Yesterday, the headline on the Burlington Free Press read, “Clinton hails unity,” the subheading, “Tells supporters election is not about her.”
The thing is, I think that for many of her supporters, the election never was about her. It was about them. It was about us. Women.
Heck, even my mother-in-law was going to vote for Hillary Clinton. I doubt if my mother-in-law ever voted for a Democrat in her entire life.
But this was not about voting for a Democrat; this was about electing the first woman president.
Even I had moments of weakness where I secretly wanted to cast a ballot for the first woman president, even if her policies would have been a disaster. (There’s nothing that can’t be fixed, right?)
Instead of watching Hillary Clinton make history by breaking the ultimate gender barrier, women watched history’s most public, most significant example of what women have endured since the beginning of civilization – a woman was passed over for a less qualified man.
In her speech, Hillary noted,
My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for President.
Only, she didn’t. I mean, she did get to cast a vote for her mother in the Democratic primary, but not when it really matters, in the general election.
Instead, she witnessed everything her mother worked for being handed to a younger, inexperienced, less capable man, while the media made a sexist mockery of her mother’s campaign.
Hillary tried to rally her supporters to vote for Obama by laying out the common causes of the Democratic voters. If those issues are the most important issues to fight for, then Obama is the man. Just tell the little women to be quiet and go along, for unity’s sake.
But not all women fight for those issues. I certainly don’t. My mother-in-law doesn’t either.
For me, women’s issues are not abortion at any age, at any stage of pregnancy, state-run education from birth-to-adulthood, or even government-funded health care.
My women’s issues are things like rolling back the red tape that prohibits women from starting at-home businesses, stopping the expansion of public school into the pre-school years, and giving parents more power over their children’s education.
Regardless of the issues a woman supports, she still feels the sting from “the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life.” And seeing Hillary’s candidacy beat up and left for dead was still a painful sight to behold for all women who wanted to see this country’s first woman president.