I've been thinking about friendships and how they may appear to others. Aside from our 'besties' we all have casual relationships that border on the fringe of acquaintances and sometimes grow into more.
You meet someone at work and have an interesting conversation, maybe then you decide to meet for lunch. Over time you arrange a dinner date with your spouses. Maybe you all hit it off and the friendship grows richer, or maybe you simply continue to have occasional dinner dates.
My husband got transferred annually for much of our marriage and distance can make friendships tricky. Still, we have managed to keep many close friends, although it's not the same as arranging an impromptu get together.
Every transfer meant a promotion and a raise. Mind you, we were not among the elite movers and shakers but, comfortable.
Now, imagine if you were a middle-class kid who became a fundraiser for a political party when you were in college, or a community organizer and worked your way up through law school. Imagine the people you would meet.
Over time your friendships would evolve on a much bigger scale. Your social group becomes otherworldly. Your true 'besties' may stay the same but your social calendar would become much fuller.
You run in circles with world leaders, movers, and shakers, and you try to keep up. Unlike someone born into wealth who never had an ordinary lifestyle, you might find being in the 'big leagues' a bit overwhelming.
I'm sure there's much superficiality to it but, you feel a need to keep up and blend in. I know I would be uncomfortable in that situation but, I would also be fascinated with the potential in front of you in terms of the good you might be able to do at that level.
This is how I imagine things evolved for the Obama's and the Clinton's. There were no silver spoons in those mouths. The same is true of the Carter's.
We don't know what the Obama's have in mind when they leave the White House. The Carter's made Habitat for Humanity well known and helped it grow into a Worldwide phenomenon. I'm proud to say my husband is very involved in Habitat for Humanity.
The Clinton's started a charitable, non-profit, foundation to help those less fortunate in the world after Bill's presidency. The foundation has an A rating. I, for one, see no reason they should be expected to shut it down even when Hillary wins the election.
They've accepted money from foreign leaders who may very well be friends of theirs. After all, they aren't running in the same circles they were before they got into politics, let alone the White House. And, that's fine with me.
As I've already pointed out. If we're lucky we all grow and expand our friendships and acquaintances. With that often comes larger incomes, even great wealth. I don't feel that makes you less trustworthy unless your best friends are Roger Ailes, Sean Hannity, and Putin.
If Goldman Sachs offered me a million dollars for a speech I would say, "Thank you very much!" Maybe they think that buys them favors and access but, unless that's in the contract for the speech it does not. If their agreement with Hillary was in writing and stated that, we would have seen it by now but we haven't so, I believe it's time to stop demonizing her for doing what so many before her have done and many of us wish we could do.
I found this post of HIllary's on Humans of New York really interesting, not only in a political sense but, as a female who grew up in her generation. We broke a lot of barriers and yet, we're still accused of being shrill or unladylike when we speak truth to power.
Many other countries have had female leaders and yet, here we are woefully behind even some third world countries. Why? I believe it is the Father Knows Best Syndrome. Or, more crudely put, Old White Men Syndrome.
Many of the men, and it is mostly, white men, who are supporting the Republican nominee for president aren't necessarily old but, they come from a socio-economic environment that still wants the little woman barefoot and pregnant.
If you haven't read it yet, I recommend, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. It explains much about the supporters of the Republican nominee. I grew up in that realm and the book resonates with me. I haven't finished it yet because it brings back memories I've tried to forget. Once you work your way out of that life you simply don't want to look back. That's why my memoir is taking so long, but that's another story.
There are people with great wealth who never had to work for it. I believe those are often the frivolous ones who don't understand hard work or struggle. The Republican nominee is a perfect example. He has a 'foundation' that is private and non-operating, although they did make a sizable donation to the Attorney General of Florida.
And still, there is pressure on the Clinton's to shut theirs down when she wins the election. Perhaps it is for the best because they will never stop dogging her over it if they don't.
How do you feel about this?