By Leah Scheitel
Okay, so let’s talk about Hillary Clinton, and let’s do it in a specific way. Let’s not talk about her husband or his string of infidelities. Let’s not mention Monica, or any of Donald Trump’s accusations against Bill, or even much of her time as the First Lady. Let’s just talk about Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win the nomination of a major party to run for the office of the president of the United States. And how she is fighting for it against an objectively under-qualified man.
While there is no way to verify things through my research, it appears Hillary has been working towards her ambition since she was young. Time Magazine recently posted a slideshow of “Rare Photos of a Young Hillary Clinton” and the 20 photos show exactly that, a young Hillary Clinton attending Wellesley College, a prestigious women’s private school in Massachusetts. There is a photo of her at surrounded by white men, while she interned for congress in 1968, and another of her at a student rally in the same year. There are photos of her on her wedding day, meeting ex-President and republican poster boy Ronald Regan at the White House in 1983 and at a variety of events throughout the 1980s. These photos, dating back five decades, show one thing – Hillary Clinton has been prepping for this opportunity for half a century, the majority of that time dedicated to some form of public service. These photos show Clinton is not fucking around; she wants this, and has wanted it for longer than most of us reading this have been alive.
Clinton’s extensive resume – including eight years as Senator of New York, four as the Secretary of State, and her eight years as First Lady, among other initiatives – potentially makes her one of the most prepared politicians to ever apply for the highest office in arguably the most powerful country in the free world. As a presidential nerd, and in my own semi-educated opinion, there are only a handful of candidates with that amount of experience – George H. W. Bush, Eisenhower, and Frankie Roosevelt. To give her an additional edge, she did this all while being the proud owner of a vagina and a set of breasts, opening her to criticism and scrutiny her male counterparts were never subject to.
So why is it she has to fight so hard, against a man who has an ego as fragile as a pair of decoupage testacles, to show she is willing, ready and able for this position? If the American populace were able to take away her gender identifying features and rename her Harry, she would have this thing locked down. Instead, she has to stand there for over an hour there while Trump, a self-made reality star asshole, gets to question her stamina and her experience. This is what she is debating.
There are a plethora of blame factors to point to: the fact that women’s work isn’t as valued as men’s, the long standing joke that anyone who menstruates regularly should not have access to the nuclear codes, and the fact that people might not just be ready for “Madame President.” And some are saying she is not deserving of the position because of the scandals in her past. And to this point, at least they are looking and critiquing her on her past experience and not her husband’s affinity for young interns. And two, try having three decades worth of experience in any industry or office and not making some choices you are not proud of. I worked as a editor of a community paper for 14 months, and gathered over 25 scandalous mistakes – I counted – both professional and personal. It’s a hazard of any job, not just ones in public service.
It’s not to say that Clinton shouldn’t be vetted and held to a certain standard of conduct. It’s not to say that we shouldn’t look at her experience to determine if she is deserving of the Oval office. And it’s not to say we should just roll over and give her the position simply because she is the first female to demand for the opportunity.
But if we are going to compare her experience, stamina, grace and resume to only one other, the least we can do is compare to one that is deserving, not one of a man who likely started a presidential campaign because he was bored.
Leah loves a stiff drink, is obsessed with Saturday Night Live, and lives for her cats. She’s the most articulate date you’ll ever have. Voting turns her on.