A letter to anyone interested in the US election
Perhaps the Rolling Stones said it best. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find. You get what you need.” Except we’re not talking rock and roll here. We’re talking politics, and if my American friends – Canadian too – will forgive me, I would like to offer some heartfelt advice on the presidential race.
For God’s sake give Hillary a chance!
Never, in all my years of covering politics, have I seen a politician demonized as much as Hillary Rodham Clinton. To listen to the hate-charged venom of her critics, you’d think she eats babies for breakfast, consorts with the devil and was an ex-member of the Charles Manson gang. “Lock her up! Lock her up!” they scream at Trump rallies implying she committed some heinous crime for which she’s gone unpunished.
I beg to point out that Hillary hasn’t been convicted of anything despite being investigated to death by the media, politicians out to build their careers at the expense of hers, a panel of judges in the alleged Whitewater affair and a Congressional committee regarding the Benghazi attack as well as a rogue presidential candidate, who last week scurrilously suggested her fate should be left to the gun-toting members of the National Rifle Association and their arsenal of automatic weapons.
What are they going to suggest next – a lynching? Don’t you think it’s time to put some perspective on this crazed hate-fest before something happens that we all regret with the potential to destabilize American politics at a time when world politics themselves are on the abyss of destabilization?
So back to the beginning. Hillary Clinton has not been convicted of anything. On the contrary, she has had an extraordinarily successful career that has seen her rise from a feminist, anti-Vietnam War activist and civil rights movement supporter at Wellesley College and a rising political star. Not long later, as she put it, “I chose to follow my heart instead of my head,” and married another rapidly rising political star, Bill Clinton, who was then running for governor in his home seat in Arkansas. Together the two were a dynamite political team and Hillary played a key role in Bill’s rise to president and a strong, if controversial, force in his presidency thereafter.
We all know the rest, from being elected a New York Senator twice, appointed US Secretary of State by President Obama and the humiliation of being cuckolded in the Oval Office by a White House intern yet incredibly maintaining her composure and political career despite the indignity committed by her philandering husband.
Hillary Clinton is one remarkable woman, but like the rest of us flawed, and in the cruel world of politics, her enemies know how to exploit her flaws, both fairly and unfairly, and in many cases, viciously.
Case-in-point – she can’t be trusted. This is the oldest political throwaway line in the books. Can any politician be trusted? If you ask people on the street you know the answer you’ll get 999 times out of a thousand and you can disregard this criticism accordingly. The Benghazi raid? What is the Secretary of State supposed to do? Call the Benghazi embassy every night to make sure they’ve locked the doors and turned the lights out? Ridiculous! Her home email server? A bad lapse in judgment for sure and she has been rightfully criticized for it. But can you imagine how 24/7 busy the US Secretary of State must be? So for convenience sake she sets up a confidential email server in her home. Even Bernie Sanders refused to criticize her for that.
But let’s get down to the real nitty-gritty of Hillary criticism, her gender. Poll-after-poll-after poll says Hillary is least popular, or more hated if you will, by men. Especially older, less educated men of a traditional and conservative temperament.
But even men in general because her female voice reminds them of their mothers and female teachers nagging them in their youth. Confession here. I often feel the same way. Her less than charismatic female voice irritates me. When I read what Hillary says I’m good with it. But when I hear her say it, I’m at least a tad irritated. It’s the male in me.
But folks, like it or not, the fate of the world to a large degree hangs on this election. Do you want to see a narcissistic and impulsive megalomaniac with virtually no political experience get access to the red button or would you prefer a mature, steady, self-aware wife and mother that also happens to have a wealth of political experience?
Surely the answer is obvious.
– Gerry Warner is a retired journalist who was once elected himself.