Don't Like Hillary? Don't Read It...but You Probably Should

<em>What Happened</em> by Hillary Rodham Clinton
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

I’m baffled by the intensity of some of this backlash to Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened, as if this woman, who devoted her entire adult life to public service, single-handedly f&*%#d up the election! As if it was ok for people to have voted for a proven xenophobic misogynist who gleefully admits to sexual assault, and panders to and defends white supremacists. But that aside, we vilify this woman as if this current political downturn and global American embarrassment is all her fault, as if Putin’s government did not readily admit their favoritism for Trump and more evidence of their involvement and collusion becomes more apparent everyday. As if the only reasons people innocently use Facebook these days are for cat videos, sharing pics of their food, Buzzfeed quizzes, stalking your gym-crush, and vain self-promotion. Huh, couldn’t possibly be Russian espionage, cyber counter measures, or the destabilization of Western democracies one “like” at a time, within the social media playground that Mark Zuckerberg built? And how did those white nationalists know where to meet in Charlottesville a few weeks ago? It wasn’t from personal invitations sealed with a wax stamp and calligraphy, sent through the mail asking for RSVPs!

Is it not naive to ignore this woman’s perspective who served as a very active First Lady of the United States, Senator from New York, Secretary of State, and Presidential candidate, not to mention first female Presidential nominee of a major American political party - this politician, this civil servant, this Presidential candidate who won the popular vote by nearly 3 million?!? So we don’t need a memoir from the stormy center of the election of 2016? What if she were a man? Bernie Sanders still gets to be upset about the primary, and bemoan Hillary still to this day, dismissing her perspective as silly? But she can’t comment on this historically devastating election, admit to her mistakes, and also respond to her critics in her book? This current political climate means we must face some hard truths and have difficult conversations, because, as we’ve seen, ignoring such topics is not working. So trying to silence this woman and her years of service, the impact that she made as a Presidential candidate, and the insightful influence and perspective she has now is beyond self-defeating and unwise! There were many reasons for her defeat, but if the book bothers you, don’t read it. If you’re one of the people groaning about Hillary’s book, or Hillary commenting on current Democratic policies and platform, or Hillary being interviewed and on a press tour right now, or Hillary breathing the same air as you...well, you might be exactly the person who needs to revisit the election and find out what happened.

So before I have the Klan or some other white supremacist terrorist group marching down my street, or friends and co-workers deported, or family members profiled and killed over a broken taillight, we need to mobilize. We need to run for office. We need to support candidates that need our help to protect and defend our country. We need to invest in truly objective media that gets to the truth instead of muddying the facts for entertainment value. We need to understand the fundamental roots of our platform before we sacrifice our ideals by pandering to a group with manufactured gripes, protecting them from the true reason for our disparities and ignore our common hardships against which we are trying to unite and overcome. We need to vote. We need to learn from OUR mistakes, and not label them as solely Hillary’s. Don’t worry, you can borrow my copy when I finish.

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