I’m afraid I didn’t see in Hillary’s speech what others saw. I thought it mean-spirited–for a concession speech. Mockingly dressed in funereal black, Hillary seemed full of sound and fury, conceding nothing.
Most glaring was what Hillary didn’t say, what any generous endorser of Barack who really wanted to help him would have articulated clearly: I like this man, I respect this man, I trust and admire him, I’ve worked with him and know him and think he’ll make a great president.
Far from giving Barack her wholehearted endorsement, Hillary continued to aggrandize her own status, and left her followers confused. She mentioned Barack's strength, determination, grace and grit, but overlooked the special qualities that gave him his win–his brilliance, his organizational and leadership talents, his judgment, integrity, fine record of service, vision, and patriotism.
Hillary chose to endorse Barack at her own venue, in front of her own screaming supporters, while all of Barack's other endorsers have courteously shown up at his events. In this instance, the winner, Barack, even had to seek out the miffed loser just to gently ask her for her endorsement. What does this tell us about Hillary? That she's afraid. And when Hillary is afraid, she stops focusing on others, on goodness, on her goals, and mostly just worries about herself.
She hasn't really quit. She's only “suspended” her campaign, not “ended” it. She hasn't released her delegates. And she said loud and clear in her speech, “(N)ever listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on.” What's wholehearted about that? If she plans to campaign her heart out for Barack, I haven't seen it yet. I hope I do. So far, it all looks like waiting and hoping and being ready for a quirkily different outcome to miraculously appear.
Over and over, Hillary said only that her supporters “must” or “have to” (i.e., against their will and better judgment? kicking and screaming? for no good reason other than that Barack is a Democrat?) support Barack if they're going to realize Hillary’s dream. Hillary so wanted to be a Queen, an Eva Peron, bestowing generous favors upon her twentieth century flock. Barack is so twenty-first-century-beyond such pettiness, so ego-less (but not ambition-less.)
I am grateful that Hillary didn’t take advantage of this staged opportunity to cry over the nasty black spider who sat down beside her and so rudely spoilt her party. I have no doubt that Hillary, like the rest of us, sheds real tears in private, but not in public yet. That's too bad–her heart is by far her best asset, far better even than her excellent brain. Whenever she's being authentically Hillary–loving, focused on others, lifted out of her fears–she's truly great. But when she's scared, angry and confused (and that's too often), well…she's like the rest of us (not good enough to be president.)
Hillary has never seemed quite comfortable being a woman, nor does she feel comfortable trusting any man, sometimes with good reason. But her lack of of a reliable and completely trusting faith–in herself, in others, in the love that works so brilliantly through her when she lets it work, in God, in life itself–that lack of faith keeps on hurting her and holding her back. I trust she will notice soon how far her faith has carried her already, and trust it more to take her the rest of the way. And I hope she will turn her back once and for all on her insecurities and fears, for we all greatly need Hillary's greatness.
She has been a courageous, pioneering feminist during a confusing time, but her continuing confusion about the whole feminist and gender and leadership thing continues to be shared with the rest of us. I recommend A Woman's Worth, by Marianne Williamson, to help her identify more consistently with her own authentic faith, love, and femininity.
Hillary has fallen far in recent days from her formerly-visionary, mighty-heroine status, to act so small, but it's only temporary. Hers has been an amazing journey, and we've loved watching her grow along with us. Hillary relentlessly stretches and challenges herself, and thus sometimes fails greatly and publicly, always a great test of faith. But even absolute power cannot corrupt absolutely.
The corruption we're all heir to is the temptation to escape to fear, to veer away from our goal of loving oneness. Fear is the only explanation for Hillary's attempt to hold Barack back, the one person today who can lead us all over that bridge to the 21st century, the bridge she once worked so hard to build. Hillary will find the love necessary to let go of her small need to be “right” about her belief that she could have won the election, and that Barack couldn't, her wish to look back and be able to say “I told you so.” Instead, she will find the faith necessary to support him in accomplishing the goals she's been working toward her whole life.
Hillary's failure to win the presidency was not a failure of sexism belonging to all women everywhere, but a failure of faith that goodness could indeed work consistently through her–not to mention the emergence of an amazing challenger who so far has proved to be a clearer, more consistent channel for positivity. Sexism cannot explain Hillary's loss when her opponent displayed clearly superior leadership traits, and losing like a petulant child has not helped to establish her creds.
With friends like Hillary, so far, Barack hasn't needed enemies. Yes, I’m being churlish, feeling mad and sad that Hillary's speech offered only the minimum required to save her political neck and to further her (indeed selfless) agenda. But Barack needs all of our best help to make the changes we so desperately need to begin. Yes, I need to get over it and find my own faith again.
No doubt, Hillary's speech was her best effort, for now—and to be sure, her best on any given day is impressive, far more impressive than I am capable of on my best days. But I do so hope Hillary regains her faith, strength and loving authenticity, and then uses it to support Barack wholeheartedly. She has grown greatly before. Hillary can be as big as she can be small. I hope she decides to act on her love and her faith instead of on her fears and resentments, for a long long while.
Hillary and Bill have unfortunately cast themselves into the role of Democratic Party “old guard,” a role they once fought hard to overcome in others.Tragically, Hillary isn’t even aware that she's done this. She ran for president so that she could to complete her and Bill's very impressive joint-60s-vision-of-the-future, but Barack has laid out a much more complete, better, stronger and longer-range extension and enlargement of that vision which will take America assertively into mid-century. Hillary's present resistance to Barack's leadership hasn't done her any favors, but perhaps it has done Barack one or two; Barack will have so many world and national “enemies” to deal with from now on, so many fence-sitters to co-opt, that perhaps it's a blessing to have cut his teeth on a very tough old “friend.”
I pray that Hillary will regain the (very feminine) faith, love, and authenticity which brought her to the brink of success. If she will rededicate her many talents in service to Barack's vision, she will greatly serve herself, Barack, America, and the world.
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