easily turn into someone as crazed as Hitler.

    I am voting for Hillary. I do not agree with her on all of the issues but I believe that she will carry us through these difficult times. Thanks for this powerful piece.

    • I’ve had these same fears, Joan, and like so many in both political parties, I didn’t believe Trump would be nominated. Violent rhetoric and falsehood stated as fact gets us no closer to solving our huge issues. But we have seen just how angry people are. I don’t agree with Clinton on all issues. For example, she and Pres. Obama seem too quick to send in troops in places and situations where sending soldiers hasn’t done much good. All in all, I am comfortable with my vote. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

  8. Thanks, Elaine, for stating the case so powerfully. I just hope we can heal as a nation after we elect Hillary.

    • I don’t know what it will take to heal the rage and work together, but I hope we can find a way. Staying awake to the big problems seems a good start.

  9. Well written and voiced, Elaine. As a child of the 60’s watching my heroes disappear and my idealism get sobered by realism, I continue to hold onto my dream of a cooperative world. And I realize we cannot change in one swell foop. It is gradual changes with persistance that accomplish success. Not perfection. That’s just another face of extremism.

    • I continue to hold on to that dream, too, Lisa. If we don’t keep on it, it won’t happen. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, but things change if we look back at history. I agree with your words about perfection.

  10. Thanks for this, Elaine. I love the photos, side by side, of you and Hilary. I agree with you. I’m just not brave enough to express my political leanings. I know of at least two of my family members who will not be voting for Hilary. So I’m avoiding those hostile responses but I will be voting.

    • Thanks, Robin. Oh yeah, those hostile responses. The only ones have been from family and only a little hostile from a Bernie or nobody guy. I’m glad I spoke out. We need to keep speaking out because it’s our world and we have to take care of it. Easy to say and hard to know just what to do.

  11. Elaine, I already cast my vote as an absentee ballot a few weeks ago. And I came to the same conclusion you did, including the decision to share my choice.

    I have concerns about Hillary Clinton, but I also believe she’ll be smart, conscientious, and try her best to be the healer we need.

    Love the photos of the two of you the same year. I wrote an op-ed about the Myth of Redemptive Inclusion. Would love to hear your response to that idea.

    • Shirley, I look forward to reading your blog this weekend. I like to hear why people choose what they choose. I have concerns about Clinton, especially a perceived eagerness to send in troops. I agree with the rest of what you’ve said about her. Where is your op-ed? Maybe you linked to it in your blog, and if you did, no need to answer that question.

  12. Good post, Elaine. Anyone reads my blog knows who I’m voting for–and it isn’t for the misogynistic, racist, xenophobe with no experience in politics, no knowledge of the Constitution, and too much admiration for himself! No candidate will ever be perfect because no human is perfect. But HRC is extremely capable and well-informed, and I admire how she’s kept her cool against the man who just gets more despicable by the minute.

    • Thank you, Merril. And thanks for your clear political stance. I admire the same things. I’m sorry to see the election chaos continue, but it would take a lot to change my vote.

  13. Elaine
    Seeing only women voicing, I will throw my 2 cents in.
    Every one has the right to voice, and vote if they so choose.

    While I will agree with some comments, I will disagree about Hillary Clinton being a trustworthy candidate for President or any other office. I attended college in 1968 and fully know the turmoil of those days. I think every college and many high school students voiced some form of social discord. The issues then were not clearly defined just like now.

    I have grown up near Cornell and have family members who attended school there. They for the most part do not share your love of Hillary and her antics. With every day seeing new damaging emails, videos, people jumping ship, it leaves things even more unsettled. THis once great country has become a laughing stock to the rest of the world that only tolerate us if we give them money. It is time for that to end, on all levels. Until this country can take care of EVERY NATURAL BORN CITIZEN, it has no room or reason to take in illegals from any country. We bow down to no one. Lock our borders and send the dissension back to where it came. We have strong allies, support them and keep us out of armed conflict.

    Trump has so many followers because these people are tired, fed up with all the lies, and dishonest government. Programs we never wanted or needed being rammed down everyone’s throat and being fined if you resist. It is time to take back control. I believe it will happen in 9 days when Trump wins by numbers never seen before.

    I hope everyone on your side of the fence is adult to not escalate or start stronger violence as your heads explode. If you all are the peace loving kinder generation and group you portray, its time to step up your game. It will take every one working for a common goal of making this country viable again.

    And I agree with Trump, question the results unless its so huge there is no question. That is what every one of the other candidates have done in the past. NO where is it written that one take things at face value just because.

    As for Hillary being nice, not on your life. I have seen the interviews from secret service, police and military people about what a nasty mouth and way she has once the cameras are off. Which is why she takes cell phones away from her staff at events until they leave the venue.

    and in closing

    what ya all gonna do if they put the cuffs on Hillary before the election?

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