Featuring essays by Elizabeth George on the future of our country
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A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
MEA CULPA
GIVE THE GOP A LANDSLIDE VICTORY
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART II
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART I
MONEY GRUBBING FEMALES, UNITE!
WE AREN’T ELECTING A HOMECOMING QUEEN
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
THE TOOTSIE ISSUE
Toddlers 4 President!
CRYING BABIES AND OTHER PRESSING MATTERS OF STATE
Democratic Convention 2016: How It Might Have Been
I’D LIKE TO FEEL THE BERN, ONLY…
AN UNFORTUNATE REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
On Matters of the Lie, the War, and Judgment
EGO, POLITICS, AND THE PRESIDENCY
On Getting What We Deserve
HOW JANUARY 2017 WILL LOOK
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WE AREN’T ELECTING A HOMECOMING QUEEN


At some point during this interminable election process, the nearly undefinable quality of likability began to trump experience, education, preparation, clarity of thought, compassion, personal history, evidence of patriotism, and an established interest in the common good. These were no longer important qualities to look for in a Presidential candidate. To a public used to accepting the creative inadequacies of reality television, where to be memorable was to be a “star” and to be a “star” was deemed enough, nothing became more important than a candidate’s ability to be outrageous, to be instantly quotable, to sling one-line insults guaranteed to humiliate other people, and to make statements with no basis in fact with an air of grievance, an air of authority, an air of outrage, or an air of superiority. Thus we find ourselves where we are today.

After months of poll-reading by pundits eager to tell us that Hillary Clinton has a “likability” problem, I’d like to point out, if I may, that likability is not a qualification for the Presidency. Being prepared and able to do the job is. But since both candidates appear to be failures in the likability sweepstakes, I would suggest that you vote for the candidate who is the more qualified and prepared to run the country. I’d also like to suggest that you vote for the candidate whose past indicates patriotism (love of country over love of self; sacrifices made for country in lieu of benefits accrued to and for the self), compassion for those less fortunate than the self, perseverance in the face of difficulties, and clear-headedness in high pressure situations.

In the interest of full disclosure here, I do not dislike Hillary Clinton. She’s made mistakes that I’ve wanted to drop kick her into the next time zone for making, she definitely does not come off on television as warm and fuzzy, but I’ve always liked her. I first heard her speak—at length and without notes—in September 1992 at a luncheon, and I was impressed with her passion and her intelligence. As time went on, I was also impressed with her background working to register minority voters in the 60s, championing women and children in her time as First Lady of Arkansas and later of the US, successfully serving as a US Senator, graciously accepting a painful loss in the presidential primary in 2008, being willing to serve as Secretary of State in the administration of the man who defeated her. She didn’t need to do any of this. Indeed, especially after serving as Secretary of State, she could have retired, written books, enjoyed her grandchildren, given speeches, taught a class here and there at the university of her choice anywhere on earth. But instead she decided to run for the most difficult and highly pressured job on the planet. I cannot tell you with any certainty why she made that decision. But I have an inkling of an idea: because she is a patriot and because she cares about the future of the country.

I know that for the most part, when I send out these essays, I am preaching to the choir. But it’s been my earnest hope since 2008 when I first began writing them that you will send them on, particularly to people you might know in swing states during this election cycle. It’s my belief that this is the most important election of our lifetime and the outcome will affect our children and grandchildren, our friends and neighbors, our extended families, and people we will never know.

If you agree, if you think as I think, though, I have to ask you this. What are you doing to ensure that Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States? Watching the news and wringing your hands are not enough. Not this year, not this time.

Have you called Democratic headquarters in your area to ask what they need you to do? Have you signed up to make phone calls to get out the vote? Have you been registering voters? Have you been locating people who, on election day, are going to need you to drive them to the polls? Have you walked a precinct passing out information?

Hillary Clinton’s opponent is a man who has talked about using nuclear weapons as if to do so would be the simple solution to worldwide terrorism. He is a man who said that the sacrifice he made for his country during the Vietnam War was creating jobs. He is a man who didn’t know that Vladimir Putin had invaded the Ukraine. He is a man who will not release his tax returns because—unlike the rest of us—he does not pay taxes and thinks that not paying taxes “makes [him] smart.” He is a man who, during this election cycle, has denigrated, humiliated, or insulted Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, women, each of his primary opponents, the sitting President, gold star parents, his general election opponent, the disabled, journalists, and the serving generals in the armed forces. He is a man who—as we saw during the first debate—is inarticulate, ill-informed, unprepared, and filled with the erroneous belief that he’s a match for world problems of which he has not the slightest understanding. And since that debate, we have witnessed his inability to release from his mind an obsession about a former Miss Universe. So let me ask you this: Would you be proud to see him elected President of the United States? If you would not be proud, then you’re going to have to do something to make sure he isn’t elected and simply walking into a voting booth or mailing in your ballot is not going to cut the mustard.

To be honest, at this point I must say that I’m rather fed up with people who say they don’t “like” Hillary so they won’t vote for her or say they will “hold their nose and vote for her” or claim they will cast a “protest vote” for a third party candidate because their candidate didn’t win the primary or because they wish to “send a message.” It is my belief that this is the most critical moment that we have ever faced in election history and we are NOT voting for class president or homecoming queen because this is NOT a popularity contest. You can send a strong message to the GOP and to Donald Trump and to the Donald Trumps that will follow him into politics by giving Hillary Clinton a landslide victory that says we, as an electorate, are not going to put up with gutter politics. Or you can talk about moving to New Zealand and just let the country go to hell.

Sorry to be so passionate about this but here’s the deal as I see it: Hillary Clinton has been doing for American since she graduated from law school. What are you planning to do for America from now till November?


- Elizabeth George
Whidbey Island
Washington State

 

 
 

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