By Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam
I am with Hillary Rodham Clinton now!
I was with Bernie Sanders. I explained how I felt the Bern back in February 2016.
Bernie is with Hillary now. All the way.
Bernie’s very last words in his convention speech were: “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.”
I second that motion wholeheartedly!!!
Bernie said the 2016 presidential election is not about him, Hillary, The Donald, the other candidates, political gossip, polls, campaign strategy or all the media nonsense. The 2016 election said Bernie Sanders is
about the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and our grandchildren; it is about ending the 40-year decline of our middle class; it’s about the reality that 47 million men, women and children today live in poverty. It is about understanding that if we do not transform our economy, our younger generation will likely have a lower standard of living than their parents. It’s about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America today!”
I say the 2016 presidential election is about choices, stark political choices, clear social choices, plain economic choices; it is about life choices, informed choices, strategic choices, choices between good and evil and choices between solid and tested ideas and fantasy, reveries, illusion and wishful thinking.
I say the 2016 election is not about the beatification and canonization of Hillary Clinton although the Trumpublicans have done everything to demonize, diabolize, anathematize, criminalize and atomize her.
A Trump advisor and a New Hampshire state representative at the Republican Convention said, “Hillary Clinton [who] should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.” He later added, “As far as I’m concerned, it is treason and the penalty for treason is the firing squad ― or maybe it’s the electric chair now.”
What should be the penalty for a man who looked directly into the television cameras and invited our enemies to spy on us: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Dr. Ben Carson, a has-been Republican presidential candidate and Trump advisor, said Hillary Clinton is the follower of “Lucifer”.
I would wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Clueless Carson if he knew what he was talking about.
The word “Lucifer” originates in the Latin Vulgate (a late fourth-century Latin translation of the Bible) meaning “the morning star, the planet Venus”, or adjectivally, “light-bringing”.
What a striking contrast indeed to Darth “The Donald” Trump! (Why did “The Donald” cross the street to the dark side of the Force?! To be with his buddy Vlad “The Impaler” (a/k/a Dracula) Putin?)
For four days in Cleveland, Trumpublicans frothed at the mouth. They reveled in anti-Hillary hysteria consumed by hate and fear mongering.
“Pillory Hillary!” screamed and screeched the swarming Trumpublican hordes.
They were enraptured as they called for Hillary’s lynching.
“Lock her up! Lock her up!”, they barked, yapped, yelped, brayed and neighed.
(How about, “Lock up Trump in a mental hospital!”)
That was Trumpublican-speak for “Stone Hillary! Stone Hillary!”
I asked myself, “Why do they hate Hillary so much?”
Hate is irrational. How can it be explained?
The Trumpublicans’ clamor for the stoning (lynching, execution by a firing squad or the electric chair, locking up) of Hillary reminded me of a story in Scripture. As Jesus returned from the Mount of Olives, the scribes and Pharisees confronted him and demanded that he pass judgment so that an alleged adulteress could be stoned to death. “When they kept on questioning Jesus, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
I know Hillary has flaws, faults, occasional lapses of judgment and shortcomings, but no more and no less than all of the self-righteous, pious, sanctimonious forked-tongue, holier-than-thou, smug and pharisaical hypocrite politicians, journalists, academics, bloggers and the rest.
I am voting not for St. Hillary; I am voting for President Hillary Clinton.
The Trumpublicans thought they had finally found their Marie Antoinette in 2016.
They believe they can now rally against Hillary and incite an insurrection which could lead to the Second American Civil War.
But the Trumpublicans don’t get it.
On July 28, 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton merely fulfilled a mission launched and a promise made by the likes of Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and so many others well over a century ago.
Susan B. Anthony pleaded a century ago, “I beg you to speak of women as you do of the Negro, speak of her as a human being, as a citizen of the United States, as a half of the people in whose hands lies the destiny of this nation.”
On July 28, 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton answered Anthony’s century-old plea by accepting the nomination of the Democratic Party and promising to fight for the destiny of these United States and save the last great hope humanity from Trumpinsanity.
On July 28, 2016, Hillary Clinton made good on the aspirations of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments at the Seneca Falls Conference (the declaration of independence for women).
Hillary’s demonizers seek to distract attention by saying Hillary has a “trust” issue.
No, Hillary has Hillary-haters issue!
Of course, the “trust” issue is a dog whistle for Trumpublicans and Hillary-haters.
For three decades, the Republicans have campaigned relentlessly to vilify and tar and feather Hillary as “untrustworthy”.
In a patriarchal political system, tarring and feathering a woman as untrustworthy is not merely character assassination but a denial of her essential womanhood.
Didn’t Shakespeare’s Hamlet embittered by Gertrude’s self-assertiveness and independence, which he construed as betrayal, declare all women are untrustworthy: “Frailty thy name is woman,” said Hamlet.
Like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, the Trumpublicans want to patch the scarlet letter “U” (untrustworthy) on the lapel of Hillary’s coat.
Trumpublicans and Hillary-haters like to ask, “Can you trust Hillary? She has lied before. She deleted emails. She lied about Benghazi.”
If trust is really the issue, I ask, “Can you trust a man who has bankrupted 6 businesses into the ground” to manage and run U.S.A. Inc.?”
Will you take a chance on U.S.A, Inc. being Trump’s seventh bankruptcy?
There is the Midas Touch (everything turns to gold) and the Trump Sodium Touch (everything is ruined in bankruptcy).
I ask, “Can you trust a man who has cheated and stiffed hundreds of small businesses and countless employees?”
Will Trump’s next victims be American taxpayers?
Trump says he “will not release” his tax return because he is being audited. The IRS said, “Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.”
I ask, “Can you trust a presidential candidate who will not show you his tax returns when every candidate running for the presidency of the United States had done so?
After the 9/11 attacks Hillary begged, lobbied and toiled to get $20b in federal aid for N.Y. City to help first responders and businesses impacted by the terrorist act.
What was The Donald doing? Collecting a check for $150,000 in federal funds intended to help small businesses recover even though none of his properties were affected.
Can you really trust Donald Trump?
I ask, “Can you trust a man who talks about bringing back jobs to America when his neckties and “Make America Great” caps are made in China, his furniture in Turkey and his picture frames in India?
I ask, “Can you trust a man whose fingers are trained to twit to handle the “nuclear football”?
I ask, “Can you trust a pathological liar?”
Shall I begin to count all of Trump’s lies?
I ask, “Can you trust a man who looked directly into the television cameras and said, ‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.’”
A day later, Trump tried to eat his words, “Of course, I am being sarcastic”.
Sarcasm is supposed to be a defense against stupidity, not stupidity itself.
Thomas Carlyle, one of the most important social commentators of the Victorian era, cautioned: “Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it.”
And Trumpublicans call Hillary “follower of Lucifer”. Ha!
The benighted wannabe commander-in-chief now wants to take refuge in sarcasm to cloak his stupidity.
Can you trust a man who degrades and humiliates a person with disability? Watch this14 second video and answer my question.
On the question of trust, I trust in ideas, principles and values. I trust the principles in the U.S. Constitution. I value individual liberty and freedom . I love the idea that when the people fear government, there is tyranny and when government fears the people, there is liberty.
The bottom line is that the 2016 election is not about trust, trust me!
The bottom line is that the 2016 election is about CHOICE.
It will be an easy choice for me in the voting booth on November 8.
I will be the first to cast my vote for Hillary, but will not be the first or last to cast a stone at her.
I challenge my fellow Americans who plan or have decided to cast a stone at Hillary on November 8 to ponder the words: “Let any one of you who is without sin, hypocrisy, shortcomings, faults, flaws, lies or deleted emails be the first to throw a stone at her.”
In voting for Hillary, we are not electing a saint. We are not electing someone who can walk on water. Just a public servant to serve in the highest political office in the United States.
In voting for Hillary, we are not electing a leader who will make America great. America is already great. Just ask Trump’s buddy Vlad Putin who said, “America is a great power — today probably the only superpower. We accept that. We want to and are ready to work with the United States.”
Those who point an index finger and say America must be made great again should look at where their three fingers are pointing. America can never be made great by the intellectually and morally bankrupt.
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who has the experience, temperament, vision, tenacity and determination to keep America more fair, more just, more equal, more safe and more compassionate.
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who will pursue terrorists to the end of the earth and honor America’s commitment abroad.
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who will meet the challenges of the future with confidence and purpose, not a kook who cannot wait to turn back the clock to the days of the American civil war or launch a war of words on twitter.
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who aims to make the imperfect United States more perfect by healing racial, ethnic and religious division. Trump takes great pride in his statement “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who will protect health care for 20 million people. Trump says, “On day one of his Administration he will ask we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” He does not give a rat’s behind about what will happen to the 20 million Americans on day 2.
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who cares about our senior citizens. In May 2016, Sam Clovis, Trump’s top policy advisor said, “A Trump administration would be open to cuts in Social Security and Medicare.”
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who cares about our military and veterans. As Hillary noted in her acceptance speech: “Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, ‘I know more about ISIS than the generals do.’ No, Donald, you don’t,” Clinton said. “He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are ‘a disaster.’”
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who is not only educated but also cares about public education and higher education, not someone who is in court for having defrauded young men and women seeking to improve their lives through education.
In Hillary Clinton we are electing a leader who is willing to rescue young people drowning in college debt and give new students an opportunity to get an education without bankrupting themselves, their parents and their futures.
Trump has ripped-off students enrolled at his “university” and is being held accountable in court.
Trump tried to bully a U.S. federal judge born in Indiana by claiming that the judge’s Mexican heritage created an “absolute conflict of interest” in light of the fact “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”
Trump University is to a real university as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” butter is to butter.
The choice is between a man with a temperament of a Tasmanian Devil (I did not say Lucifer) with uncontrollably twitting fingers, a mouth frothing and hemorraghing insult, slander, scorn and insolence and a woman who speaks softly and carries a big stick.
The choice is between a twit (did I say nitwit?) who mindlessly disseminates racist, sexist and xenophobic invectives in 140 characters believing it to be political discourse and an intelligent woman who can conduct political discourse at the highest levels. Were Shakespeare alive, he would have told Trump, “Sire! Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.”
The choice is between a woman who can lead us into the future as an Enlightened United States and a man who wants turn back the clock and take us back to the Benighted United States of yesteryears.
The choice is between a lady and a bully.
The choice is between one blinded by hate and therefore can see only darkness at noon in America and a woman who sees bright sunlight at midnight in America.
The choice is between a narcissist who says “I alone can fix it” and a seasoned public servant who says only Team USA can fix it.
The choice is between a leader who preaches the message of “divided we fall” and “e pluribus unum” (out of many one, motto of the United States) and one who proclaims America divided I get the U.S. presidency as a windfall and e (I, me, myself Trump) unum.
The choice is between a woman who believes in American citizens united for a common purpose and lead a united citizens of America and a man who wants to resurrect White Citizens’ Councils (a/k/a the KKK).
The choice is between a woman who wants to eliminate Citizens United (a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision which allows the richest people in America to buy elections and politicians on the open market and make a travesty of American democracy) and a man who wants to eliminate Muslim, Jewish, Hispanic and African American citizens.
The choice is between a constitutional lawyer and a con artist. Former N.Y. City mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one. Donald Trump is a con man.”
The choice is between a bridge and road builder to connect people and places and a wall builder who will divide and tear asunder people and places.
The choice is between a man who is inspired by the racism and strife of the past and a woman who inspires a limitless future.
The choice is between a woman who openly and proudly embraces the American dream and the dream of Martin Luther King and a man who believes the “American dream is dead” and yearns for the nightmare of religious and ethnic cleansing.
The choice is between a woman who believes in the reality of climate change and global warming and the need to do something about it now and a man who actually “thinks that climate change is a hoax, invented by the Chinese.”
The choice is between hope and despair. When Trump launched his presidential run, he said “We got nothing but problems … We’re dying. We’re dying. We need money … We have losers. We have people that don’t have it. We have people that are selling this country down the drain … The American dream is dead.”
The choice is between day and night and light and darkness. MLK said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
When I vote on November 8, I cast my vote to drive out darkness from the home of the free and land of the brave. Begone, darkness!
The choice is between a woman who knows the meaning of fair play and a man who believes fair play is to rip off his employees, contractors, students and taxpayers because doing so is fair to him.
The choice is between experience and competence and recklessness.
Ultimately, the unvarnished truth be told, the choice is between an intelligent woman and a moron.
In prophetic language H.L. Mencken observed, “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” Ecce Trump! (Behold Trump!)
After all is said and done, the choice is exceedingly simple: “We must learn to live together as brothers [and sister] or perish together as fools”, warned Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life is about choices and consequences.
If we choose Trump’s politics of hate, discrimination and exclusion, the consequences will be tension and strife.
If we choose the Trump path, if we follow Trump’s road map, we will be on the road to perdition.
I recently visited London. I talked to some locals who voted for Brexit. I got a first hand glimpse of the consequences of the choice to Brexit for the average man and woman in London.
Brexis is now Bregret.
Ordinary people are feeling the sting. Life is getting harder by the day, they told me.
After all, the prophets of gloom were dead right on Brexit. The British pound has fallen. Both manufacturing and service sectors saw a decline in output and orders. Those who did not hear the warning “Caveat Emptor” when they voted to Brexit are now wallowing in buyer’s remorse.
I endorse Hillary Clinton wholeheartedly not because she is above reproach and faultless.
I endorse Hillary Clinton wholeheartedly not because she is immaculate or can walk on water.
I endorse Hillary Clinton wholeheartedly because she is the best defense we have right now, at this moment, against a neo-fascist who threatens American constitutional democracy to its very core.
I have raised my pen to fight ignorant African thugs in designer suits claiming to be leaders. I will be damned if I keep silent when an American neo-fascist thug schemes to hijack a constitutional democracy.
I have taken so many formal oaths to preserve, defend and uphold the Constitution so many times, I have lost count.
This is the time for me to live up to the solemn oath I took on so may occasions. I have no choice but to stand up, raise my quill and speak truth to Donald Trump.
I took an oath to preserve, defend and uphold the Constitution, and I will do everything I can with fierce urgency to defeat a mindless neo-fascist.
In the words of Dr. King, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
I agree with Bernie Sanders: “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president.” Like Bernie, I am proud to stand with her!
I ask all Bernie Sanders’ supporters, Ethiopian Americans and all Americans who believe in fair play to join me in electing Hillary Clinton the 45th President of the United States.
A postscript for my Ethiopian American, Ethiopian and African readers:
As a champion of human rights, I have had issues with the Obama Administration’s human rights policy in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia.
There are some Africans who point an accusatory finger at Hillary Clinton for the failure of U.S. human rights policy in Africa.
There is only one, and only one man personally responsible for the failure of U.S. human righst policy in Africa. President Barack Obama.
When Obama visited Ethiopia exactly a year ago almost to the day and declared the regime of a gang of bloodthirsty thugs who claimed to have won the May 2015 election a “democracy”, he took a stand on the wrong side of African history.
The fact is U.S. human rights policy in Africa and particularly Ethiopia in the Obama Administration from the beginning has been directed and managed by Susan Rice (Obama’s National Security Advisor), Samantha Power (U.S. Ambassador to the U.N), Gayle E. Smith (USAID Administrator) and Wendy Sherman (U.S. Under Secretary of State).
Questions have been raised about donations received from foreign sources by the Clinton Family Foundation. According to a February 2015 Miami Herald report, “Mohammed Al-Amoudi, a billionaire businessman who lives in Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia [and others], each donated between $5 million and $10 million.” The report indicates, “40 percent of the top donors to the Clinton family foundation are based in foreign countries.”
Many Ethiopians have raised the logical and troubling question as to whether receipt of such donations by the Clinton Foundation could result in a conflict-of-interest for Hillary Clinton. Such a question can only be answered upon careful investigation and research. A November 2015 Clinton Foundation financial report provides a good starting point for such an investigation.
About the Author
Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino. His teaching areas include American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, American and California state governments, and African politics. He has published two volumes on American constitutional law, including American Constitutional Law: Structures and Process (1994) and American Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (1998). He is the Senior Editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, a leading scholarly journal on Ethiopia. For the last several years, Prof. Mariam has written weekly web commentaries on Ethiopian human rights and African issues that are widely read online. He blogged on the Huffington post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/ and later on open.salon until that blogsite shut down in March 2015.
Prof. Mariam played a central advocacy role in the passage of H.R. 2003 (Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007) in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007. Prof. Mariam also practices in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation. In 1998, he argued a major case in the California Supreme Court involving the right against self-incrimination in People v. Peevy, 17 Cal. 4th 1184, cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1042 (1998) which helped clarify longstanding Miranda rights issues in California criminal procedure. For several years, Prof. Mariam had a weekly public channel public affairs television show in Southern California called “In the Public Interest”. Prof. Mariam received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1984, and his J.D. from the University of Maryland in 1988.