When she took the stage and started to speak, I was thrown into raging turmoil. I wanted to see this woman as president. I ‘hear’ what she says when she speaks. I see the difficulty she has balancing being the strong, intelligent, independent woman she is with the softer feminine side she’s chided for and accused of putting on for effect. I saw the person who had the gumption to go up there against the big boys and speak her mind… and hold her own in the process. I saw the person I wanted as President of the United States of America.
And so the turmoil twisted and churned.
How do you turn away from someone you admire and back someone you really know nothing about? I listened to every word, saw the emotion on Bill Clinton’s face and felt it on my own. I saw the wide-eyed audience, in rapt attention, hanging on every, singe word.
She told us why we’re in this. She reminded us of what’s at stake. She touched our hearts when she spoke of individuals with serious concerns that she’d met throughout her campaign. And then she asked us the most poignant question she could have possibly asked. A question I don’t think resounded as well with men as woman. A question that worked on me precisely as she hoped – KNEW – it would.
She asked, “Were you in this for me? Or were you in this for them?”
Well, we know “them” is us, don’t we? Yes, by ‘them’ she referred to the people she’d mentioned – the mother of two with cancer and no health care who greeted Hillary on the campaign trail with a bald head and “Hillary’ written across it. The solider who wanted her to care for his buddies in Iraq then care for him. And the boy whose mother worked for minimum wage and had her hours reduced. They are us. And it is us – the average everyday person – she fights for.
I know the GOP would have enjoyed having her as the Democratic nominee. Just think of all the misogynist ads and comments they could have made. Just think of all the Clinton weaknesses they could have exploited. But she was prepared for that – she’s a fighter for herself in the same way I see her a fighter for the people.
And so my dilemma. How do you turn away from the person you admire and vote for the one who squashed the dream? You do so by acknowledging what Hillary said last night:
“I haven’t spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family and fighting for women’s rights here at home and around the world, to see another Republican in the White House squander our promise of a country that really fulfills the hopes of our people.”
How do you give it all up? When one of your allies falls aside, what should you do? Join forces with the enemy? Or pick up the flag and march forward on the same path? I think the choice is clear. It was Hillary for me. And I see her as part of the next administration – regardless that it won’t be as Commander in Chief. I see her as Secretary of State. A powerful position when worked properly – when worked in a way we haven’t seen in years. But whether she’s part of the next administration, the fact remains – she’s thrown her support behind another and if we support her and really heard what she had to say, then we, too, will take her words with us to the polls.
“No way… no how… no McCain.”