Monday, March 21, 2016

Hillary Was a Conservative Goldwater Girl?

Come on, people, please stop with the silly "Hillary was a conservative and a racist" rhetoric. She was a teenager!

I was also a teen-aged supporter of Goldwater. We both grew up in conservative families in conservative Chicago suburbs. I remember standing on a corner in 1964 waving Goldwater signs with a few of my friends.  (I did not grow up in the same suburb in which Hillary lived.  She lived in a northwest suburb and I was living in a southwest suburb.  Hillary is also 4 years older than I am, so her experiences preceded mine.)

We both got out into the world and opened our eyes as to what was really 
going on out there. That's admirable. It's hard to go against the politics of your upbringing, of your family, when you are a teen-ager.  I know.

Hillary Clinton, age 11, in grade school.  From NPR.

Don't any of us get to change and grow?  

Here is my question to all of the people who keep repeating this "Hillary supported Goldwater" crap and claiming that Hillary was a racist: 

Are you saying that NOBODY you know has changed their ideas and opinions about political and social issues as they have moved through life?  Are you saying that you yourself have never changed your ideas and opinions about things as you moved out of your parents' sphere of influence and actually started making your own decisions about things?  Do you really believe that we are all stuck with whatever opinions we had when we were 13, 15, 17?

Unfortunately, I know people that I grew up with in that conservative Chicago suburb who have NOT changed their opinions on political or social issues!  I consider that much more problematic than those of us (like Hillary, like myself) who actually looked out into the world and saw something different as we passed from our middle teens to our upper teens or 20's. 

Make sure your disagreements make sense.

Look, there are legitimate reasons to disagree with Clinton, as there are legitimate reasons to disagree with Bernie Sanders. But Clinton's political leanings as a teenager are not among them. I'm stunned that this crap is STILL being passed around out there by right-wingers and by Bernie Sanders supporters.  

Where was Bernie as a young man?

Now Hillary Clinton was 16 and 17 when she was supporting Goldwater. Bernie Sanders was 31 when he was writing about women (plural) enjoying fantasies about being raped by three men.  But somehow Bernie Sanders supporters accept and excuse his rape fantasy writing (which really sounds dodgy to many feminists out there) but don't accept and excuse Hillary's support of Goldwater when she was MUCH younger and still living at home in the conservative Chicago suburbs.  Someone please explain that hypocrisy to me.

More about Hillary in high school:  

One of Hillary's high school classmates talked about how Hillary tried to make a small change while in high school in THIS article from NPR: 

"I think there were still differences," she said. "The president was always a boy and the secretary was always a girl."
A young Hillary Rodham tried to change that, her friends say — not to make some big political or feminist statement, but because she thought she could. Ebeling, her good friend, says that Rodham ran for student council president and lost.
"I was her campaign manager," she said. "So I advised her — that, probably, that one didn't turn out so well."
Hillary Clinton in the Civil Rights era:

This article at the Daily Kos "Hillary Clinton in the Civil Rights era" makes these observations:

Factless gossip that is sometimes believed though easily disproven is never good to hear. Like the gossip coming from those who say Hillary Clinton’s 1964 canvassing for Barry Goldwater shows that she is racist. (Goldwater voted no on the Civil Rights Bill.) ...
Those who still, against all reason, insist that canvassing at age 16 for the Republican her father supported in 1964 somehow made Clinton a racist, need to know who she met between the 1960 election and the 1964 election.

The article then goes on to discuss Goldwater's views on race, Hillary's attendance at a speech by Martin Luther King, and Hillary Clinton's development of ideas on race as a young girl then a young woman.  

The article is worth a read, but it did get a few things wrong: The Rodhams moved out of Chicago proper in 1950; therefore, when Hillary was canvassing for Goldwater as a 16 year old (not a 12 year old as the article states), she was NOT living in Chicago and it is doubtful she was canvassing in a CHICAGO neighborhood.  She was most likely canvassing in the conservative suburb in which she lived.

But, people.. Let's cut the crap, OK?  This stuff about Hillary being a racist and a lifelong conservative because she supported Goldwater when she was 16 and 17 is just plain bogus.

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