It wasn't a very big-deal election in California, to say the least. I think one person asked me if I voted. And I got one email from an old friend, who said she was thrilled about Hillary Clinton but voted for Bernie Sanders.
Not me. I voted for the first female president of the United States, for the first woman ever to be nominated by a major party. And I did so with a shiver of pride.
Hillary Clinton is not a perfect person; nor is she a perfect candidate. People who don't know her find her stiff and defensive and unlikable, which is kind of funny, because while she has her faults, those are not them. If you asked me, she should have done a mea culpa on the emails on day one, gotten rid of the issue by taking political, not legal, responsibility. But then, I haven't been through the meat grinder she has, where any mistake she admits gets distorted and twisted beyond recognition before an organized group of bloggers and activists ties it around her neck. Some people are right to be paranoid.
No, Clinton isn't perfect, but she is pretty damn good, maybe the most experienced person ever to run for president, and certainly the one who has spent the most time in her life fighting tirelessly for the issues I care about.
We share idols, such as Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children's Defense Fund, the woman who introduced young Sen. Robert F. Kennedy to poverty and deprivation among blacks in the South. Clinton went to work for Marian when she graduated from law school; I went to work for Marian's husband, Peter, the young staffer who made those trips with Robert Kennedy and went on to work for his brother Ted.
I had heard of Hillary forever, or 30 years, anyway: Hillary doing legal aid, Hillary fighting for children's rights here and organizing for children's rights internationally — all long before her husband became a household name.
Which is to say that for decades Hillary Rodham Clinton has been fighting for the things Bernie Sanders just talks about. I like Sanders; he got three bills passed in his decades in the Senate, one of which was about renaming a post office. Meanwhile, Clinton traveled the world and changed it.
I'm tired of women claiming that they don't support Clinton just because she is a woman. And in the next breath, they'll explain why they support someone who went to the same school they did, or grew up in the same town. As if it's okay to recognize ties based on what university you attended (or even what elementary school), but not ties based on gender, even as Clinton's been fighting your fights for all these years.
And truly, she has. She's been attacked as viciously as anyone in American politics. People who should know better, who should show respect, demean themselves by the names they use to refer to her or by the charges they make. She is not a criminal. The dozens of FBI agents investigating her server have found no criminal wrongdoing by her or her staff.
Yes, Clinton and her staff made a mistake — a stupid mistake — by using a private server.
But would this mistake really lead us to make fools of ourselves in the eyes of the world by electing a man who makes penis jokes on television — a man who has no policies on anything except to divide the country as much as he can in the hopes that a small band of angry white men can propel him to the Oval Office?
That's Donald Trump's scheme. But a band of women and men who are equally angry — angry at the prospect that sexism and stupidity would combine to elect a buffoon as president — are ready and willing to meet their attacks.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
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