How ’bout that Hillary? Tough as a boot made of elephant hide, a lightning rod for criticism, she has hung in there all these years and almost achieved her goal. Whether running the race of her life for the highest office in the land is a reward or a punishment depends on your point of view, but we all owe her thanks for continuing to attack that last, highest glass ceiling for women. May her all-out run inspire those who supported her to rise from the gloom of defeat to celebrate the two centuries of organizing, education and resistance that made a major party’s nomination of a woman possible. She lost by fewer than 140,000 votes out of 118 million. Most of all, may Hillary Clinton’s journey help EVERY woman believe in her own ability to map out her intention, step through the doors of power and assume leadership in her life.
For all its flaws, limps, lumps and warts, our political system is still a beacon of hope for the entire world. Unlike other systems, in which winners routinely imprison or kill their losing opponents, their families and supporters, our system enables a peaceful transfer of power. Despite the usual annoying slime of accusations, name-calling, and panicked predictions of disaster (none of which is new or unique to the USA) we must all work to help our union emerge from the fray intact —again.
This is a result of the collective common sense and wisdom of the American people. We have rarely elected someone from the same party to replace a sitting president, instead preferring to toss the White House back and forth like a ball in a tennis match. Thanks to the checks and balances of the founding fathers (yes, those old white guys) the built-in inefficiencies of the system make our ship of state turn slowly, thank goodness. Like a sailboat tacking across an ocean, we steer left then right, back and forth, and over time our country moves slowly forward.
The truth is no single person or party has all the good ideas. Families, businesses and nations work better and endure longer when all members contribute ideas and feel valued and heard. People on both sides of the political spectrum feel angry and left out of our current system, and their concerns will be addressed. This country really does belong to all of us, and much as we might like to take our ball and go home when something doesn’t go our way, that just means the ship will sail on without us. We have the power to right the wrongs that irritate or enrage us, if we organize and persuade other voters.
For those who did not prevail this time — better luck in the midterm elections in 2018!
We are SO lucky to live in the USA.
~Maggie Castrey, Women Connect4Good Team Leader