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Our Milestone Moment

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Our Milestone Moment

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during her California primary night rally held in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

On Tuesday night, after Hillary Clinton had delivered her first speech as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, it didn’t take long for some of us expressing our joy over this historic moment to feel the burn of reprimand.

We should show more understanding toward those who are disappointed, the critics said.

We should not “rub it in.”

We were “gloating.” We were “insensitive.” We should be “more gracious.”

I leaned back from my computer in the wee hours of Wednesday morning and thought, “Why does this feel so familiar?”

It didn’t take long for me to remember. I called up the column I wrote last June after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. The reprimands were virtually identical.

Here we are again, expected to suppress our happiness so that we don’t injure the feelings of those who see nothing to celebrate in this milestone moment of equality. I was impatient last June with this argument, and I find that an additional year of living has done nothing to temper my resolve.

We are not trying to hurt anyone with our enthusiasm, yet it is so very female to lower our voices and dim the signs of our happiness to avoid upsetting those who have no business trying to tamp us down. Let us be done with that.

It’s not that I don’t understand the pain of Bernie Sanders supporters’ wounds. Isn’t it true, after all, that what we dislike most in others are the weaknesses we recognize in ourselves? In 2008, it took me a while to bounce back from the heartbreak of Hillary Clinton’s primary defeat to Barack Obama. Let’s just say you wouldn’t have wanted to hang out with me. If that is always true of you, I can’t help you here.

In hindsight, I can see that my injury was self-inflicted, a human response to disappointment. Nobody was looking to hurt my feelings, and no one from the Obama camp felt the least bit obligated to court or cajole me out of my sour mood. The duration and course of my recovery were up to me, and by golly, I got there.

Likewise, a lot of Sanders supporters will sulk until they get bored with their grudges, and then most of them will join the fight to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office. It’s not up to me or anyone else who voted for Clinton to do the hard work of healing for them. Soul-searching is, by definition, a solo act.

Now that we’ve had a day or so to get used to the idea that the Democratic Party is about to nominate the first viable female candidate for president, it’s time to figure out what comes next.

I am delighted by the prospect of a national discussion fueled by the assumption that every issue is a women’s issue. That’s just one of the life-altering changes sweeping in on the wings of a Hillary Clinton candidacy. Another is the full stop it brings to patronizing speculation about what women — and what girls — cannot do in this world. The reality of a female president blows that door off its hinges.

On Monday, Clinton is scheduled to be in Cleveland, where I live, to emphasize the need for unity. One of her greatest challenges in this campaign is to convince white men who feel abandoned and invisible that she sees them and that she cares. So many women in America will readily believe that she does because this is a central truth of our lives, too. We care about our men, and too many of us love men who are hurting.

We also understand the enduring legacy of negative stereotypes about strong women. Too often, we are cast as everything that is now wrong with America.

Donald Trump will attempt to exploit such suspicions of us because fear is his only strategy. He is living proof that small people come in all sizes. The last thing he thinks he should have to do is compete with a woman. He is the bully we know, the giant boor we’ve been trying to topple for much of our lives.

At the risk of sounding joyful, I think Hillary Clinton is the warrior we’ve been waiting for.


Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (con.schultz@yahoo.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

Photo: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during her California primary night rally held in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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Connie Schultz

Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicated. Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She has also published two books: Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths -- a collection of her previously published columns -- and ...and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man, which chronicled her experiences on the campaign trail with her husband, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

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16 Comments

  1. Godzilla June 9, 2016

    History has been made. Not only is Clinton the first women to win the presumptive nomination for the Presidency, but she is also the first politician EVER to win the nomination while under Federal investigation for Racketeering and many other Felony crimes that may include treason. Yes, Hillary supporters, you should be very proud. You just reaffirmed to the world that you are ethically and morally bankrupt.

    But fear not Liberal snowflakes, there are a lot of Psychologists waiting for your calls. You should get help, lots and lots of help.

    Reply
    1. ralphkr June 9, 2016

      Uh, Godzilla, you are even more confused than ever. It is Trump who is under investigation for felony crimes and not Clinton.

      Reply
    2. charleo1 June 9, 2016

      Look, while you’re making stuff up, why just racketeering, “and many other felonies..?” That is so lame! Why not say.. the Feds think she’s the head of the NY Mob? Or.. that Hillary Clinton runs the biggest drug cartel in Mexico!? Yes! That’s the ticket. After all you’re talking to the RW anyway, the most gullible dupes since the settlers bought Manhattan for some beads. So why not say that insiders at the CIA are pretty certain that it is none other than Hillary Cinton that is sending all those Mexican rapists, and drug dealers Trump is talking about across the border! And Bill is the secret head of the Trilateral Commission! Get creative!

      Reply
      1. latebloomingrandma June 9, 2016

        You got a way with words, Charlie. Love it.

        Reply
    3. JPHALL June 9, 2016

      Confused often? You sure sound like it!

      Reply
    4. Phil Christensen June 9, 2016

      “We can’t afford to have that money go to the private sector. That money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better than the private sector will spend it.” – Hillary Clinton, June, 1993

      Well, a quarter of a century later and a few $6,000 speeches under her pant-suit girdle, I can only presume that she’s “grown” out of that criminal (pun sort of intended) stupidity.

      Reply
  2. I of John June 9, 2016

    Nice, fresh and reasoned article.

    Reply
  3. Paul Bass June 9, 2016

    Hey Connie,
    I’m an old white man, but, I also am really tired of having to “contain my joy”.

    WTF, HRC won fair and square, despite DECADES of GOP lies, boo hoo, go cry me a river. I’m MORE than glad Hillary won, and just hope Americans aren’t fooled by the GOP trash talk.
    But I’m pretty sure HRC will get under Trumps thin skin regularly, I can’t wait!

    Reply
    1. latebloomingrandma June 9, 2016

      When you get POTUS and Biden and Warren out there with Bill and Hill, The Donald won’t know what hit him.He’ll be in full meltdown mode, showing his true colors.

      Reply
  4. AgLander June 9, 2016

    The evolution of a criminal mind, Hillary Clinton:

    1996: “There is a vast right wing conspiracy out to get me and my husband.”
    2016: “There was no intent to break the law.”

    Reply
    1. latebloomingrandma June 9, 2016

      The right wing has been after them for 20+ years. Where have you been, asleep like Rip van Winkle?

      Reply
    2. iamproteus June 10, 2016

      Hey, Ag, that was really weak there. Do you really think you’ll be paid for that?

      Reply
  5. SJ Carter June 9, 2016

    Really nice article. I for one have waited all my adult life for this moment. I don’t understand though how Hillary Clinton is always held to a different standard of conduct than any other male candidate for the presidency has ever been…oh yes, I do remember why. I’ve been living with that judgement my whole life. Women have to work harder, expect lower pay, not have control of their own bodies, etc, etc. I’m so over all that and yes, I feel JOY!

    Reply
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    1. JohnJ June 9, 2016

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      Reply
  7. penguintruth June 9, 2016

    Another in a string of corporate-controlled Presidents is not a milestone in any way.

    Reply

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