Well, today didn’t go the way we’d hoped, did it. Today is Inauguration Day, and “It was supposed to be Hillary” kept drumming through my head. What went through yours as you summoned the astounding grace and strength to witness the moment stolen from you by the Great Usurper?
That you attended that farce on Friday, Jan. 20, only galvanizes the evidence of your strength of character and integrity.
Ah well, troubled water under the bridge, I suppose.
It’s been more than two months since the election — which you actually won by nearly three million votes — and I’m still dismayed by the results and also by the character assassination you endured while running for office.
Yes, character assassination. Pure and simple.
After an impeccable and documented four decades of social and public service hallmarked by a tireless fight for women’s rights worldwide, serving as a groundbreaking First Lady, two-term senator and most impressive Secretary of State, you were torn to pieces like a rabbit amongst a pack of wild dogs, the growling, barking and feasting creating such a din that truth and reality were drowned out.
“Flawed candidate,” they said.
I count two “flaws,” if you can even call them that. Two. As contrasted to the Great Usurper’s innumerable transgressions. The email issue? Please. This was scrutinized ad nauseum, and you responded to it so many times that it became comical. Then there were the horrific Benghazi murders, the blame for which Republicans relentlessly and unfairly pinned on you, all the while standing in the massive shadow cast by the mountain of American corpses amassed in the illegal and unnecessary Iraq War — under the command of one of their own.
Damned, dirty hypocrites!
“Hillary is an unpopular candidate,” they said. “Nobody likes her.”
You ran against one of the most charismatic and compelling candidates of our time, Bernie Sanders, and defeated him. Moreover, in the general election, millions more voted for you than the Great Usurper. As for nobody liking you, well, Hillary Clinton, I am not nobody. And I like you. A lot. I supported you wholeheartedly, and I’m not alone — 65,844,610 Americans felt the same. By the way, that was 48.1 percent of the vote, as compared to the Great Usurper’s total of 62,979,636, coming in at 46.0 percent.
The bald truth is this: The antiquated Electoral College system robbed us of our votes. As a Californian, the Electoral College reduces the worth of my vote to a fraction of one cast elsewhere. How is this even legal in a democracy?
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal…”
All men — and theoretically women too — are equal under the law. However, when all votes do not carry the same value, there is no equality. Where is the intrepid lawyer who will champion the concept of true equality and challenge the discriminatory Electoral College before the Supreme Court? When faced with the stark evidence, how could the court come to any other conclusion but that the Electoral College illegally denies all Americans an equal vote and must be struck down. Any other conclusion reduces our democracy to a sham.
But I digress — because I’m still seething and sick with worry. You, Hillary Clinton, are the true 45th president of the United States. How symbolic that the most intelligent, practiced, polished girl in the whole school loses to the half-wit class clown who spews inanities and insults. It’s practically cliché. Clearly, sexism is alive and well in the United States.
One of my deepest wishes, had you taken the office to which you were rightfully elected, was that finally, the Equal Rights Amendment would have been ratified. Many are shocked to discover that this proposed Constitutional amendment, which stated simply that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” was never passed. This boils in my soul. I remember those who fought for it, and I was among them.
With the Great Usurper in command, all hope for progress in the equal treatment of women under the law is lost. He has demonstrated over and over his scorn and disrespect for women, and now this genuine, unabashed misogynist serves as role model for girls and boys alike. This thought makes me want to vomit. May the horror of this transgression against half our population fuel a massive course correction in 2020. But right now, that seems like a long, long way off, and the potential for so much catastrophe between now and then sets my mind spinning.
That said, women don’t have the luxury of sitting back and doing nothing; of accepting defeat. More strong women will come forward, Hillary, because they — we — must. We owe it to the Suffragettes and the ERA marchers of the ’70s and to women like you who fought the good fight and even when defeated kept pushing forward … because that is what strong women do. We dry our tears, suck it up, and keep going.
So today, on Inauguration Day, my thoughts are with you, Hillary. Thank you for exemplifying a will of steel and true grace under extreme fire. Trust me, today’s young women will not be looking to the Great Usurper for inspiration. They will look to you, they will learn from you, and I must believe they too will stand up and push on, or else all the women who fought before them battled for naught. We cannot let this be so.
All my best to you, fine lady. You are not disgraced. You are now the template for determination in the face of defeat. Your flame now burns that much brighter and will light the way for strong women to step forward. Thank you for all you’ve done for us. You are our champion.
— Email Debra DeAngelo at firstname.lastname@example.org; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com