Dancing Backwards in High Heels

July 1, 2016 by David Dehlendorf


“Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not that difficult.”

Dancing Backwards in High Heels

By Susan R. Grout, long – time resident of San Juan Island.

“After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”
-Ann Richards

Conservative Republicans have made it clear they believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a “left-wing insurgent”. On the other hand, left-wing progressives believe that Hillary is a Republican fox in Democratic sheep’s clothing and a “shill” for Wall Street. How can this be the same person? It’s called successful vilification.

The Republicans are frankly thrilled that some of the progressives believe the Donald when he describes Hillary Clinton as “Crooked Hillary.” I have never heard a more blatant example of projection in my life, and I was a psychotherapist for over thirty years. (Projection is when you ascribe to another person what is true about yourself.) This from the man who created “Trump University” and bilked people out of thousands of dollars, who filed for bankruptcy four times, leaving investors and businesses in the financial lurch and who refuses to release his tax returns. Welcome to Crooked Donald.

Another accusation by the right and far left is that Hillary is dishonest in her statements. But check if you will with Politifact. Hillary has gotten better ratings for truthful statements than any other candidate. Jill Abramson, who followed Hillary as a reporter for thirty years, said, “Hillary is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.”

However something else is in play here with the vilification. Hillary happens to be a successful, powerful woman. The Seattle City Council recently denied a request for a street vacation in the SoDo area (south of downtown) in Seattle. The proponent wants to build a professional sports arena. But the street vacation would adversely affect Seattle’s maritime industrial area and a lot of well paying jobs. The vote to deny was 5 to 4. Because the five who voted against the arena were all women, and the four in favor were all men, what ensued was a Twitter firestorm of vituperative, misogynistic, threatening comments, largely from young white males who want a professional basketball team in Seattle. The female council members got no respect for their thoughtful reasons for voting no. They were given no credit for the hard work that they do. Happily, there was a swift reply from the Seattle Times and scores of citizens. They condemned the blatant sexism.

Sadly, though, doesn’t this sound familiar? It should if you’ve been paying attention even minimally to U.S. politics at every level. Sure, Donald Trump is nasty and misogynistic and we all have come to expect it. But surprise, so were the Bernie Bros in their attacks on Hillary and in threatening the life of Senator Barbara Boxer. Where is the outrage, the defense of these women? Bernie himself has been and, to my knowledge, still is, silent.

Imagine if Bernie was Bernice. Bernice is a 74 year-old woman with wild white hair and she’s a socialist to boot. Do you believe for one minute that Bernice would get a pass?

Many Democrats, me included, are grateful to Bernie Sanders for pushing the Democratic Party and Hillary in a more progressive direction. However, as it became increasingly clear that Bernie would not win the elected delegates (forget the super delegates) his supporters became increasingly angry. Many of them now say they will vote for the Green Party or they will not vote rather than vote for a capable, hard working woman who has adopted many of Bernie’s positions. What does that mean? Apparently it means that they’re willing to risk a Trump presidency. Yet, their candidate stands for everything that Trump is not.

“American loves women like Hillary—as long as they are not asking for a promotion.” – Sady Doyle.

A sad note in our society, and many other nations, is that women who insist on fair, equal treatment are called “pushy,” at best, or _____ (fill in a favorite sexist comment), at worst.

Interestingly Hillary has always been cleared of alleged wrongdoing even though there is a “permanent multimillion dollar cottage industry devoted to attacking her,” said Hanna Rosin in an article called “Among the Hillary Haters.”

Supposedly Hillary is in bed with Wall Street because of the speaking fees she has received. Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg regularly make $250,000 to $300,000 per speech and Jeb Bush made millions in speaking fees. Why is no one howling about that? “Hillary made 100 paid speeches and eight of those were to Wall Street. She also spoke to Canada 2020, so do the Canadians own her too?”*

“Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not that difficult.” – Charlotte Whitton.

This woman, Hillary, is a generous, complicated, intelligent, gracious, loving mother and grandmother. As Secretary of State she vastly improved our country’s reputation abroad after the Bush/Cheney administration nearly ruined it. She has a long history of fighting for women, children and minorities. She helped save many hospitals in New York by working with them to specialize and cooperate with other nearby hospitals. She championed universal health care as early as 1992. Jonathan Bernstein, of the New York Times, said Hillary “is probably the best qualified presidential candidate ever.”

Here’s what is at stake: the pending Supreme Court appointment; the rights of women; the rights of LGBTQ Americans; the rights of minorities; attention to the needs of the children of this country. She is a good Democrat. The Democratic Party is inclusive and supportive of the rights of all citizens. Hillary is temperamentally suited to hold the office of the Presidency and she will continue to maintain good global relationships.

Added to all that, she is not a narcissistic nut-case who is a business failure, a hypocritical money grubber and a sexist blowhard.

Hillary will be a good President and make us all proud to be Americans.

*From an article in the Daily Kos by Michael Arnovitz of Portland, Oregon.

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