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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Columns

Hillary Clinton makes history with nomination


For the first time in the history of American politics, a woman will represent a major party in a presidential election.

Due to the progress of women like Shirley ChisholmGeraldine FerraroVictoria Woodhull and, yes, even Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton will represent the Democratic Party this fall in its bid to retain the White House.

It’s great to finally see a woman’s voice and actions on a path to the highest job in the land. Perceptions of women have come a long way since 1920 when the 19th amendment was passed, giving women voting rights to slowly, but surely, close the disparaging pay gap between males and females. Clinton’s nomination signifies the progress made in the country, regardless of the racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic and bigoted rhetoric coming from the presumptive Republican nominee.

Clinton attempted to be the Democratic nominee in 2008 but lost to then-Senator Barack Obama in a tumultuous and rigorous primary season.  She showed toughness and resiliency, fending off Obama at the time, but could not trounce his message of change.

In her concession speech, Clinton bowed out with grace and unity in mind.

“If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House,” Clinton said. “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it.  And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and sheer knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”

Eight years later, Clinton did what many thought would never happen: She finally broke through that ceiling and looks to clinch the nomination.

The nomination not only demonstrates a loud and resounding message around the world; it sends a big signal to young girls and women around the country, telling them that anything is possible, no matter how big or challenging the obstacle.

It was not as easy as many assumed, thanks to Sen. Bernie Sanders, a formidable challenger. Nonetheless, Clinton was able make herself a better candidate by going through a tough primary season.

Clinton’s struggles in the primary election are similar to the barriers women continually have to break through for their voices to be heard and garner equal rights.

She battled through negative stereotypes — like being accused of always yelling and shouting and enabling her husband of cheating when she cannot control his actions — which are irrelevant to today and to her policies.

It shouldn’t matter what type of president Clinton’s husband was from 1992 to 2000. Worthier of focus is what Clinton could do from 2016 to 2020 — and possibly the four years after.

Clinton’s nomination is a monumental step in American politics. It’s just as significant as Obama being the first black person to represent a major party and go on to win the presidency in 2008.

If Hillary Clinton were elected president, it would be a great day in American history, especially coming off the heels of having the first black person to hold office. The country not only needs this; it demands it.

One can only hope we, as a nation, keep making progress like this.

Odus Evbagharu is a political science junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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