Why I Support Hillary

| Jun 20, 2016
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From A Hillary Superdelegate: An open letter to my grandson and other respectful Bernie supporters

Thank you for contacting me to express your honest feelings about this 2016 Democratic primary election and . I appreciate your passion and concern about the future of not only the Democratic Party, but of America, our country.

Bernie-SandersI actually like Bernie, I like his style, his framing, blunt and to the point. Most Democrats seem to sound too wonky, try to be too exact, use too many syllables. Republicans keep it simple, making words, phrases easy to remember and easy to catch on to whether they have real meaning or not. Coming from Jersey City and Bernie from Brooklyn, growing up in the same era (I’m only a year younger than Bernie) and in a working class neighborhood, I can relate personally to his style … I like it and I get it!

I agree with some of his signature issues, Single payer, i.e. Medicare for all, as opposed to Obamacare which we have now. Obamacare, yes, light years in comparison to what we had under Bush and the Republicans then, and what they want to drag us back to. Obamacare is based on Romneycare and the child of the reactionary Heritage Foundation that started trying to kill that “child” as soon as it was adopted by Obama and the Democrats!

I love the idea of a political revolution! Seeing the intransigence in Washington and certainly here in New Jersey with a Governor who from the very beginning had his own political future solely guiding his actions, enforced by his seeming bi-polar style of being likable when he wanted and a bullying despot when that was appropriate. We have the tea party funded by the Kochs who are other billionaires who do not believe in government and want government to fail! No wonder we must have change.

I grew up with the Beatles, and although my favorite song was, Hey Jude!, it was the other side of that single, Revolution that is most appropriate here.

“You say you want a revolution

Well, you know

We all want to change the world

You tell me that it’s evolution

Well, you know

We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction

Don’t you know that you can count me out

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right

All right, all right

You say you got a real solution

Well, you know

We’d all love to see the plan

You ask me for a contribution

Well, you know

We’re doing what we can

But when you want money

For people with minds that hate

All I can tell is brother you have to wait”

Yes we need “CHANGE”, that is simple and clear. To directly address income inequality we must devolve from the current trajectory that is shrinking the middle class and making the rich richer and more powerful and leaving the poor with a smaller piece of the pie.

Greed is not good. In the sense that Glass-Steagall must come back, banks should be broken up and de-levered. But it is not that simple. Banks should not be in competition with the Casino industry.

There must be a balance of rights and responsibility on all levels. . .  Corporations who have limited liability and privacy through their corporate veil must not have more rights than human citizens, that is nuts!

We all must be part of the solution to make that change and it cannot be every 4 years, nor even every 2 years. Its more than just voting, it is working to get a seat at the table and it is our responsibility to step up. Look what happened to the Republican party! How did it become a party of people who did not want government to work, who did not want women to have control over their own bodies, who were more concerned about what people did in their bedrooms, or what people had between their legs, rather than people being honest and open about who they actually were or who they loved.

When I first got involved politically it was out of fear for myself and my own survival. There was this societal stigma that shook me to my very core and drove me to fight to get a seat at the table to make positive change. It was more unnerving than my father relating his story during WWII of a young soldier in his squad walking around his bunk and staring at him looking for his horns and tail because he had heard that my Dad was Jewish!

This was about educated progressive lawmakers and attorneys who honestly wanted to help transgender people but believed that the societal stigma was too much of a burden and would not give us the opportunity to take a giant step forward to help ourselves and that we would fail. We learned the rules, we worked the system and we won! We went back for more and more and kept winning until a Republican, Chris Christie, became Governor and progress came essentially to a halt.

In 2004 transgender people were not included in the Democratic Party’s Convention (DNCC) platform and an organized attempt to include our basic recognition was rebuffed. Gay and lesbian leaders would not even say the word, “transgender.” It was very disappointing. By early 2005 after Kerry’s loss, allies within the DNC gave us the opportunity to engage, to stick a foot in the door and we did. We engaged boldly and constructively and in a timely manner because we “showed up” and engaged, to earn respect.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

In 2007 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign reached out to transgender leaders for support. We asked for a positive statement of support for transgender rights, not just gay rights, we wanted it on her website for all to see and when she did that we signed on to her LGBT Steering Committee and, within a week both the Obama and Edwards campaigns put up comparable statements on their respective websites. The 2008 DNCC platform had fully inclusive LGBT non-discrimination language and the Convention rules called for a fully inclusive equal opportunity clause.

In 2008 I was elected as a Hillary Delegate to the DNCC and although she lost a very close and bitter primary to Senator Obama, I recognized a couple of things: 1) Obama was aggressive in working the rules to win the most delegates and 2) As Obama and his people reached out to us it was crystal clear that we shared so many values it was obvious that sooner or later it was in our best interest to come together. Besides the thought of Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from the Presidency was a huuuge wakeup call!

Working together for victory brought us together for the fruits of victory. So much happened relatively quickly. As sitting President, Obama became leader of the Democratic Party and named Governor Tim Kaine as DNC Chair. In late August of 2009 Chairman Kaine appointed me as the first openly transgender member of the DNC. Literally 5 minutes before that the DNC added Gender identity to its Charter and By-Laws as a category of non-discrimination and inclusion. When Hillary Clinton became Obama’s Secretary of State she proactively reformed America’s passport policy so that trans people were no longer forced to have surgery to change their gender marker! Proactively! Embassies and Consulates throughout the world began recognizing LGBT hate crimes and observing Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The culture within the Obama Administration, the culture within the Clinton State Dept. and the Clinton campaign, and with the DNC, is trans inclusive and I would assume that because of the more overt trans inclusive rules of the 2016 Convention, the Sanders Campaign should reflect those rules.

When I look back to when I was a delegate in 2004 and reflect on the frustration with the Kerry campaign, and follow the opportunities that were given and sometimes aggressively yet respectfully and responsibly taken with the DNC under Howard Dean, Tim Kaine and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, I realize how much progress has been made for transgender rights. In 2004 the Chair of the DNC Gay and Lesbian Caucus (and most everyone else) would not say the word “transgender.” In 2011 I jumped at an opportunity to run for the DNC Executive Committee and won! Really inclusive, and now in 2016 the DNC is active fighting for our rights. When Hillary Clinton’s Primary Victory video features a trans activist woman of color and uses the voice of a second trans woman — when she boldly and confidently talks about having our back — with her proactive record of not only talking the talk, but actually “walking the walk,” how could I not support Hillary Clinton to be our next President?

Babs_and_Hillary


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Category: Transgender Politics

Babs

About the Author ()

“Babs” is a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee, Deputy Vice Chair of the NJ Democratic State Committee and Political Director of the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of NJ. For the current campaign she serves on the Executive Committee of Trans United 4 Obama. She has served as Vice Chair of the DNC Eastern Caucus, President of NJ Stonewall Democrats, Co-Chair of National Stonewall Democrats Federal PAC Board, Vice-Chair of Garden State Equality, Executive Board member of National Stonewall Democrats as Chair of the DNC Relations Committee and a member of the NJ Civil Unions Review Commission.

Comments (7)

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  1. says:

    “The fix is in and votes don’t count when the machines are rigged.”

    Interesting, Tasi. You’re saying the Democrats have the voting machines fixed? That would be my conclusion since Hillary is going to win fairly easily vs Trump which would not be the case if Republicans had the control.

    But if the D’s control the voting machines for the presidential vote, they also control the vote in the House and Senate races.

    As for voting even in a ‘clean’ election, that is, and always has been, a symbolic action for the individual. I like to phrase it this way – your vote counts but it doesn’t matter. So whether one votes or not, for whatever reason, is irrelevant to the outcome.

    • tasidevil tasidevil says:

      Ask yourself why the media stopped doing exit interviews. Yes I probably agree with your last statement. Who knows, I may be surprised.

  2. says:

    Tasi, that is a very um ‘interesting’ website!

    As for Hillary, I’ve said previously right here that IF a person’s transgender status is his/her/ze’s/zir’s primary/transcendent value then of course one would vote Democrat.

    If not, and it is up to the individual to make such an important decision, then other factors, of the person’s choosing, will determine what is in that person’s self-interest. That may mean voting for a major party or a minor party or (like myself) not voting at all.

    • tasidevil tasidevil says:

      Lesley, we should be voting for Democratic congresspeople, just not Hillary. Or you can vote for the Green Party whose candidate more closely approximates traditional democratic values. Yes the website ICH is interesting. If you seek the truth in news, you’re not likely to find it in American media. You need to look at alternative news sources.

      My wife and I discussed not voting at all as there is some value in making a statement that the winner was not elected by a majority of the people, just the majority of the voters. However I’m more inclined to vote for minority parties if only to show that the major political parties no longer represent the desire of the people, not that it really means anything. The fix is in and votes don’t count when the machines are rigged.

      • Babs Babs says:

        Some folks have missed missed the whole point of my posting as I showed that instead of being on the outside and moaning and bitching about stuff … we could get a seat at the table. Oh sure it takes work and smart activism, learning the rules and making them work for you and your cause but you can make changes! you also have to get off your petard!

        Is Hillary perfect on everything… ? Working with her and her people gives strong evidence of the desire to actually make America better and with her knowledge and experience under great stress makes he the only one ready and able to step into the Oval office from Day #1. You cannot say that about any other candidate in this entire cycle.

  3. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Unfortunately Hillary doesn’t represent change in the larger picture of international politics but a continuation of what has been happening over the last 20 years. I agree her support of transgender rights is great for us, but can you really stomach that in light of her total disregard for the rule of law, see here http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44897.htm. Her foreign policy is far more likely to take us to war that is unwinnable. Transgender rights will have little meaning if America is ash or suffers through the worst depression ever

    • Babs Babs says:

      Worst depression ever? we stopped that when Obama was elected and began what little fiscal sanity that he could! Yeah finance 2 major wars by a tax cut on those most able to pay! Gimme a break!