When people in your new party ask you to focus on the issues rather than attacking Hillary Clinton on character or by calling her unqualified, its not because we don’t think the Republicans will attack her in every way possible. We ask it because you are perpetuating bad stereotypes and literally speaking untruths. You admitted early in this very long election season, that of course Secretary Clinton was more qualified in foreign affairs than you are. It was the simple truth and you were showing a strong character when you did so.
Let me tell you that by doing that you were validating all women who have more experience when they go into a job interview or are working and are used to hawing their experience diminished. I was proud when you refused to take the bait when asked about emails or other of the false and negative narratives that the Republicans have spawned and the media has given oxygen to.
You kept it up for a while. When your campaign got into Hillary’s confidential information you apologized and I cheered. I thought you were going to keep your promise and focus on the issues.
But then you seemed to get swept up in your movement, your so called Revolution. You began to throw out the soundbites and you really didn’t like it when Hillary challenged you. When she pointed out your record on guns you seemed to be enraged. You took it as a personal attack. When she called you a one issue candidate you didn’t illustrate more issues that were important. Instead you got angry and talked about the big banks and billionaires. To my ears everything came back to that one issue. When groups like Planned Parenthood endorsed Hillary, you blamed the groups. They were suddenly the establishment. Then you blamed the congressional black caucus for saying they hadn’t felt your presence over the last 50 years. You and your supporters doubled down, you had been arrested in the 60s and you were at the March on Washington so of course you were all in for them. You were changing.
By minimizing the importance or legitimacy of the endorsements you said SHE was not worthy of those endorsements, that those groups were not important, or that they were just wrong. You quote your D-rating with the NRA, how you lost an election almost three decades ago. You say you are a huge advocate for women, you support choice. At the same time you were telling groups like Planned Parenthood that they were wrong, that you did not agree with their choice. You did the same with the congressional black caucus. They were wrong, civil rights Icon John Lewis was wrong. I don’t remember ever hearing groups or people being told that they were wrong or some how part of the “evil establishment” when they made an endorsement. What that says in the context of your evolving campaign and in the words and actions I have seen is that this woman is not worthy of these endorsements. You have big crowds shouting your name, you have a cause, and she is just a woman. Too many of us have heard this before. If you were an ally or an advocate you would be above that. You would honor both endorsers and endorsee. You would understand that you are a leader and change has to start somewhere. You would fight on an even playing field, ideals, issues, and plans would be front and center.
In debates you wagged your finger and interrupted. You blamed Hillary Clinton for things that happened while her husband was President. When you supported things like the Crime bill there were good reasons but she needed to apologize for words she said when she didn’t have a vote and you did. She was wrong for saying super predator (and she has apologized for that) while you haven’t taken responsibility for using the term sociopath in the same time period. You didn’t vote for the Comprehensive Immigration Bill of 2007 but there was a reason. I could go on.
Then WI and NY happened. You didn’t like that WI victory wasn’t acknowledged to your satisfaction by the media. That was Hillary’s fault somehow. Then you gave a bad interview. Hillary was asked if you were qualified by the media. She was careful and said simply that you hadn’t seemed prepared especially on your key issue. There was a headline. You reacted and you attacked. You hit back and called Hillary unqualified for the office. You walked that back but you still said her judgement might disqualify her. You hammered her for raising money for down ticket democrats; and oh the speeches. You demand that she releases transcripts of speeches she gave as a private citizen. You were enraged that she earned money giving speeches and implied she wasn’t worth the money and that giving the speeches corrupted her.
Women are very used to this. We are dismissed and diminished. We are held responsible and to a higher standard. A man can take credit and ignore his mistakes. A woman isn’t worth the money she is earning. You weren’t railing against how much the men made you were upset at how much she made. Your supporters and your ads implied she was a whore, that she had sold her soul to the devil. We know those words. We’re used to them. I expected better from you. These are not legitimate issues. These are deeply personal attacks that reinforce stereotypes that we have been trying to break free from. A successful qualified woman who has made a very good living should be celebrated. That you focus on that rather than issues says that you don’t have the strength in your issues; that you can’t beat her on the issues.
You keep doubling down. You say that these attacks will happen anyway but by making them you give them more validity. When you run down a list of attacks you haven’t made you say that they would have been valid but you just didn’t go there. You imply corruption every where. You blamed the south being to conservative, the poor for not voting, the democrats for their system. You point at polls as a reason that the voters should be overridden. You speak against the Democrats while running within their system. I’m worried that your “revolution” is going to sour the very young people that we need for change.
We have to work in the system. We can’t burn the government to the ground. As a leader in the party you should be supporting it. Advocate for change, but don’t rip it down while you do. Remember Caesar who fiddled while Rome burned. You aren’t going to win, the math is against you. If you want a 50 state solution turn your attention to raising money for down ticket candidates not just your chosen three. Get those young people working. There are issues that need advocacy now. You can be a force of power by keeping your supporters working for change. You don’t have to be President for that. In fact, a President could really use someone who would organized support for crucial issues.
Finally, you could look inward and recognize that big crowds and lots of money don’t make a President. Maybe some smaller events where you talked to people would have been good. Maybe you should take some responsibility and not blame the voters or the democrats or even Hillary Clinton for your loss. It doesn’t diminish you or the power of your ideas it just means that Hillary won. You could set a great example and not blame her for your loss. She was the better candidate. Be a good ally and get behind her. Recognize that she is highly qualified and successful and say as much. It’s about respect. Give it to her, give it to us. Earn back my respect. You make me, a strong progressive woman, yell at my TV. Help galvanize voters, get people out to vote for democrats, raise money support Hillary now. Tell young women that their future can be different.