Let me make it clear from the outset, I have not yet decided which presidential candidate I will vote for in the primaries, let alone come November 2008, or, as I like to call it, please-dear-God-let’s-not-fuck-up-so-heinously-again-day. I am, like so many others, entranced by Barack Obama but I need to hear a lot more from him before I’m swayed. I believe Hilary could be an excellent president but her stance on abortion is a bit too wishy-washy for me and, as I’ve stated before, I don’t like the monarchial glean the presidency has taken on – both very real and powerful concerns for me. John Edwards was my main man but I have to admit (and this is something I will expound on in another post) I’m deeply suspicious of his continued candidacy during his wife’s incurable cancer. I’m so demanding…poor S. simply won’t have the option for life to continue “normally” if I’m ever diagnosed with incurable cancer, let alone run for president. I think I’m going to want a lot of attention. But most of this is neither here nor there today. My friends and family members have taken to giving toe-curling, anti-feminist, prehistoric reasons for not voting for Hilary Clinton and I am, quite frankly, sick of hearing these invalid and weak excuses. So here, I present The Reasons You May Not Give, If You Don’t Want Hilary For President:
1. “She stayed with Bill Clinton even though he cheated on her. By doing this she obviously doesn’t respect herself.” Another version of this, which will be just one of many “Hilary’s a freaking shrew” arguments, goes like this: “Hilary stayed with Bill Clinton even though he cheated on her. By doing this it proves how cold and calculating she is because obviously you can’t love someone who would do that to you. She only used him for political gain.” This is my mom’s favorite argument, but I’ve heard it time and time again and to it I say this: None of us know what happened with this marriage, but as a married woman I DO know that bad things happen in marriage. Bad things happen in life, for God’s sake, and it is impossible for two people to live together day in and day out for their entire lives and not do or say something horrible. Perhaps she stayed with him out of concern for her daughter, whom we all forget about. Or maybe, just maybe, she’s still madly in love with him. And maybe it is solely for her career…but you know what? None of us will EVER know, and using this as a base for judging her sacrifices our sisterhood. We can’t decry the state of the family today and then criticize a presidential candidate for seeing her marriage through when the republican candidates hilariously can’t find one candidate capable of remaining faithful to his wife except, perhaps, for Mitt Romney but he ties his dog to the top of his car, which is all kinds of wrong. So, sorry folks – this dog just don’t hunt.
2. “Hilary is strident” or “Hilary is a shrew” or “Hilary is a bitch” or “Hilary is too manly” – well – there are – no words – for this argument. WHEN, I ask of those who give this argument, WHEN has she been a bitch? When she was trying to institute a national health care plan? When was she a shrew? When she actually worked in lieu of wondering around the White House redecorating the Lincoln Bedroom? And why is strident a bad thing? Would you prefer an UNSTRIDENT senator or president? And for those who say she’s too “manly,” well. Perhaps the problem is you just happen to be to womanly.
3. She voted initially for the war in Iraq. I think perhaps this is the most tired argument of all. For goodness sake’s – we apparently aren’t holding this against our president, who has led us into an immoral and unjustified war solely to carry out his family’s obsession with Sadam Hussein. We haven’t impeached him or brought him up on war crimes and we are going to hold the Senator’s vote against her? Let me ask you this – who would you rather have leading your country… someone who admits her first vote was wrong, and has the abstract ability to change her mind, or someone (again, our President comes to mind) who is completely unable to say – Shit. I really screwed this up – let’s fix it? I truly believe Senator Clinton made the best decision she could at the time with the information she had available to her, and we simply can’t hold her initial vote against her.
4. As cited by Maureen Dowd in a June 20th OpEd piece entitlted “Carmela God Jewelry, Hillary Wants a White House” as a reason not to vote for Hilary, Hillary’s run is nothing more than the conclusion of a decades long pact she and her husband made when they first got together, that some day BOTH would be president. I’ve had various friends refer to this unsubstantiated pact and as far as I can tell they, as well as Dowd, seem to hold it against the Clinton’s that their plan, simply, came true. They find something chilling in the idea that Bill and Hillary (gasp) laid out goals and (gasp) they came to fruition. I don’t understand how this is any different from making plans with your own loved one to buy a house and take a vacation in Boca, and both of those things happening. Of course the Clintons had much grander plans than most of us, but we cannot punish them simply because life went the way they hoped. This argument is just un-American.
Things brings us to number 5. A woman, an actual grown up, in her thirties woman who is marrying an old college friend of mine, actually said, at a party, that a woman shouldn’t be President because pms makes us so tempermental. I’ve heard men make this base reasoning before, as though the onset of cramps and some fatigue could harken forth a war with Spain or the invasian of the Arctic circle, and I can’t help but think this is the same mentality that encourages so many young women to idolize the likes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan – even in the 21st century, women aren’t given credit for their brains and their potential. I can tell you one thing – if I have a daughter – and really, the thought errifies me, how one raises a daughter in this day and age – I can only hope she’ll admire and covet the qualities someone like Clinton carries in lieu of flashing her uncovered crotch and drinking herself into a stupor. Clinton still has some old-school feminist class, and I always have, always will, love her utterly for it.
So, there you have it. Five reasons you cannot give, if you don’t want Hilary for President. I am sure in the days and weeks and months ahead we will delve into these, and many ot her reasons, more carefully and with more consideration but in the mean time, let us not undo all the work our mothers and grandmothers did, and fob of Hillary * for reasons having nothing to do with her qualifications. We all deserve better.
* have you noticed I’m completely unable to consistently refer to Senator Clinton? One minute it’s Hillary, the next the Senator, etc – if I were a student I bet some composition teacher would have a field day with the politics behind it. As it is, I guess I’d better settle on one reference and leave it at that.