Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why Support Hillary Clinton?

Recently, a visitor here posed a question along with a few unsubstantiated (and untrue) comments about Hillary Clinton.  The question was, "Why support Hillary Clinton?"  The allegations were, "Hillary only wants to become President to satisfy her own selfish ambitions, and has no sincere intention to serve whatsoever."  I did not approve the post because of the comment which is evidence-free.

I would turn the question around and ask why Hillary would put herself through this punishing process yet again.  Aside from the grueling schedule of campaign events, there is the substantial homework that comes with the territory and is executed outside the public eye and consciousness.

Like any student attending lectures, Hillary's campaign style consists of meeting many voters one-on-one in thousands of rope line encounters and hearing  - no listening to - folks with concerns, problems, plights that they hope a candidate might be able to address if elected.  She then must take home all of this raw content and find policy answers for the problems posed in the public arena.

Yes, she has advisors for economic, domestic, and foreign policy to help her wade through the weeds, but the policy decisions are hers.  It is lonely and selfless work done out of the public eye when she is not in front of crowds and is out of camera range.  We do not see her doing this homework.  We do see the results.

Since she announced her decision to run and hit the campaign trail, we have posted her public events, speeches, and her policies and issues on these pages.  Her campaign day typically includes multiple events plus travel.  It is when she is not on the public platform that she attends to the heavy homework schedule of figuring out how she can address the problems posed on the trail. Often the result is a new initiative, a new plan based on research into the problem and how that issue can benefit from a policy proposal.  These plans come integrated with others and with a payment plan.  Hillary does not say what she will do without also telling us how she will do it and how is will be financed.

It is easy to throw accusations and slogans around.  It is easy to dismiss and insult people.  It is harder to put yourself in the boots of another and imagine the burden of caring for a disabled or autistic child, a parent with Alzheimer's, raising a family on insufficient income, living in fear that your parent might be deported for being undocumented or fired for being gay.

Hillary Clinton's heart has always been open to the marginalized and voiceless.  When we gather to support her it is because of her diligence.  Hillary Clinton has always been the star student in the class, not just because she is smart, but also because she does not rest on the laurels of being the smartest one in the room.  She respects everyone around her and wants to hear their stories.  She wants to use her gifts to solve the problems and make life a little easier.

Buzzfeed's Ruby Cramer has been on the trail with Hillary  from the word "go." She also does her homework and took the time and trouble to conduct interviews with Hillary and her closest staff. The result, in case you missed it, is this prodigious article.  If you read nothing else published about Hillary Clinton during this primary season, you should read this.
Kieran Kesner for BuzzFeed News

In the early days of her husband’s administration, Hillary Clinton tried to start a national conversation about basic human decency, only to be mocked. In the midst of the most mean-spirited presidential campaign in memory, she talks with BuzzFeed News about the unchanged way she sees herself — and if she’ll ever be able to communicate it.

Here is another perspective from a dear friend.