Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Friday, March 7, 2008

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

First of all, congratulations on your wins in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island.

But you’re still behind in delegates, and the math is disastrous – enough to make victory a very steep uphill climb for you, but not enough to guarantee a victory for either you or Barak. The worst nightmare of me, and the worst nightmare for the American people, is coming into focus: You and Barack pound each other face-to-face all the way to the convention, while McCain and the Republican Smear Machine (the RSM) pound you both, practically unopposed; a brokered convention, with a lot of pissed off, discouraged Democrats at the end; a split party, and masses of disgusted independent voters; and a victory for McCain in the fall.

At this point, it’s hard to imagine a worse outcome for our entire country.

Please, don’t let it happen.

Barack won’t quit – He’s ahead, and the math favors him.

That leaves the onus on you, to prevent the looming disaster.

Granted, this argument comes from an Obama backer – why should you listen to me? (Especially since I’ll vote for the Democratic nominee even if it turns out to be a sock puppet.)

Because my brother, an independent who probably hasn’t voted for a major party candidate for president in his entire life, is ready to vote for Obama – and he likes McCain. He will likely vote for McCain if you win the Democratic nomination.

How many more votes like that are out there? Enough to turn a close election, like the last two?

We're all on the same team. Let's not lose the game because we're arguing over who gets to be captain.

Because what our nation needs right now in the White House is Barack’s brand of inspiration. I’m sorry, Hillary, but that is the hole in your platform. Your health plan is better than Barack’s. Your stance and understanding of gay and transgendered issues is better than Barack’s. Your experience in the political arena is greater than Barak’s.

But frankly, if the issue is experience, McCain’s got you both beat in spades. As for the 3:00 a.m. call, I have full confidence that you, Barack, and McCain can all handle that with competence. My concern is the day-to-day policy – the considered decision to waste more of our national treasure in military adventurism, to ignore the depredations of the far right on the queer community, to abandon our public to the mercies of a profit-driven, heartless health insurance industry, to let our civic infrastructure rot. You and Barack can both handle that competently, and neither will allow us (hopefully) to go too far over the cliff to not step back (if indeed Bush hasn’t already put us there).

So it comes down to that unifying, inspirational presence exhibited by Barack Obama, and for all your wonderful qualities and competencies, Hillary, that presence you do not have. But, you have gathered a lot of political capital. Don’t step down without a deal. Don’t step down without making sure that your own contribution will be secured.

There is a better place for you than in the White House. A place that will upset the right-wing fringe, the Ann Coulter’s and Rush Limbaugh’s, more than if you did win the White House. A place where the ranting of the right will no longer have any influence on your career, but where your brand of tenacity, wisdom, experience, and policy knowledge is sorely needed. A place where your legacy will be assured.

It is an almost sure bet that the next president (assuming all the aging justices survive into the fall and Bush doesn't get another one) will nominate at least one and likely more than one Supreme Court justice.

Now is the time to go to Obama, and to the superdelegates of the Democratic party (quietly, of course), and broker a deal that will unify the party to fight off McCain and the RSM, while securing your own legacy.

And trade in your presidential run for a seat on the Supreme Court.

I'd rather have you on the bench for 20 (or 30) years than in the Oval Office for four (or eight), anyway.

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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our
Beloved's.
~Hafiz