In a recent essay, Stanley Bing writes that lies serve as truth as long as they are believed. (“Does the Truth Matter?” by Stanley Bing, Fortune, May 1, 2016, pg. 136.) In an election year a lot of “truths” serve to justify gut feelings. One of them is that Hillary Clinton is hawk. She voted for the Iraq war, that’s true. But so did the majority of the Congress. That shouldn’t make her stand out. She supported Obama’s involvement in the fall of Libyan president, Omar Khadafy, but that was his administration, not hers, and that decisions is far more convoluted than Hillary’s hawkishness. (Click) She did support early military intervention in Syria. Hindsight tells us her recommendation was right, though she was overruled. Being tough and having a strategy doesn’t make a person a hawk.
Case in point: After I had an exchange with a Hillary detractor, the person closed with, “In 2008 Obama whipped her butt.”
True. But what happened next tells a greater story. After her defeat, Hillary dusted herself off and supported her former opponent. Not only did she support him, she served in his cabinet. Both the President and Hillary took big steps to heal the country after a fractious election. Did they have personal reasons for doing so? Probably. But making peace wasn’t their only option… just the best one. Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama showed the nation how to move forward.
Words are cheap. Promises are easily broken, especially campaign promises What matters is how people conduct themselves in the clinches. As President Obama said to the graduating class of Howard University this year, “…change requires more than righteous anger. It requires a program and it requires organizing….change requires more than just speaking out – it requires listening…to those with whom you disagree and being prepared to compromise…The point is, you need allies in a democracy… And democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right.” (Click)
To those who refuse to “compromise” when their candidate doesn’t survive the primary, I turn to the President’s words, once more: When we don’t vote, we give away our power, disenfranchise ourselves – right when we need your power to stop others from taking away the vote and rights of those more vulnerable than you are – the elderly and the poor, the formerly incarcerated trying to earn their second chance.
This upcoming election isn’t about personal disappointments. The election is about the future of the country. It’s about justice. Think we can’t get justice and social change from someone who consorts with the wealthy? Think again. Think Franklin Delano Roosevelt.