WHY RATIONAL WOMEN WON'T VOTE FOR THE BORG QUEEN
Sometimes, there are bloggers who make my job easier.
I still lurk around at DailyKos. Occasionally, I post a comment or two - but I don't diary there anymore, because far from allowing for dissenting opinions and meaningful discussions, Kos' blog has turned more into Kool-aid drinkers who flame you for disagreering with Kos himself, and not backing down from that position until Kos does. (Sigh).
Oh, well, I didn't want to rant about Kos (that's for another post when I good and pissed off). What I wanted to post was a good diary I found at Kos' place that provided a rational, well-articulated, analytical post from a young woman about what she can't vote for Hillary Clinton (aka "The Borg Queen"). Read it and then, head over to Kos's to give Progress for America some love:
This is an appeal to rational women.
I’d like to talk to you about Hillary Clinton. Almost 15 years ago, I asked my mother why so many people hated the President’s wife. She didn’t have an answer that she was comfortable giving her 10 year old daughter. Even if the answer would have been appropriate, she would have withheld it. In my family, women did not assert their political (or otherwise) opinions fiercely. And support for either of the Clintons would have been in great opposition to my neoconservative father.
My mother’s father, my paw-paw (what we call our grandpas in Louisiana), was a lifelong democrat. I remember my paw-paw telling me about the Great Depression. He told me that he had to walk miles to sell a bucket of snap beans for 5 cents. He said at that time, the world was without a bright light at the end of the tunnel. He taught me the value of work. He taught me the value of integrity. And he taught me about Franklin Delano Roosevelt.'Nuff Said.
He told me that FDR saved not just the United States, but the entire world by exuding extreme courage and conviction, and challenging conventional thought. My paw-paw told me that when his country needed him, he proudly served. He did it without thinking twice. He did it because his country had not forgotten him when he was in need. He told me that America defeated fascism abroad and had sown the seeds for democracy in Europe. He told me why democracy was so important and why America was so great. He told me that the American people are the government. That a [man] who didn’t represent the people’s needs was a “traitor to democracy.” He said, “money and power can corrupt even the most noble [man]” and so “the people must hold the government accountable.” That’s tough language from a strong willed patriot.
He told me that my college money had been depleted by the neocon’s policy of deregulation throughout the 1980’s. He said Ronald Reagan hurt many small business owners like himself (he installed septic tanks for 30 years with his three sons). He said that things were starting to get better in 1992. He said it was because “...a democrat has been elected.”
I was pretty excited. My paw-paw got a breath of fresh air. But then my paw-paw got sick. After two open-heart surgeries (the second one partially due to poor care at the hospital facility), his savings were completely depleted. His surgeries added 5 years to his life, instead of 10-15 years which some recipients enjoy, due to the poor care. In those 5 years, he mostly talked to me about the influence of money in our political system. He probably didn’t fully understand Washington lobbyists, but he understood greed.
And then there was Hillary Clinton. She was a hero to me. Maybe because she was the first woman I had heard pushing to make a change for women and children. I was young, but she was what I wanted to be. Someone speaking for the voices of those who would otherwise fall through the cracks. She was smart. She was tough. She was a role model.
I am sorry to say that she is no longer that role model.
Sisters, I know that many of you see Mrs. Clinton as the living example of the progress that women have made in America. It is our birthright to be treated and valued as absolute equal, capable members of society. We will hold every office in this land. After 231 years, the country is finally ready for a Woman to lead the free world.
I know that you see Mrs. Clinton as ready to assume the highest leader position in the nation, the Presidency. There is no doubt that she is also ready to assume the role. She is ready, but is she right?
Her strongest points seem to be that she is experienced. She points to her prior years as an advocate for women and children. She points to her work in the Clinton administration (as the first First Lady to have an office in the West Wing!). She points to her work as a Senator serving the state of New York. She is ready to lead, “from the first day she’s in office.”
Point 1: Prior years as an advocate for children and women’s rights.
I applaud Mrs. Clinton on everything she has done for women and children. She has led an extraordinary life of service.
Point 2: Experience in the White House
Mrs. Clinton’s most prominent role in the Clinton administration was her health care plan in 1993. Unfortunately, it was defeated, not even receiving enough support from the House or Senate to get a vote on the floor, with Democrats in both houses. America would have been better if her bill had won, but it was defeated by lobbyists and cheap politics. The Democratic Senators and Congressmen did not support Mrs. Clinton’s health care plan because they were (and still are) taking money from Healthcare Industry lobbyists.
Mrs. Clinton now receives more money from those same special interests than the top three Republican candidates for President combined.
Point 3: Her work as a New York Senator
Mrs. Clinton has been a consistent Democratic vote in the U.S. Senate. No one would dispute that. However, the Democratic party has done a very poor job of representing the American people for at least the last 15 years. This is mostly due to the influence of big money and corporate interests in our government. This is not a difficult concept.
How has your life improved over the last 15 years? Is it easier now to care for your family? Has providing healthcare for you and your loved ones become easier or harder? Cheaper or more expensive? Have your wages (in real dollars) increased or decreased? What about child care? Are we providing more for our mothers in need or less? And although Democrats haven’t been in charge this whole time, they’ve proven to lack leadership in the face of great challenge.
Many would argue that the Clinton administration used the idea of the “welfare queen” to reduce the social programs that disproportionately benefit single, needy moms. This is not an attempt to discredit the economic prosperity that we experienced under his administration, rather to make the point that fighting Republicans is harder than saying you are fighting Republicans. Bill Clinton adopted the Republican talking point about welfare and using it as a political tool, made it central to his campaign. Today, we have more women living far below the poverty line trying to care for their children. They have five years, working thirty hours a week to “get back in line” then we exclude them from receiving benefits. This has worked against the ultimate goal of lifting our nation’s poor out of poverty. This system, instead, punishes those women and their children. What happened in the 1990’s with social programs in this country is a perfect example of corruption infiltrating the Democratic Party. If you take bribes from lobbyists, you are telling the American people that their needs are second to those of business. This is what Mrs. Clinton has done.
This party once stood for regular people.
This party once stood for the working class.
This party once stood with single mothers.
This party once swore to protect the rights and interests of the voiceless minorities.
This party once cared for our nation’s children.
We cannot be that party and be the party of big business. There is no room for compromise.
Many people ask me, “Do you think that Hillary Clinton is really that bad? You know about her early work with children.” The fact of the matter is that when you are evaluating a presidential candidate, you have to consider who they are now and what they will do in the future. As much as I respect Mrs. Clinton for her service, I must look to who she is now. I must recognize who she represents. And as a woman in America, whose right to vote has only been guaranteed for 87 years, I must make the decision that guarantees each woman after me a better life. That better life lies in economic equality. The next president will have to address the role that American business has played in women's struggles.
I have not disposed who I am voting for. It is each of our responsibilities’ to look at the candidates and their platforms. Look at where they stand on the issues and look at what they say. Do not become distracted by political language. We have a right to compare these people based on what they stand for and who they represent. If they appear frightened to use strong, clear language, you should be weary. We’ve been down that road. It’s time to change course.
Who will make the best candidate for women? The candidate who places poverty above all else.
This will take great courage and conviction. This will take challenging conventional thought. Our country needs us.
It is time to proudly serve.
As a clarification has been requested, I will not support Clinton in the primary. Until we have a candidate chosen, I will not reference who I will or will not vote for in the general election.