Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm a Woman and I Didn't Vote for Hillary Clinton

Growing up there was one woman in politics whom my mother strongly admired and always gloated about -- that woman was Geraldine F. Ferraro. Before Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton or even Sarah Palin, there was one woman who commanded the attention of many and was seen as a major force of political power and potential. Geraldine Ferraro was a congresswoman from New York City. She served New York's 9th District which basically made up most of Brooklyn at the time. East Flatbush, Flatbush, Brownsville, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, Brooklyn were home to a wave of Caribbean natives who settled in New York City in the 1970's. My mother was in that bunch. Even though my mother wasn't a citizen and couldn't cast a vote for Ms. Ferraro, she volunteered during multiple congressional campaigns, and up until I was a high school student in the late 90's my mother still believed that Geraldine was "targeted in 84" and would still become our country's first woman President.

This morning as I filled out my ballot form in favor of Bernie Sanders, I suddenly felt a slight sense of betrayal to my mother, Geraldine Ferraro and even Hillary Clinton. I feel strong in my decision to support Bernie, but now I'm worried I might regret withholding support for Hillary Clinton.

Let's rewind back to 1984. Walter Mondale served as Vice President to President Jimmy Carter. Despite what we know today as a very progressive and excellent record of any President, Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election to Ronald Regan. Mondale had higher aspirations and probably expected to run in 1984 to replace a two-term Jimmy Carter. When 1984 rolled around, Mondale was seen as a strong nominee and one whom the democrats were sure could beat Ronald Regan. Mondale slightly lagged behind, but secured a real game changer (sorry John McCain you were not the first to pull this card) when he selected Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro from the great state of New York.

Geraldine was a rockstar! She energized the base and Modale's poll numbers immediately saw a major boost. The Regan campaign went into a panic. Realizing they were about to loose the election they orchestrated the biggest smear campaign against the Congresswoman.

As a candidate Ferraro was required to release her tax returns. According to Ferraro, because she and her husband filed separate tax returns, only hers were required to be a part of the public record. Apparently this is what she had done for the required filing process that Congressional leaders were subjected to. This whole ordeal turned into a public spectacle with the media then accusing her husband John Zaccaro of being linked to Organized Crime (AKA Italian MOB). Zaccaro refused to release his returns and Geraldine stood by her man. This only fueled the fire and the gains that the Mondale campaign picked up post convention and his VP pic quickly evaporated. Ronald Regan was reelected in 1984. People lost trust in Ferraro and questioned Mondale and whether he had properly vetted her or bypassed protocol to quickly pick a female running mate. If he can't properly vet his VP candidate, how can he run a country?

Last year I watched a really great documentary on Geraldine Ferraro called "Geraldine Ferraro - Paving the Way." The documentary covered this entire ordeal from a feminist point of view. The final conclusion was that the Regan campaign needed to find a way to smear Gerladine, but knew going the "let's smear her because she's a woman" route wouldn't be a wise idea. So her finances were the next best thing. I cannot say for sure what the real deal was with the Ferraro/Zaccaro finances, but I don't know that it was major enough for the country to be so distracted that they made the choice to reelect Ronald Regan.

Fast forward to present day.....

Last year I declared that Hillary Clinton had lost my vote! She was never able to re-earn my trust and confidence in her. I was really really really upset over the e-mail scandal. I just couldn't get on the Hillary train. The fact that I'm expected to support Hillary because I am a woman bothered me even more. I strongly feel that a Clinton presidency will be business as usual. Even when my beloved Planned Parenthood Federation of America endorsed her, I felt nothing. I'm still really mad about the e-mails.

OMG! What if the e-mail scandal was Hillary's Ferraro/Zaccaro finance scandal?? A scandal that was man made (literally) to prevent her from excelling. Did I really take the bate??? Have I fallen into the trap?? I really don't know. This is something that will stay on my mind until we vote in November.

My vote has already been cast for Bernie. I really think and am hoping that he takes New York State's primary today. However, I don't want to wake up twenty-years from now and feel like an epic failure because I had an opportunity as a woman to put a woman in the White House, and I didn't because of some e-mails.

If Hillary gets the nomination I will absolutely support her.  Let's see how things turn out between now and then.

Image result for feel the bern

Your Thoughts the 2016 Race........

1. Are we obligated to support a candidate because of race or gender?
2. Was "Email Gate" really that big of a deal?
3. How are you feeling about the 2016 Race?
4. Bernie or Hillary? Trump or Cruz?

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