By Fanny Diehl
It is high time for the Democratic Party to give thanks and praise to Hillary Clinton for her heartfelt campaign for president. I am losing patience with people saying that she was lackluster, not liberal enough, had too much baggage, etc. This assessment is put forward not only by the Republicans but by some of our own—including Bernie Sanders. He implies that he was the only one who stood for single-payer health insurance, voting rights and reforming Wall Street, and for fighting climate change and poverty. These have been core Democratic issues for a long time, but since Sanders is not a Democrat maybe he didn’t know. I believe Sanders has to bear some of the blame for her loss: he called her disqualified (and was thanked by Trump) and his support of her in the general election was thin and grudging. Now he wants to reform the party, which, let us not forget, he will not call his own party. At least not yet—not until it is broken and remade into the Sanders Socialist Democratic Party.
Critics seem to forget that Hillary Clinton won the primary handily, and that she won the popular vote by a hair less than three million votes. If it had not been for Comey she would have won, even with all the other false accusations and insults thrown at her. She has always been a stalwart defender of the most vulnerable members of our society, and she has worked for all minority groups and for stressed working families all her life. She has had significant success; how else could she have been elected twice as Senator from New York? She also did a great job as Secretary of State, winning praise from Colin Powell and Madeline Allbright, and our foreign allies.
The Party needs her wisdom and her experience. She knows how government works. The constant rain of attacks and insinuations—the outright lies— are the product of the Republicans, who dreaded a Democratic Presidency, and they have been picked up and repeated without any critical thought applied. The Republicans were not worried about Bernie Sanders; they could and would have beaten him easily. They had a very detailed playbook for that purpose, with pictures. Much of the denigration within the liberal community has come from followers of Sanders, who has slyly put himself forward as the only one who truly cares about the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the victims of Wall Street.
She was there first, Bernie, working for liberal causes, while you were cozying up to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. You are not a Democrat, and you should not meddle in our affairs.
We will regret this clamor to sideline our elder statesmen and women. We must listen to the young and bring them into the conversation, but we need our elders; they are a treasury of practical knowledge, of what works and what doesn’t. We need Hillary Clinton.
About the writer
I was born in South Carolina in 1925, and brought up in Memphis and Houston. I have lived in New York City, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Maine. I’ve been interested in liberal politics since advocating for Adlai Stevenson. I am a retired photographer, lover of literature, art and history. I am deeply worried about climate change and the direction of the present administration. I have three talented adult children: a photographer, a novelist, a veterinarian. I now live in Sonoma, California with my Standard Poodle, Jack.
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