It's a sign of maturity that we evolve. The longer we live, the more wisdom we are supposed to attain. Life experiences teach us valuable lessons, and for me, those lessons include the ability to recognize human frailties and flaws along with the admirable attributes. In short, there is more gray than black and white, especially when it comes to politics and politicians.
America is the country that roots for the underdog. We celebrate triumph over adversity. We love it when the unlikeliest of little guys scores the big win, because at heart, most of us see ourselves as the little guy who can potentially score that big win. We are optimists -- perhaps delusional at times, but optimists nonetheless.
As with our sports teams, we love to identify ourselves with a group, a party, a person. Or maybe we are the anti-group, party, or person. Perhaps we are the independent trailblazer.
I became a Clinton supporter when the Clintons first came on the national scene. They were the underdogs, the least likely, the ones who spoke of the values I shared and the dreams I, too, held for our country. They were smart, and relatable, and I believed in them and the possibilities they spoke of. Bill Clinton was the first president I voted for in my adult life who actually won an election. I was a true believer.
It's been more than 20 years, now, and a lot of those years have contained behavior and choices by both Bill and Hillary Clinton that staunch supporters like me have had to rationalize not only to ourselves, but to others around us, especially when you are someone who is as politically outspoken as I am. Many was the time I told myself that if they didn't succeed in getting into office or staying there, they could not do any good for the people. The end justified the means.
But I am older now, as are the Clintons. And they are no longer the underdogs, nor do they remotely resemble the little guy. And while I love an inspiring and poetic speech as much as the next person, the words have to match the deeds or they are empty.
So here's the biggest challenge that Hillary Clinton faces -- she lost the certainty of my vote.
Yes, I know politicians say many things to get elected, but at some point, don't we have to take them at their word?
For me, the tipping point was fracking. Yes, fracking -- a word not even in our everyday lexicon during previous elections, but it's here now and it's important, because, call me crazy, I think clean air and water are essential to human survival, and the science bears out the catastrophic repercussions of it, and when did Democrats stop listening to science, for God's sake?!! You can avoid the word "fracking" and use the word "safeguards" all you like, but how about just saying "no," like New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo did? No, because it is the wrong thing to do.
And while I can appreciate that Hillary's views on gay marriage have "evolved" much like President Obama's have, the truth is they were both probably for it all along, but until there was overwhelming support for it from the American people, they had not yet "evolved" Marijuana? The jury is still out on that one for Hillary. Common Core? I'm guessing there will be an opinion voiced when she knows how the majority of Americans feel about it.
We each know what we believe is right or wrong. We know we are supposed to do what's right -- always. Yes, our opinions can and should change as we gain knowledge, wisdom, information, and insight, but they shouldn't be based on popularity. I am weary from all the pandering to what's popular on all sides.
I want my candidate to stand for something, and I need to know that that something is my best interests and the best interests of this nation.
Hillary's biggest challenge is not a Republican opponent or a poorly designed logo. It is convincing this once true believer that she still cares.
I don't want to vote for the lesser of two evils on Election Day. That is hardly motivation for me to leave my house. I'd like to vote for someone who has principles I share, a vision for this nation and a plan to get us there, and the courage of her convictions despite the tenuousness of popular opinion.