Hillary lost because she assumed that she would have Democratic support in traditionally Democratic states because she was the Democratic nominee. But Hillary was more than the Democratic nominee, she was a female nominee. And the impact of her gender was vastly under-estimated.
I am heart-broken but my eyes have been opened. The fear of female power is alive and well in America.
A few weeks ago, in a Medium post, I wrote:
“I see in Hillary the resilience that keeps women alive around the world. In fact, I believe Hillary is offensive and threatening because she is the display and embodiment of the strength that quietly resides in every woman.
Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is evidence of the intelligence and independence that many fear exists in the women around them. Hillary exhibits on a public stage the same sheer will that enables women every day to survive sexual assault, sexual harassment, sex-based discrimination, domestic violence, social trivialization and professional marginalization. The facts may vary, but in many ways, the story is the same.”
I did not realize how right I was when I wrote those two paragraphs.
Even in victory, CNN (oh Anderson Cooper, I kind of hate you right now, you silver-haired fox you) and its pundits, led of course by Corey Lewandoski, chose to continue to attack Hillary Clinton. In this case for not exhibiting the graciousness that we have never, ever seen from Trump or anyone in his camp. Mr. Lewandoski demanded Hillary give a concession speech to unify the country while Trump supporters chanted “lock her up” at Trump’s Headquarters.
Sometimes I’m sick of taking the high road. And I particularly sick of people who couldn’t find the high road with GPS and a map criticizing others for not taking it.
What have I learned? That we need more female candidates in all levels of public office. We need more female CEOs. We need more female leaders. Perhaps we were putting the cart before the horse with the presidency. We have a lot of barriers to break, and stereotypes to overcome, in all aspects of American life.
We have come so far, but clearly, not far enough.
I look to Hillary Clinton’s lifelong political and personal stamina for inspiration. We can’t give up now.