Why Hillary Clinton should never “step down”

I was standing on Church street tonight with my dear friend Jill. We’d just been out together, and then ate a quick dinner. We had a lovely time. I adore Jill and time with her is always well spent. We’re different in many ways, but somehow the two of us are cut from the same old Patti Smith T-shirt. We relate to the world through the eyes of San Franciscans, punk rockers, and people who have victoriously navigated our way between then and now. We laugh, and we talk seriously, we are tight.

As we were leaving the taqueria Jill presented, wild eyed and at something approaching the top of her lungs, a beautiful, and serious argument for why Hillary Clinton simply can not “step down” in her race for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. Further, Jill also made it very clear to me why it’s fucking insulting that anyone has even suggested she do so.

The Suffragette movement was asked for the good of mankind to step aside in order to better serve the overall civil rights of the abolitionist movement of the day. I believe it was Frederick Douglass’ compelling speech in the middle 1850’s where he said that when women are hung for no reason at all, and have their heads crushed by the clubs of ignorance they would take a higher priority on the list of those seeking equality that sealed the American Suffragette/Abolitionist debate with regards to whom should have the right to vote and when. Women stepped aside. As the result women’s rights were pushed from the table of conscience for the “greater good.”

History tells us that women have repeatedly stepped aside for the “greater good” of mankind. In the early 1950’s Ashely Montagu published “The Natural Superiority of Women” and wrote elegantly on how the constitutional equality of all men and women was inevitable, and imminent. He also outlined how it was not yet constitutional for women in America to enter into contract, purchase homes, and many other common place events in our society. Our government has left these issues hanging in mid air, and while every year the subject is made promises to by politicians of all orientations, yet when they win our trust and endorsement, the constitutional rights of women in the United States is left literally to the “whim” of the changing times. This was written in 1952, and here it is 2008 and we haven’t passed anything approximating an Equal Rights Amendment to our constitution (and it doesn’t look like it’s on the agenda for this year to me,) sexism is on the rise, and ever since the 1970’s when women burned their bras and took to the streets to demand equal rights, equal pay for equal work, a right to choose what happens to their own bodies, and an end to discrimination they were written off as “lesbians” and the movement was brushed aside in the wake of the Black Panthers and other more radical movements which posed more of a “threat” to society.

While I still think the mini skirt and the concept of “living together” were invented by horny college students, the Reagan years brought a return to more traditional “family values.” Exhausted from the previous 100 years of struggle, somehow being a feminist lapsed into history. Skirts got short again, breasts became surgically augmented everywhere, lips became injected with something to make them “fuller” and the collective voice which would have torn the spectacle of “woman as object” down off its platform, ripped off its tiara and stomped it into dust grew silent.

Now, in 2008, Obama and Clinton shared the stage and played nice with each other while we saw for ourselves that the only experienced and seasoned politician interested in social justice, change, and a new American revolution wasn’t going to stack up, the race is now between a woman and an African American man. In and of itself this is historic, and beautiful. We want change, and we’re going to get it. But the mere fact that anyone in this day and age with any knowledge of our history could seriously entertain the notion that once again a respected, intelligent, powerful woman who stands a reasonable chance of being nominated as the Democratic Presidential Nominee this year should step down for the “greater good” of mankind needs to pretty much just fuck off. Now I realize that advising the ignorant to pretty much fuck off isn’t helpful. But I am not trying to be helpful, I am looking at the injustice, arrogance, and flat out ignorance of a people who don’t know their own history.

I adore Obama, he’s got my hope, my dreams, my attention and my vote. Hillary Clinton smacks of politicalism, antagonism, and the sound of her voice makes me cringe. This is beside the point. My personal feelings about who I “like” or “don’t like” have nothing to do with why she must remain in this race until the bitter end.

So I say bring on the dialog. Let’s see these two agents of change with their gloves off. Fuck this pleasantly tense and “ladies first” non-debate… Let’s get some serious, healthy, and open debate going. Let’s crank up the fires, and drag it out all the way to the convention in Denver.

These are inspirational times, they’re happening right now. All around us. Can you feel it? I am so excited. Anything that brings Jill’s blood to a boil will only better warm her chilly hands and feet, and make for riveting curbside monologs and lots of hugging afterward. Bring it. Come on!

7 Comments

  1. stagg:

    yah!

    i’m kinda embarrassed to admit but i’ve never voted. i registered democrat a couple of weeks ago and planning on voting in the april primary.

    i have a lot of cynicism. i try and look for the best in people but when it comes to politics something in my mind just freezes and silly clichés like, “nothing is gonna change” start vying for control.

    the last couple of years of started to educate myself about the issues, politics, and history. my views are more in line with ralph nader but i’m willing to vote democrat to move the administration to the left and closer to ‘the people’…

    here’s to new hope…

  2. yes.

    new hope.

    I’m with you.

    * hug *

  3. Jill:

    The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is the name of a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution intended to guarantee equal rights under the law for Americans regardless of sex. Amendments can only be a part of the Constitution when approved according to the process in Article V of the Constitution. The final deadline for approving the ERA passed in either 1979 or 1982—depending upon one’s view of a controversial extension of the ratification time constraint. In the intervening years, public discussion on the ERA has been greatly reduced, though the proposal has been reintroduced in every Congress since 1982.

    Wikipedia

  4. way overdue.

    the time is now.

  5. susan:

    Recoverable fatal error: Object of class WP_Comment could not be converted to string in /nfs/c02/h04/mnt/20033/domains/sunshine-jones.com/html/wp-content/plugins/quoter/quoter.php on line 476