Us Grammas Gotta Stick Together: Why I’m Supporting Hillary Clinton for President

Published in City Watch February 1, 2016

Madeleine Albright once said, “I’m not a person who thinks the world would be entirely different if it was run by women. If you think that, you’ve forgotten what high school was like.”

I should be a Bernie Sanders voter. I’m left of most. I embrace his positions on just about everything. He’s running a positive, inspiring campaign, mobilizing and organizing. Pretty much everyone I love and respect is “feeling the Bern.”

It’s taken me a long time to get here. I’ve never particularly liked Hillary or Bill Clinton (except for that one time when I got to hear him speak in person at whatever convention was in Los Angeles – the one where he introduced himself walking down that long, long corridor – Oh, my!)

In 2004, after hearing now President Obama speak at that convention and thinking I was the only one hearing him at that hour, whatever that hour was, I became an early, enthusiastic Obama supporter. I was so inspired by his candidacy that I hit up then Councilmember Garcetti to help get 17-year old Steven Butcher to Montana to work the primary and to Westmoreland County in western Pennsylvania for the general election – exciting, positive campaign experiences that’ll last a lifetime!

But I am also old enough to remember 1980. My first plane ride across the country to register voters for Barry Commoner and to collect signatures to qualify the Citizens Party for the ballot in Virginia (“No-Fuck” is the correct pronunciation of the city named Norfolk; back then, we had to send people to the county registrar on Tuesday afternoons, the only time folks could register to vote) and then in many other states. We were young and it was so much fun!

I can’t believe I was shocked at Ronald Reagan’s election the morning after that Election Day. Working to re-elect President Jimmy Carter would’ve been a much better use of that kind of youthful exuberance, and I rue the political work I did that season.

This election feels like 1980 to me.

Stephen Breyer is 78; Antonin Scalia is 80; Anthony Kennedy is 80; and Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 83.

“Everything Planned Parenthood has believed in and fought for over the past 100 years is on the ballot,” said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, announcing their first ever primary endorsement.

This year, SEIU has it right: “Hillary Clinton has proven she will fight, deliver and win for working families,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry in a statement announcing the endorsement from the 2-million-member union.

All things being equal — this is where I’ve come to on this election. I understand things are not equal and I’m not even sure what it means. For me? I guess it means Why the Fuck Not? All things being equal, let’s elect a woman, qualified, experienced, tested, mature, smart, and wise. Why the hell not?

I agree with Joan Walsh (The Nation, “Why I’m Supporting Hillary Clinton, With Joy and Without Apologies,” January 27, 2016): “I’m tired of seeing her confronted by entitled men weighing in on her personal honesty and likability, treating the most admired woman in the world like a woman who’s applying to be his secretary.” 

Responding to Sanders’ misstatement lumping Planned Parenthood in with “the establishment,” Walsh calls on decades of feminist history:“Yes, Planned Parenthood and NARAL have worked hard to become respected political players in the last 30 years, because the women they represent need political clout, not just services. But I’m old enough to remember when feminists were told that our issues — ‘cultural’ issues like abortion and contraception — were costing Democrats elections, so couldn’t we pipe down for a little while? Now we’re the establishment?”

Brendan Quinn lists Clinton positions I support in the Blue Nation Review, April 13, 2015:

  • She’s pro equal rights for LGBT Americans
  • She opposes using “religious freedom” to justify cutting access to healthcare and discrimination
  • She understands economic inequality – and wants to fix it
  • She thinks anti-vaxxers are stupid
  • She supports gun control
  • She knows the criminal justice system in this country is broken
  • She wants to fix Citizens United
  • She supports other women in the climb towards equality
  • She supports American Workers
  • She’s Pro-Choice

I’m voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

All things being equal — us grammas gotta stick together. Like Secretary Madeleine Albright says: “”I think there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

(Julie Butcher writes for CityWatch, is a retired union leader and is now enjoying Riverside and her first grandchild.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

 

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