The suggestion is in the air -- again -- that no sane progressive would support Hillary Clinton for president. The implication seems to be that feminists who do support Hillary have a special burden of proof to meet. Of course, I could point out that some white male progressives who consider themselves voices for the downtrodden are sympathetic to the white male progressive candidate who considers himself a voice for the downtrodden. So is it any huge surprise that some lifelong feminists happen to be sympathetic to the candidate who is a lifelong feminist? Is that really "unfortunate," as Brian Beutler writes? Are my issues as a feminist voter less important than any other voter's issues?
I agree that it's important to substantively lay out exactly why Clinton is qualified. I don't think she's the leading feminist candidate because she's a woman. I think she's the leading feminist candidate because she has always worked her ass off on feminist issues. Hillary is:
A leader on ensuring pay-equity. 75 cents on the dollar for the same work. Still.
A voice for women veterans at a time when sexual assault in the military is climbing.
An advocate for 9/11 emergency workers suffering from not-so-mysterious health problems.
The woman who fought for universal health care 14 years ago. A creator of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The winner of a year-long post law school fellowship to study children in our health care system.
An experienced diplomat who visited 86 nations during her husband's presidential term, and who declared in China, "Tragically, women are most often the ones whose human rights are violated. Even in the late twentieth century, the rape of women continues to be used as an instrument of armed conflict. Women and children make up a large majority of the world’s refugees. When women are excluded from the political process, they become even more vulnerable to abuse."
A founder of the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women.
A long-time student of progressive social change, writing about Saul Alinksky when Barack Obama was still in elementary school.
An editor of the Yale Review of Law and Social Policy.
A person who shunned highly-paid corporate law internships to work with the Children's Defense Fund and then Sen. Walter Modale's subcommittee on migrant workers.
This woman has done so much that I literally could spend all day writing this post. But I hope this is enough for now to feel like I can stop defending the point that yes, I'm a committed liberal and yes, I am seriously considering voting for Hillary Clinton.