Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Hillary Clinton ... by gimleteye

I was thinking of Hillary Clinton at my Yale 40th Reunion. She attended Yale Law during my years as an undergraduate student. At reunions, alumni are offered an opportunity to attend lectures by some of the most dynamic and exciting professors.

In the law school auditorium, Akhil Reed Amar addressed alumni with, "America's Constitution, Written and Unwritten". His lecture underscored the value of a liberal education.

By "liberal education", Professor Amar referred to the study by undergraduates of many different fields of learning; in other words, to shape young minds through a variety of disciplines and from study of different and differing points of view.

Professor Amar described himself as a "liberal originalist", eliciting laughter from an audience comprised with a significant number of conservative lawyers.

My most conservative friends are those I made at Yale. Although we are well into our seventh decade, our friendships override differing political points of view.

Some of my friends are swept up in the antagonism toward Hillary Clinton as an organizing principle of Republican orthodoxy. Hillary may not be likable, but she is not -- as Professor Amar pointed out -- ignorant of the American constitution like Donald Trump.

Today, politically active conservatives are in damage control. They will not either actively support Trump or actively oppose him. Instead, they will contribute to a constant barrage against Hillary, hoping to weaken the candidate before the general election and avoid a landslide. For the main part, they will support and draw lines at the US Senate and down-market political campaigns in the state legislature and governor offices. Although this makes strategic sense, it still leaves my conservative friends to explain how and why Donald Trump came from their ranks.

In November 2016, it should be Hillary who wins the presidency. American voters should rally around a candidate who is not perfect, but she is also not an enemy of the American constitution and individual liberties. Drawing this contrast with Trump is not a matter of interpretation: Donald Trump has disqualified himself, through his own pronouncements, as a defender of the constitution.

I hope my conservative friends will also help to evaluate the substance of the GOP and its aims: without a reformation we are liable to be in the same place, four years from now and beyond; a chaotic, disorganized response at a time when cooler, more rational minds should prevail.

On my return to Yale, I felt how polarization in American society is served by the diminishment of liberal education. When higher education is more and more narrowly focused on job training or protected by religious purity and political orthodoxy, it is no surprise we talk past each other. Conservatism is not a dirty word. Nor is liberal.

Conservatives and liberals need to embrace their differences with tolerance and compassion, as friends with different points of view but the same hope for a safe and secure future.


Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, well said

Prem Lee Barbosa said...

Make sure to bring this post up in 4 years as we go over the end of Hillary's term as president. Let's see how well she champions to constitution.

She's not an enemy to individual liberties? Tell that to the countries the state department messed with during her tenure as Secretary of State. Tell that to Haiti.
Tell that to Latin America.

Anonymous said...

Given the Trump meltdown that is now in process, Sec. Clinton will be elected. She is well qualified for the job. Just imagine in my lifetime, a woman will lead the free world!!! It will empower women not only here in America, but all over the world!!! Women represent the majority of the population in this country, and in the world. Imagine if they start reaching for their full maximum potential!!!

Anonymous said...

Well said.