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Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Democratic National Convention – A First for Women

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


The Democratic National Convention – A First for Women

Over the past year I have unashamedly, and unabashedly supported the candidacy of Secretary Hillary Clinton; even as most of the people in my extended circle of friends through their own voices have given their support to the progressive Senator Bernie Sanders.

I am proud to have done so.

I relentlessly pursued arguments against Bernie Sanders, while at the same time laying out my rationale for promoting the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I even gave money to her campaign. I made a few new friends in the process, I angered, and even alienated more; though I am confident that over time all relationships will be able to be healed.

Now it is done. The primaries are over. The general election is upon us.

Hillary is the nominee of the Democratic Party, and Bernie succeeded in moving the party platform to the left; to where my heart is, and so now I feel as if I have won twice over. We, the collective we, chose the better candidate (in my estimation), and the person who I believe will be a better President. At the same time, we were also able to establish a more progressive agenda for the Democratic Party moving forward.

Beyond being pleased with how things turned out, I see the nomination of Hillary Clinton as a significant cultural victory for America. It is a milestone. With her leading the Democratic Party; there is a very good chance that we will have our first woman as President of the United States. She has gone farther than any woman has gone before. Whether you supported her candidacy, opposed it, or are indifferent to the matter; this is an achievement.

It has been ninety-six years since women were granted the right to vote, and we have our first woman as a major party candidate for president.

It is my belief that we do better as a country, when as a country; we are answerable to the good conscience of our female citizens. We do better when we are answerable to that half of the population. It is good for America to have women as equal partners in government. It has and will promote greater thoughtfulness, we will be less rash, more careful. Of course these changes may be hardly measurable, but over time the measure will be great.

The nomination of Hillary Clinton by the Democratic Party marks a significant moment in our societal evolution. I am thankful for it.

Many of my friends who were against her, and are now planning to vote for her, albeit reluctantly, they are bemoaning the fact that it is her, with all of her flaws, and her centrist ways, that they have to vote for.

What I would like to tell them, what I would like for them to understand, is this; it could not have been any other woman. It had to be Hillary, she strove for it, she planned for it, she beat down every barrier that stood in her way, and it took her decades, against the most strident opposition.

The first woman to be nominated for the office of President had to be someone positioned exactly as Hillary had positioned herself; at the center of power, with a deep familiarity of the functions of government, a centrist, a compromiser, someone in whom every faction in the halls of power could easily see something to their own advantage if she were elected.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is a flawed and compromised politician, but she is also a brilliant and driven woman. Poised as she is to build on the stabilizing work that President Obama has done over the past eight years; she may be set to become the most effective President, in regards to advancing a progressive social agenda since Lyndon Johnson.

Her nomination, and this election cycle are forcing a dramatic realignment of the parties as we know them, I believe the result of electing this woman as our first female president will be a brighter tomorrow for every American.    

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