As most of you know, I am a deeply political person. I am also very politically savvy. Despite my adherence to the Democratic party, I am not one of “those” liberals who Hates the other side. By and large, I am able to remain calm and serene in the face of opposition. Ronald Reagan? An inspirational and kind man. George H Bush. A seasoned veteran who cared deeply about this country. Robert Dole? An elder statesman who you would want to invite for Sunday Dinner. George W. Bush? A man whose simple persona belied a man who married an extremely intelligent woman, and struggled mightily to be taken seriously. While I disagreed with his policies I never once doubted they came from his heart. John McCain? A man of such principal and character, I cried when he admonished one of his supporter for calling then Senator Obama a Muslim and not from this country. Mitt Romney? An elegant man who had truly the best interests of this country and saw the world differently than I, but with no less compassion.
Then we come to this election. At no time in my life have I have ever been gripped with this fierce distaste and dislike of a presidential candidate. I had to look within my heart. What was it, why did I shrink every time he would disparage someone or some group? Couldn’t I remain my usual serene and politically savvy self? What was wrong with me? And then the video was released. I watched it and re-watched it. Each time I grew angrier and more physically repulsed.
And then it hit me. Donald Trump’s actions remind me of a pain so deep and so much a part of my psyche that I just had blocked them out. As a child with a physical deformity, I was constantly bullied and preyed upon. I was mocked for my face, my voice, and my every motion. Blessed with intelligence, I studied hard (even in grade school) so I could show them. You can imagine what that did. More taunting, more cruel insults. It was a daily occurrence. My best friend Carol Ann tried to help. Even my first crush Steve, stepped in. The teachers tried as did my parents. But bullies know how to get you. A sideways glance. Pushing and shoving you into a wall. Grabbing you. Making certain you know beyond all certainty that you should not be allowed to live. You are worthless. You are beyond help. You are a monster. All those things were said to me in that playground. And I remained standing.
So when I see Donald Trump mocking and making fun of even beautiful girls, making certain they also know that they are worthless, accept for tools for sexual pleasure and self aggrandizement, I cringe. If they can’t survive the schoolyard bully what is to become of the rest of us?
It took me a long time to come to Hilary Clinton’s side. When I see Hillary Clinton, I see myself. With men who maybe weren’t always the best for me. Of choices I have made that meant I had to take second fiddle. Of the relentless sexism that is pervasive in our society. In my early twenties I used to judge her, for staying with Bill. I thought I was so smart. But now decades later, I understand so much more and my heart bleeds for what she had to go through. I have seen so many of my generation have to cope with failed marriages, cheating spouses or worse. We have all chosen different paths, but we remain women and human being trying to be the best we can be.
Maybe because there is a little bit of Hilary in all of us. She is the girl I wanted to be, the one I wished could have swooped into that playground and made the bully stop.