No Matter What You Think of Hillary Clinton, on July 26, 2016 History Was Made

Before going forward, let me just say that I understand Hillary Clinton is a polarizing figure. When you’re someone who’s been in the public eye as long as she has, especially with the millions of dollars that have been spent trying to drag her through the mud over the last quarter century, I’m not sure any one person has face that type of scrutiny — especially for as long as she has.

But despite what anyone might think of her, can we all just take a moment to realize how historic July 26, 2016 was for women?

For the first time in our nation’s history, a woman officially became the presidential nominee for a major political party.

Please, don’t even try to downplay this historic event by bringing up Dr. Jill Stein. I’m sorry Green Party folks, but your party isn’t a “major party.” Furthermore, I’m certain the overwhelming majority of Green Party supporters can’t name anyone who challenged her during the primary. (FYI: William Kremi came in second and only won South Carolina — the state where he’s a professor.)

I think it’s important to understand some aspects to this that I don’t think some folks actually realize.

Hillary Clinton didn’t grow up during a time where a woman becoming president was remotely realistic. She’s not someone like George or Jeb Bush who were basically raised to be politicians who would one day run for president. She’s not a member of the Kennedy family which has been an icon in American politics for decades. I’m not even sure if she ever thought of running for president when she was First Lady.

When she was elected as a senator from New York in 2000, she became the first female United States Senator from the state. By the way, she was also the first First Lady to ever be elected to the United States Senate.

Now she’s the first female presidential candidate from a major political party.

That’s a heck of a lot of “firsts.”

For most of our nation’s history, if a woman said she wanted to run for president, she would have been laughed at, mocked and ridiculed. Over the past year, I’ve talked with many 30 and under women (typically Bernie Sanders supporters) who would tell me that Hillary Clinton has done nothing to help women — which is absolutely absurd.

Even though it’s 2016, sexism is still alive and well. Female politicians (and women in general) continue to be scrutinized and held to a different standard than men. Could you imagine a female presidential candidate with a hairstyle as ridiculous as Donald Trump’s? Hell, could you imagine a female candidate who had that ridiculous hairstyle acting like Trump? If Hillary dares to raise her voice she’s accused of being “out of control,” “angry” or “shouting.” Yet that’s never said about male politicians who frequently raise their voices. Even what she wears is often a topic for discussion — something I never see discussed in the media concerning males.

Well, unless you’re Republicans who were apparently very upset a couple of years ago that President Obama once wore a tan suit.

And I would also like to point out that this nation, after 200+ years of having nothing but white males run this country, is on the verge of possibly following up our first African American president with our first female Commander in Chief. To realize that the daughter of our nation’s first African American president will be able to vote to hopefully elect our nation’s first female president is astonishing. Just let the incredible historic significance of that sink in for a moment.

To quote Vice President Joe Biden, this is a big f*cking deal. 

Though we still have a lot of work to do between now and November. We’re looking at a general election that could very well be one of the ugliest in our nation’s history. And while all elections are important, this year’s might be one of the most important in many of our lifetimes. With the Supreme Court, health care, same-sex marriage, immigration, climate change, abortion, women’s rights, voting rights and a whole host of other vital issues on all the line this November, this is one election we can not mess up and allow a fascist radical being backed by the Russian government to become our next president. Because I’m really not sure if we’d ever be able to recover from the damage that he would do.

But even though there’s still so much more that needs to be done, let’s not forget to take a moment to realize what a historic moment July 26, 2016 was for women — and for our nation.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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