Book Review The Art Of The Deal Slate Arly in my freshman year of high school, I came home to find my mom sitting on her bed, crying. My mom is a problem solver, and the next day she handed me a stack of papers she had printed out from the Internet about reorientation, or “ex-gay,” therapy. I said I didn’t see how talking about myself in a therapist’s office was going to make me stop liking guys. She had snooped through my e-mail and discovered a message in which I confessed to having a crush on a male classmate. My mother responded by asking whether I wanted a family, then posed a hypothetical: “If there were a pill you could take that would make you straight, would you take it? “I knew it, ever since you were a little boy.” Her resignation didn’t last long. ” I admitted that life would be easier if such a pill existed. I hadn’t thought about how my infatuation with boys would play out over the course of my life. Joseph Nicolosi, a clinical psychologist in California who was then president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), the country’s largest organization for practitioners of ex-gay therapy. In fact, I had always imagined myself middle-aged, married to a woman, and having a son and daughter—didn’t everyone want some version of that? She said Nicolosi had treated hundreds of people who were now able to live “normal” lives. I read through the papers my mom had salvaged from the trash. They were interviews with Nicolosi’s patients, who talked about how therapy helped them overcome depression and feel “comfortable in their masculinity.” The testimonials seemed genuine, and the patients, grateful. I agreed to fly with my father to Los Angeles from our small town on the Arizona-Mexico border for an initial consultation. The Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic was on the 13th floor of a modern building on Ventura Boulevard, one of the San Fernando Valley’s main thoroughfares. Nicolosi’s corner office had emerald-green carpet and mahogany bookshelves lined with titles like When my father and I first sat down, Nicolosi explained what he meant by “cure.” Although I might never feel a spark of excitement when I saw a woman walking down the street, as I progressed in therapy, my homosexual attractions would diminish. ” I admitted that I had always had trouble relating to boys my age. “If you don’t think this is working, you can stop anytime.” I agreed to start weekly sessions by phone. I might have lingering thoughts about men, but they would no longer control me. When I was in grade school, I preferred helping the teacher clean the classroom during breaks instead of playing sports. After our one-on-one meeting ended, I joined some of his other patients for group therapy. The other men—four or five altogether—were in their forties and fifties and talked about their years in the “gay lifestyle,” which had yielded only unhappiness. They were tired of the club scene, the drug use, the promiscuity; their relationships didn’t last; they complained that gay culture was youth-obsessed. Nicolosi’s acknowledgment that change wouldn’t be absolute made the theory seem reasonable. Until I had spoken with Nicolosi, I had resigned myself to the idea that, desirable or not, my life would have to accommodate the fact that I was gay. For the last half of the session, I talked with Nicolosi alone. If that was what being gay meant—and with 30-plus years on me, they would know—then I wanted to be normal, too. I left the office with a copy of Nicolosi’s most recent book, , and a worksheet that categorized different emotions under the rubrics of “true self” and “false self.” The true self felt masculine, was “adequate, on par,” “secure, confident, capable,” and “at home in [his] body.” The false self did not feel masculine, was inadequate and insecure, and felt alienated from his body. I had been teased throughout my childhood for being effeminate, and as a lanky, awkward teen with bad skin, I certainly was not at home in my body. The story seemed to fit, which was comforting: It gave me confidence that I could be cured. Another sheet illustrated the “triadic relationship” that led to homosexuality: a passive, distant father, an overinvolved mother, and a sensitive child. According to Nicolosi, identification with a parent of the other gender is out of step with our biological and evolutionary “design.” Because of this, it was impossible to ever become whole through gay relationships. featuring a beaming woman with a diamond engagement ring and wedding band. “I’m proof that the truth can set you free,” she proclaimed. The woman, Anne Paulk, said that molestation during adolescence led her to homosexuality, but that she had been healed through the power of Jesus Christ. The 0,000 ad campaign—sponsored by 15 religious-right organizations, including the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association—ran for several weeks in such publications as ran a sympathetic cover story on change therapy, and national and regional papers published ex-gays’ accounts. My mother might not have so easily found information about ex-gay therapy had the Christian right not planted this stake in the culture war. The ad appeared 23 years after the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declassified homosexuality as a mental illness. As a consequence of that decision, extreme forms of reorientation therapy—aversion therapy involving electrocution or nausea-inducing drugs, for instance—had stopped being used. A small group of therapists continued to practice talk therapy that encouraged patients to see homosexuality as a developmental disorder, but they remained on the fringe until the Christian right took up their cause. Focus on the Family called its new ex-gay ministry Love Won Out and talked about healing and caring for homosexuals. The ex-gay movement turned the rhetoric of gay rights against itself: Shouldn’t ex-gays be able to pursue therapy and live the lives they want without facing discrimination? The two largest groups that provide ex-gay counseling are Exodus International, a nondenominational Christian organization, and NARTH, its secular counterpart. If Exodus is the spirit of the ex-gay movement, NARTH is the brain. The organizations share many members, and Exodus parrots the developmental theories about same-sex attractions espoused by NARTH. Together with the late Charles Socarides, a psychiatrist who led the opposition to declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness, Nicolosi formed NARTH in 1992 as a “scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality.” By 1998, the group was holding an annual conference, publishing its own journal, and training hundreds of psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. There are no reliable statistics for how many patients have received ex-gay treatment or how many therapists practice it, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s, ex-gay therapy enjoyed a legitimacy it hadn’t since the APA removed homosexuality from its diagnostic manual. Its president, Alan Chambers, claimed in 2004 that he knew “tens of thousands of people who have successfully changed their sexual orientation.” Nicolosi appeared often on programs like . Whether or not the Christian right’s alliance with the ex-gay movement had constituted a D-Day in the culture wars, it had successfully challenged the prevailing idea that the best choice for gay people was to accept themselves. fter our initial meeting, I spoke with Nicolosi weekly by phone for more than three years, from the time I was 14 until I graduated high school. Like a rabbi instructing his student in understanding the Torah, Nicolosi encouraged me to interpret my daily life through the lens of his theories. I read in one of Nicolosi’s books, , that he tries to position himself as a supportive father figure, typifying the sort of relationship that he believes his patients never had with their own father. We mostly talked about how my damaged masculine identity manifested itself in my attractions to other boys. Nicolosi would ask me about my crushes at school and what I liked about them. Whether the trait was someone’s build, good looks, popularity, or confidence, these conversations always ended with a redirect: Did I wish I had these traits? What might it feel like to be hugged by one of these guys? Of course, I wanted to be as attractive as the classmates I admired; of course, I wanted to be accepted and liked by them. Nicolosi explained, session after session, that I felt inadequate because I had not had sufficient male affirmation in childhood. I came to believe that my attraction to men was the result of the failure to connect with my father. Whenever I felt slighted by my male friends—for failing to call when they said they would, for neglecting to invite me to a party—I was re-experiencing a seminal rejection from my father. Most guys, I was told, let things like that roll off their back—an expression of their masculine confidence—but I was hurt by these things because it recalled prior trauma. My parents were surprised at how the therapy blamed them for my condition. Initially, Nicolosi had told them they were one of the cases that did not fit the mold of the “triadic relationship”—in other words, that my sexual orientation was not their fault. Once it became clear that Nicolosi held them responsible, they disengaged. They continued paying for therapy but no longer checked in with Nicolosi regularly or asked what he and I talked about. Whether the grievance was that my curfew wasn’t late enough or that my parents didn’t give me enough money, I had a trusted authority figure validating every perceived injustice. Any complaint became evidence of how my parents had failed me. At Nicolosi’s urging, I told my best friend that I had to distance myself from her. Instead, Nicolosi encouraged me to form “genuine nonsexual bonds” with other men. We talked about our friends and people we didn’t like, recounting every high-school travail and triumph. He paired me with another one of his patients, Ryan Kendall, who was my age and lived in Colorado. But we frequently deviated from the therapist-approved, buddy-buddy talk that was supposed to repair us. We flirted, a novel experience for me; there were no openly gay people at my high school. Ryan and I described what we looked like to each other. He said he had brown hair and eyes and was short but cute; I said I was tall and skinny (but left out my bad skin). It became a regular refrain, an acknowledgment that we were misbehaving. We promised to send each other pictures, though we never did. Part of the bond we developed was in our shared rebellion against our therapist. For me, it had less to do with opposing ex-gay therapy than with the giddy thrill of defying authority. Ryan was convinced that change was impossible—“Nicolosi’s a quack,” he once said. Despite my transgressions, I still believed in Nicolosi’s theory. But my relationship with Ryan evinced a larger problem: While I was uncovering how my relationship with my parents continued to shape my inner life, I was still attracted to men. I chatted with older guys on the Internet and on a few occasions met them. I felt guilty about this but trusted Nicolosi enough to admit I had been “experimenting.” He told me to be careful of meeting men off the Internet but that I shouldn’t dwell on it or feel guilty. He said my sexual behavior was of secondary importance. If I understood myself and worked on my relationships with men, the attractions would take care of themselves. Late into my last year of high school, Nicolosi had a final conversation with my parents and told them that the treatment had been a success. “Your son will never enter the gay lifestyle,” he assured them. While I still accepted Nicolosi’s underlying theory about why people were gay, I believed that all the talking in the world couldn’t change me. A few weeks later, our housekeeper caught me with a boy in our backyard. My parents were convinced it had failed because Nicolosi had blamed things on them rather than on my being teased by my male peers as a child. When I left for Yale, my mother sent me off with a warning: Were she to discover that I had “entered the gay lifestyle,” my parents would no longer pay for my education. “I love you enough to stop you from hurting yourself,” she said. n 2001, the year I started college, the ex-gay movement’s claims received a significant boost. In 1973, Columbia professor and prominent psychiatrist Robert Spitzer had led the effort to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness. Four years after Stonewall, it was a landmark event for the gay-rights movement. But 28 years later, Spitzer released a study that asserted change in one’s sexual orientation was possible. Based on 200 interviews with ex-gay patients—the largest sample amassed—the study did not make any claims about the success rate of ex-gay therapy. But Spitzer concluded that, at least for a highly select group of motivated individuals, it worked. What translated into the larger culture was: The father of the 1973 revolution in the classification and treatment of homosexuality, who could not be seen as just another biased ex-gay crusader with an agenda, had validated ex-gay therapy. An Associated Press story called it “explosive.” In the words of one of Spitzer’s gay colleagues, it was like “throwing a grenade into the gay community.” For the ex-gay movement, it was a godsend. Whereas previous accounts of success had appeared in non-peer-reviewed, vanity, pay-to-publish journals like . Spitzer’s study is still cited by ex-gay organizations as evidence that ex-gay therapy works. The study infuriated gay-rights supporters and many psychiatrists, who condemned its methodology and design. Participants had been referred to Spitzer by ex-gay groups like NARTH and Exodus, which had an interest in recommending clients who would validate their work. The claims of change were self-reports, and Spitzer had not compared them with a control group that would help him judge their credibility. This spring, I visited Spitzer at his home in Princeton. Frail but sharp-witted, Spitzer suffers from Parkinson’s disease. I told Spitzer that Nicolosi had asked me to participate in the 2001 study and recount my success in therapy, but that I never called him. “I actually had great difficulty finding participants,” Spitzer said. “In all the years of doing ex-gay therapy, you’d think Nicolosi would have been able to provide more success stories. He only sent me nine patients.” “How’d it turn out for you? I said that while I stayed in the closet for a few years more than I might have, I ended up accepting my sexuality. At the end of college, I began to have steady boyfriends, and in February of last year—ten years after my last session with Dr. Spitzer was drawn to the topic of ex-gay therapy because it was controversial—“I was always attracted to controversy”—but was troubled by how the study was received. He did not want to suggest that gay people should pursue ex-gay therapy. His goal was to determine whether the counterfactual—the claim that no one had ever changed his or her sexual orientation through therapy—was true. “In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct,” he said. “The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.” He said he spoke with the editor of the about writing a retraction, but the editor declined. (Repeated attempts to contact the journal went unanswered.) Spitzer said that he was proud of having been instrumental in removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. Now 80 and retired, he was afraid that the 2001 study would tarnish his legacy and perhaps hurt others. He said that failed attempts to rid oneself of homosexual attractions “can be quite harmful.” He has, though, no doubts about the 1973 fight over the classification of homosexuality. “Had there been no Bob Spitzer, homosexuality would still have eventually been removed from the list of psychiatric disorders,” he said. “But it wouldn’t have happened in 1973.” Spitzer was growing tired and asked how many more questions I had. Nothing, I responded, unless you have something to add. Would I print a retraction of his 2001 study, “so I don’t have to worry about it anymore”? he ex-gay movement has relied on the Spitzer study as the single piece of objective evidence that therapy can work. The need for that evidence became more pressing in the early 2000s, when a cadre of gay-rights bloggers began to scrutinize the movement, ready to expose any hint of hypocrisy. John Paulk, Love Won Out founder, chair of the board of Exodus International, and husband of Anne Paulk, was spotted and photographed at a Washington, D. Richard Cohen, the founder of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays)—intended as the ex-gay counterpart to PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)—was expelled from the American Counseling Association for ethics violations. Michael Johnston, the founder of “National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day,” was revealed to have infected men he’d met on the Internet with HIV through unprotected sex. A member of NARTH’s scientific advisory board ignited controversy by suggesting that blacks were better off having been enslaved, which allowed them to escape the “savage” continent of Africa. Shortly thereafter, the board of NARTH removed Nicolosi, who was still president. In 2010 it was revealed that NARTH’s executive secretary, Abba Goldberg, was a con man who had served 18 months in prison. Therapists associated with NARTH and Exodus were accused of sexually assaulting clients or engaging in questionable therapy practices. Among them were Alan Downing, the lead therapist of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality), who made his patients strip and touch themselves in front of a mirror; NARTH member Christopher Austin, who was convicted of “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly caus[ing] penetration of” a client; and Exodus-affiliated Mike Jones, who asked a patient to take off his shirt and do push-ups for him. The movement also suffered several high-profile defections. John Evans, who had founded the first ex-gay ministry outside of San Francisco, renounced change therapy when a friend committed suicide after failing to become heterosexual. Former ex-gay Peterson Toscano, who was involved in the movement for 17 years, founded Beyond Ex-Gay, an online community for “ex-gay survivors.” In 2007, Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee apologized for his role in starting the organization. Partly as a response to the resurgence of ex-gay therapy, mainstream professional organizations also took a harder stance. From 2007 to 2009, the American Psychological Association conducted a review of all the literature on efforts to change sexual orientation. Judith Glassgold, the chair of the task force that produced the report, said the group found no scientific evidence that ex-gay therapy works. “It provided false hope, which can be devastating,” Glassgold said. “It harmed self-esteem and self-regard by focusing on the psychopathology of homosexuality.” The APA now tells its members they should not engage in the practice. In the past few years, even Exodus has begun to show cracks in its support for ex-gay therapy. The organization has softened its rhetoric, encouraging its ministries to promote celibacy rather than change in order to live in concert with their religious values. The group no longer talks about “Freedom from Homosexuality”—its motto—but about the nobility of continuing to struggle against same-sex attractions. Exodus has also begun to distance itself from NARTH. In September of 2011, Exodus removed references to Nicolosi’s books and articles from its website. In January, Exodus president Alan Chambers spoke at a meeting of the Gay Christian Network. When asked about the possibility of gay people changing their sexual orientation, Chambers—who’d once claimed that he knew of thousands of success stories—said “99.9 percent” of those who had attempted to rid themselves of same-sex attractions had failed. Attendance at Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out conference, the movement’s largest annual gathering, has dropped. Focus on the Family recently sold Love Won Out to Exodus. Ex-gay activists have less of a presence at religious-right events. Twenty years after NARTH’s founding, the movement has lost its luster. ’ve come to know a number of Nicolosi’s former patients and others who underwent therapy with NARTH members. Part of an informal alumni network of ex-gay dropouts, we see one another occasionally at conferences and interact in the blogosphere. Perhaps the best known is Daniel Gonzales, who writes for the website Box Turtle Bulletin. Nicolosi had also asked Daniel to participate in Spitzer’s study. When Daniel left therapy, he thought he had gained valuable insight into his condition but eventually gave up trying to resist his same-sex attractions. “I wasted one and a half years of my life on the therapy,” he said. “For a long time, the things Nicolosi said about gay relationships continued to haunt me.” His relationships with men continually failed because he was convinced, as Nicolosi had told him, that they would fall apart as soon as he began to feel comfortable with them, at peace with his masculine self. The first two years of college, they were the basis for how I saw myself: a leper with no hope of a cure. I stayed in the closet but had sexual encounters with classmates nonetheless. I spent hours in front of the window of my third-story room, wondering whether jumping would kill or merely paralyze me. I became increasingly depressed but didn’t go to mental-health counseling for fear that a well-meaning therapist would inform my parents that I was living the “gay lifestyle.” I planned for what I would do if my parents decided to stop paying my tuition. I would apply for a scholarship from the Point Foundation, which gives financial aid to gay kids whose parents have disowned them. I had a prescription for Ambien and considered taking the entire bottle and perching myself on the ledge until it kicked in—a sort of insurance. Perhaps it was academic pressure combined with the increasing conflict between my ideals and my behavior. But in the spring of my sophomore year, the disparate parts of myself I had managed to hold together—the part of me that thought being gay was wrong, the part that slept with men anyway, the part of myself I let the world see, and the part that suffered in silence—came undone. I slept in 20-minute spurts for two nights, consumed with despair. I eyed the prescription bottles on my dresser with anxious excitement. I had reached a point at which I feared myself more than what would happen if I were gay. Realizing how close I was to impulsively deciding to kill myself, I went to the college dean’s office and said I was suicidal. He walked me over to the Department of Undergraduate Health, and I was admitted to the Yale Psychiatric Hospital. During the intake interview, I had a panic attack and handed the counselor a handwritten note that said, “Whatever happens, please don’t take me away from here.” I had signed my full name and dated it. It was gray and cold my first night at the hospital. I remember looking out the window of the room I was sharing with a schizophrenic. Snow covered the ground in the enclosed courtyard below. Restless, I gathered a stack of magazines from the common area and flipped through the pages, noticing the men in the fashion advertisements. I tore out the ads and put them in a clear plastic file folder. I lay down in bed and held the folder against my chest. I indeed had to go home for a year before returning to school. By then my father, who flew to New Haven the day I committed myself, realized that therapy—and the pressure he and my mother had placed on me—was doing more harm than good. “I’d rather have a gay son than a dead son,” he said. While it took years of counseling to disabuse myself of the ideas I had learned while undergoing therapy with Nicolosi, it was the first time I encountered professionals who were affirming of my sexuality, and the first time I allowed myself to think it was all right to be gay. Ryan, my therapy partner, was even more deeply affected. Two years ago, I came across his name in transcripts of the lawsuit against California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, in which he testified about the harm therapy with Nicolosi had caused. We recently met in person for the first time at a restaurant on Manhattan’s West Side. It had been 12 years since we’d last spoken on the phone. At 28, Ryan had just moved to New York City from Denver to start his undergraduate studies at Columbia. He looked like he does in his Facebook pictures: solid and short, with a shaved head and large brown eyes. Ryan had initiated dependency-and-neglect proceedings against his parents at age 16 to escape ex-gay therapy. He dropped out of high school and lived intermittently with friends, then with his brother until his house was foreclosed on. He had a series of short-term jobs and for a period dealt drugs to make money but was broke most of the time. I was trying to destroy myself because I had internalized all the homophobia from therapy.” When did things turn around for him? For food, on a few occasions, he filled a shopping cart with items and then ran it out of the grocery store. A few years ago, he said, he landed a job working in an administrative-support position at the Denver Police Department. It was then that he started getting involved in gay-rights causes. 8 lawsuit was the first time I felt people really believed in me,” he says. “I was surrounded by smart, important people, and they paid attention to me.” I could relate to that: Being at Yale was the first time I felt validated by smart, important people. I asked Ryan what he would say to Nicolosi if he were at the table. Has hearing the stories of his former patients posted all over You Tube and the blogosphere changed his thinking? I am anxious about talking to Nicolosi again, afraid of what our conversation might bring back. “I’d ask him why he doesn’t just stop.” couldn’t help wondering what Nicolosi would say to me, or Daniel, or Ryan. He knew me as an adolescent better than my parents or friends did. When I first reach Nicolosi on the phone, he says he remembers me well and that he is surprised that I “went in the gay direction. You really seemed to get it.” The conversation is quick. He is between clients, so we arrange to speak a few days later. I call and tell him I’m recording our conversation. “I’m recording too,” he jokes, “in case you say, ‘Nicolosi said that gays are sick weirdos and they’re perverted and they all should go to hell.’” I chuckle. He says he’s been thinking about me since I called. I ask why, if he was so sure I had “got it,” I never experienced change in my sexual orientation. Nicolosi says his techniques have improved—now his patients focus more on the moment of sexual attraction instead of speaking generally about the cause of homosexuality. But part of the reason it failed for me, he says, was also that I was stuck: There were not men I could bond with, and my parents did not understand me. It’s the same thing he told me throughout high school. “After almost 30 years of work, I can say to you that I’ve never met a single homosexual who’s had a loving and respectful relationship with his father,” he says. I’m thinking, as he speaks, that for all his talk about understanding the homosexual condition, what it feels like to be gay is beyond Nicolosi’s experience. For him, changing one’s sexual orientation is a hypothetical proposition. Only his patients have had to face the failure of his ideas. I mention Ryan and tell Nicolosi he blames him for destroying his family. But he is defensive about taking any responsibility. “For all this concern about how I damage people, where is the damage? Over 30 years, don’t you think there’d be a busload of people who are damaged? “All I can do is visualize a teenager in his room in a hot small town,” he says. “Quite honestly, Gabriel, I hope you see me as someone who didn’t make you feel worse about yourself, someone who did not force you to do or believe anything about yourself that you didn’t want to.” It’s true that while in therapy, I did not feel coerced into believing his theories. “You would talk to me about the loneliness, the kids at school—you really had no friends. Like nuclear fallout, the damage came later, when I realized my sexual orientation would not change. You desperately wanted to get out.” He is trying to draw me out, get me to talk to him openly. I could have told Nicolosi about my thoughts of suicide, my time in the mental institution. He is the therapist, and I am once again his patient. I could have told him that my parents still don’t understand me but that I’m grown up now and it has less of a bearing on my life. But I realize it wouldn’t be of any use: I’ve changed since I left therapy, but Nicolosi has not. For years I shared my innermost thoughts and feelings with him. Many of my friends recommend Robert Cialdini’s Influence, a book about how to be persuasive and successful. I read it most of the way through, and it was okay, but.
Why Women Still Can’t Have It All - The Hillary Clinton—Wellesley College alum, former US presidential candidate, and former secretary of state—returned to her alma mater to give a somber commencement speech today (May 26). She spoke about leadership, self-worth, and the need to band together as a community and fight against injustice. I am so grateful to be here back at Wellesley, especially for president Johnson’s very first commencement, and to thank her, the trustees, families and friends, faculty, staff, and guests for understanding and perpetuating the importance of this college: what it stands for, what it has meant, and what it will do in the years ahead. Read her full remarks, as prepared, below: Thank you. And most importantly, it’s wonderful to be here with another green class to say, congratulations to the class of 2017! But maybe you changed your major three times and your hairstyle twice that many. Now I have some of my dear friends here from my class, a green class of 1969. But it is such an honor to join with the college and all who have come to celebrate this day with you, and to recognize the amazing futures that await you. Or maybe, after your first month of classes, you made a frantic collect call (ask your parents what that was) back to Illinois to tell your mother and father you weren’t smart enough to be here. And I assume, or at least you can tell me later, unlike us, you actually have a class cheer. You know, four years ago, maybe a little more or a little less for some of you—I told the trustees I was sitting with, after hearing Tala’s speech, I didn’t think I could get through it, so we’ll blame allergy instead of emotion, but you know—you arrived at this campus. You joined students from 49 states and 58 countries. My father said, “OK, come home.” My mother said, “You have to stick it out.” That’s what happened to me. You probably, in true Wellesley fashion, planned your academic and extracurricular schedule right down to the minute. So this day that you’ve been waiting for—and maybe dreading a little—is finally here. As president Johnson said, I spoke at my commencement 48 years ago. I came back 25 years ago to speak at another commencement. I couldn’t think of any place I’d rather be this year than right here. I’ve gotten to spend time with my family, especially my amazing grandchildren. It launched me on a life of service and provided friends that I still treasure. Now, you may have heard that things didn’t exactly go the way I planned. I was going to give the entire commencement speech about them but was talked out of it. But here’s what helped most of all: remembering who I am, where I come from, and what I believe. So wherever your life takes you, I hope that Wellesley serves as that kind of touchstone for you. I stayed up all night with my friends, the third floor of Davis, writing and editing my speech. But I was pretty oblivious to all of that, because what my friends had asked me to do was to talk about our worries, and about our ability and responsibility to do something about them. Long walks in the woods, organizing my closets, right? Now if any of you are nervous about what you’ll be walking into when you leave the campus, I know that feeling. By the time we gathered in the academic quad, I was exhausted. We didn’t trust government, authority figures, or really anyone over 30, in large part thanks to years of heavy casualties and dishonest official statements about Vietnam, and deep differences over civil rights and poverty here at home. We were asking urgent questions about whether women, people of color, religious minorities, immigrants, would ever be treated with dignity and respect. And by the way, we were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice after firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice. We got through that tumultuous time, and once again began to thrive as our society changed laws and opened the circle of opportunity and rights wider and wider for more Americans. We revved up the engines of innovation and imagination. We turned back a tide of intolerance and embraced inclusion. The “we” who did those things were more than those in power who wanted to change course. It was millions of ordinary citizens, especially young people, who voted, marched, and organized. Now, of course today has some important differences. The advance of technology, the impact of the internet, our fragmented media landscape, make it easier than ever to splinter ourselves into echo chambers. We can shut out contrary voices, avoid ever questioning our basic assumptions. Leaders willing to exploit fear and skepticism have tools at their disposal that were unimaginable when I graduated. And here’s what that means to you, the class of 2017. People denying science, concocting elaborate, hurtful conspiracy theories about child-abuse rings operating out of pizza parlors, drumming up rampant fear about undocumented immigrants, Muslims, minorities, the poor, turning neighbor against neighbor and sowing division at a time when we desperately need unity. You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason. Some are even denying things we see with our own eyes, like the size of crowds, and then defending themselves by talking about quote-unquote “alternative facts.” But this is serious business. Look at the budget that was just proposed in Washington. It is an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us, the youngest, the oldest, the poorest, and hard-working people who need a little help to gain or hang on to a decent middle class life. It matters because if our leaders lie about the problems we face, we’ll never solve them. It grossly under-funds public education, mental health, and efforts even to combat the opioid epidemic. It matters because it undermines confidence in government as a whole, which in turn breeds more cynicism and anger. And in reversing our commitment to fight climate change, it puts the future of our nation and our world at risk. But it also matters because our country, like this college, was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment—in particular, the belief that people, you and I, possess the capacity for reason and critical thinking, and that free and open debate is the lifeblood of a democracy. And to top it off, it is shrouded in a trillion-dollar mathematical lie. Not only Wellesley, but the entire American university system—the envy of the world—was founded on those fundamental ideals. We should aspire to them every single day, in everything we do. As the history majors among you here today know all too well, when people in power invent their own facts, and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society. It is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. Because I believe with all my heart that the future of America—indeed, the future of the world—depends on brave, thoughtful people like you insisting on truth and integrity, right now, every day. They attempt to control reality—not just our laws and rights and our budgets, but our thoughts and beliefs. You didn’t create these circumstances, but you have the power to change them. Right now, some of you might wonder, well why am I telling you all this? Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright, first president of the Czech Republic, wrote an essay called “The Power of the Powerless.” And in it, he said: “The moment someone breaks through in one place, when one person cries out, ‘The emperor is naked! ’—when a single person breaks the rules of the game, thus exposing it as a game—everything suddenly appears in another light.” What he’s telling us is if you feel powerless, don’t. Don’t let anyone tell you your voice doesn’t matter. In the years to come, there will be trolls galore—online and in person—eager to tell you that you don’t have anything worthwhile to say or anything meaningful to contribute. Some may take a slightly more sophisticated approach and say your elite education means you are out of touch with real people. In other words, “sit down and shut up.” Now, in my experience, that’s the last thing you should ever tell a Wellesley graduate. What you’ve learned these four years is precisely what you need to face the challenges of this moment. I can still remember the professors who challenged me to make decisions with good information, rigorous reasoning, real deliberation. I know we didn’t have much of that in this past election, but we have to get back to it. After all, in the words of my predecessor in the Senate, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” And your education gives you more than knowledge. It gives you the power to keep learning and apply what you know to improve your life and the lives of others. Because you are beginning your careers with one of the best educations in the world, I think you do have a special responsibility to give others the chance to learn and think for themselves, and to learn from them, so that we can have the kind of open, fact-based debate necessary for our democracy to survive and flourish. Take it from me, the former president of the Wellesley College Young Republicans. And along the way, you may be convinced to change your mind from time to time. Second, you learned the value of an open mind and an open society. At their best, our colleges and universities are free market places of ideas, embracing a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds. An open, inclusive, diverse society is the opposite of and antidote to a closed society, where there is only one right way to think, believe, and act. Here at Wellesley, you’ve worked hard to turn this ideal into a reality. But the only way our society will ever become a place where everyone truly belongs is if all of us speak openly and honestly about who we are, what we’re going through. And let me add that your learning, listening, and serving should include people who don’t agree with you politically. You’ve spoken out against racism and sexism and xenophobia and discrimination of all kinds. A lot of our fellow Americans have lost faith in the existing economic, social, political, and cultural conditions of our country. Their anger and alienation has proved a fertile ground for false promises and false information. Their economic problems and cultural anxiety must be addressed, or they will continue to sign up to be foot-soldiers in the ongoing conflict between “us” and “them.” The opportunity is here. Millions of people will be hurt by the policies, including this budget that is being considered. Better to do so with open hearts and outstretched hands than closed minds and clenched fists. And many of these same people don’t want DREAMers deported their health care taken away. And third, here at Wellesley, you learned the power of service. Many don’t want to retreat on civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. Because while free and fierce conversations in classrooms, dorm rooms, dining halls are vital, they only get us so far. You have to turn those ideas and those values into action. The motto which you’ve heard twice already, “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister” is as true today as it ever was. As they say in one of my favorite movies, A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard. If you think about it, it’s kind of an old-fashioned rendering of president Kennedy’s great statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Not long ago, I got a note from a group of Wellesley alums and students who had supported me in the campaign. And, like a lot of people, they’re wondering: What do we do now? The hard is what makes it great.” As Tala said, the day after the election, I did want to speak particularly to women and girls everywhere, especially young women, because you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world. Well I think there’s only one answer, to keep going. Not just your future, but our future depends on you believing that. Don’t be afraid of your ambition, of your dreams, or even your anger – those are powerful forces. We need your smarts, of course, but we also need your compassion, your curiosity, your stubbornness. But harness them to make a difference in the world. Do it in private – in conversations with your family, your friends, your workplace, your neighborhoods. And remember, you are even more powerful because you have so many people supporting you, cheering you on, standing with you through good times and bad. And you build that village by investing love and time into your relationships. And do it in public—in Medium posts, on social media, or grab a sign and head to a protest. Our culture often celebrates people who appear to go it alone. And in those moments for whatever reason when it might feel bleak, think back to this place where women have the freedom to take risks, make mistakes, even fail in front of each other. Make defending truth and a free society a core value of your life every single day. Channel the strength of your Wellesley classmates and experiences. So wherever you wind up next, the minute you get there, register to vote, and while you’re at it, encourage others to do so. You don’t have to do everything, but don’t sit on the sidelines. I guarantee you it’ll help you stand up a little straighter, feel a little braver, knowing that the things you joked about and even took for granted can be your secret weapons for your future. And then vote in every election, not just the presidential ones. Fight every effort to restrict the right of law-abiding citizens to be able to vote as well. One of the things that gave me the most hope and joy after the election, when I really needed it, was meeting so many young people who told me that my defeat had not defeated them. I’m very optimistic about the future, because I think, after we’ve tried a lot of other things, we get back to the business of America. With all my heart, I want you to believe in yourselves. And I’m going to devote a lot of my future to helping you make your mark in the world. I created a new organization called Onward Together to help recruit and train future leaders, and organize for real and lasting change. When I graduated and made that speech, I did say, and some of you might have pictures from that day with this on it, “The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.” That was true then. I never could have imagined where I would have been 48 years later—certainly never that I would have run for the Presidency of the United States or seen progress for women in all walks of life over the course of my lifetime. And yes, put millions of more cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling. Because just in those years, doors that once seemed sealed to women are now opened. Do it because the history of Wellesley and this country tells us it’s often during the darkest times when you can do the most good. They’re ready for you to walk through or charge through, to advance the struggle for equality, justice, and freedom. So whatever your dreams are today, dream even bigger. Wherever you have set your sights, raise them even higher. Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power the women who have managed to be both mothers.
Hillary Clinton’s remarkably aggressive To which I contributed a rather sympathetic essay; through the early summer I was a supporter of the Bernie Sanders campaign, and published a number of pieces seeking to explain and to (critically) support this campaign. She won because she had more power and money and resources and she used these things to win. But most of them—most of you—have made clear that they strongly oppose a Trump presidency, and that while they do not like Clinton, they intend to vote for her, even if they have to hold their nose while doing so. And the firestorm that has erupted in the past two days in response to FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress, announcing that the FBI will be evaluating the e-mails of Huma Abedin found on the laptop of her estranged husband Anthony Weiner, underscores why: because in this electoral contest, right now, But I have been taken aback by the responses of some (not all) of my friends on the left, who have basically said, “I told you so. Only after the Democratic convention did I decide to support Hillary Clinton, which decision I explained in a July 26 piece titled “Why I Support Hillary Clinton for President: A Letter to My Friends on the Left.” Since that time I have been a strong Clinton supporter, for the reasons outlined in that piece: because I believe that her centrist liberalism is strongly preferable to the neofascism of Donald Trump; because her neoliberal feminism and multiculturalism is strongly preferable to the anti-feminism, racism, and xenophobia of the Republican party; and because I believe it is a good thing, symbolically and practically, for the United States, for the first time in over 200 years, to elect an establishment I never thought that Sanders could be a viable Democratic candidate for president; I doubted he could win the primary, I doubted that he could survive a red-baiting general-election campaign, and I was skeptical of some of the claims of having mobilized a mass movement in support of “political revolution.” But I supported him and, had he won, I would be supporting him now. This sentiment was perhaps most cleverly and also intelligently summed up in the piece by Adolph Reed published a few months ago bearing the title “Vote for the Lying Liberal Warmonger: It’s Important.” I understand and respect this position. We always said that Hillary was flawed and corrupt and that she was vulnerable to these accusations and now it is all coming to pass and her corruption is going to result either in a Trump presidency or four years of congressional investigation of her corruption. They are smart people and good people, and among them, unsurprisingly, there exists a range of opinion on Clinton and whether to support her. At the same time, this kind of language—“Lying Liberal Warmonger”—has made me uncomfortable, even if it is intended in a tongue-in-cheek manner—and I am not sure that it is. You should have listened to us when we supported Bernie instead of supporting Clinton. Your candidate has fucked up everything, like we knew she would.” I understand this kind of indignation, though I do not share it in this case. But I urge my friends to consider that while moral outrage has its place—and in the end only each individual can decide for themselves what this place is—at this moment, less than two weeks before a very consequential presidential election, such indignation serves no good consequence. Even if you say “of course I’ll vote for Hillary, because I hate Trump, but she is a Lying Liberal Imperialist and I hate her and she deserves everything she is getting,” what you are doing, it seems to me, is giving credence to all of those young people—who read you, respect you, and learn from you, inside the classroom and outside of it—who cannot bring themselves to vote. At this moment, when it is so important to support Clinton and to encourage others to do so with their votes, your words are conveying a different message. Behind the reaction that concerns me lie two premises. One is that Sanders would have been a stronger candidate against Trump. I do not believe this is true, but it is also a moot point, because Sanders lost, and conceded his loss, and while the Clinton campaign worked very hard to undermine Sanders and to defeat him—this is what presidential campaigns do—defeat him they did. Clinton is the candidate of the Democratic party because she was the insider candidate and she had the resources and the organization and she won the primary by getting both more votes and more delegates. It makes perfect sense to keep one’s eyes on the prize of further reforming the Democratic party and supporting the forces of Sanders and Warren. But right now, the Democrats have a candidate, and it is important to support this candidate. The second premise is that Clinton is a uniquely flawed and corrupt politician whose record cannot stand serious scrutiny, and who has brought these troubles on herself by being such a wheeling, dealing, corrupt individual who plays fast and loose with the rules. And my basic reason is simple: I honestly don’t understand why so many of my friends on the left, who are so adept at employing the powers of critique to challenge conventional wisdoms and to uncover forms of power, are so willing to accept at face value the version of Hillary Clinton that has so assiduously been developed, purveyed, and prosecuted, for decades, by her right-wing opponents in their pursuit of power. Comey’s letter is very disturbing, and many people, myself included, have responded with annoyance and even outrage to this “October surprise.” The immediate response of some of my friends on the left to this outrage has been a kind of defense of Comey. On this view, Comey was compelled to send the letter, and in doing so he was simply following standard procedures of investigating a corrupt and possibly criminal wrongdoing. But why lend such credence to the self-justification of the director of the FBI in this case? Why ignore what is known—that Comey has conservative ties; that when he publicly “exonerated” Clinton months ago, he did so in a very awkward and troubling manner that raised questions about his professionalism; that he had clearly placed himself in an odd position with Republicans legislators hoping for a different outcome, and he might clearly have psychological reasons to seek to ingratiate himself with these legislators by sending them a letter like the one he just sent? Such things are part of the political situation that surrounds Comey, his letter, and the way that it was predictably seized upon by the Republican right and the Trump campaign. And yet some seemed inclined to simply take his letter at face value. Only hours later, it is now clear that the FBI has had access to Weiner’s computer for some time, weeks if not months, and yet still has not analyzed the e-mails in question; that the e-mails in question had nothing to do with Clinton’s e-mail account or her e-mail server, and at most regard the judgment of Clinton’s aide; that the Comey letter itself was very awkward and misleading, because in fact the only information it conveyed is that the FBI has some other e-mails that have anything to do with Clinton (there is always “something else” that “may or may not” be relevant; how often does the FBI Director send letters to Congress about such things? ); that Comey’s letter, like his earlier press conference, was contrary to Justice Department policy; and that Comey had actually been instructed by his superiors at the Justice Department not to send the letter that he sent anyway. One response to the entire e-mail “scandal” is the one offered months ago by Sanders during the primary debates: it is a side issue, and it has been extensively investigated and no criminal wrong-doing has been shown, and while Clinton’s judgment in this case might be questioned, what she did was little different than what her Republican predecessors Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell did, and it is time to let it drop as a matter of investigation and inquisition, and to focus on the issues at stake in this election, which is now a contest between Clinton and Trump. A second response is the one adamantly expressed by the Trump campaign and by every Republican elected official: Hillary is “crooked,” and this must be investigated (and litigated) ad infinutum, and the slightest shred of “information” even remotely connected to Clinton or her associates ought to be treated as an occasion for further outrage and further scrutiny of Clinton and the matter ought never to be left to rest. Comey apparently decided to lean toward the second response, and through his own very questionable judgment, he has thrown red meat to the Republican sharks eager to prosecute Clinton and to defeat the Democratic ticket in the upcoming election. This entire matter is a prime example of the many ways that the Republican leadership continues to play “hardball” with the Obama Administration and with the Clinton campaign—about the Supreme Court, about all legislation, about In this light, let’s give a second thought to Clinton herself, this supposedly corrupt woman whose corruption, it would seem, exceeds all bounds of normal politics and warrants special investigations. I have to confess, it is the animus expressed by some of my friends, including women friends, about this, that most perplexes me. For in almost every way that matters, Hillary Clinton is nothing more and nothing less than a successful professional woman like most successful professional women we all know and that we often like, and that indeed many of us Is this really different from the way most professional women, including left academic women, proceed? The university is as much a corporate institution as is a corporate business or a government bureaucracy. Do we fault our colleagues, our , for seeking prestigious research grants that give them course release, and for asking their famous friends to write letters of recommendation or to organize book panels promoting their work? Do we fault our colleagues for being preoccupied with publication in the officially sanctioned journals, so that they can build records of accomplishment sufficient to earn tenure and promotion, and the privileges these involve, privileges that are not available to most women in the work force? Do we cast suspicion on our friends who do everything possible to promote the educational performance of their children so that they can be admitted into elite universities? In her pursuit of movement up the career ladder, and her valorization of this approach to success, is Clinton that different than most of us who, honestly, belong to the “professional managerial class” as much as she does, and who work through its institutions in the same way she does? In this, is she any different than other colleagues, women and men, who become Distinguished Professors, and department chairs, and Deans and Provosts and College Presidents? I have many friends—feminists, leftists—who have achieved such positions, and who have embraced them. These positions are obtained by “playing the academic game,” by cooperating with others in positions of institutional authority, by compromising on ideals in order to get something done in a conservative bureaucracy, by agreeing to manage programs and personnel, i.e, colleagues, by agreeing to fundraise from wealthy alumni and corporate donors, and to participate in events that please such alumni and donors so that they will support you and your institution. Is Clinton’s “game” really Is this that different than colleagues in the academic bureaucracy, who accept the salary increases and bonuses and research and travel accounts and course release that come with this kind of work? I am a Distinguished Professor at Indiana University. Many of us do, including many wonderful scholars to my left who really dislike Clinton. But is she really so different than the rest of us? Clinton has succeeded largely through public institutions. She has benefited financially on a much larger scale. She is a woman of great power and influence and wealth, who has sought out a degree of power and influence and wealth that greatly exceeds the norm for anyone and especially for any . And she is on the public stage, so that every aspect of her action, and her self-promotion—and her e-mailing—is potentially subject to public scrutiny. But is this a sign of her personal corruption, or simply a sign that she has learned how to play the establishment political game and to win at the highest levels? What man who has ever served in the US Senate or been Secretary of State or has been elected President of the US has behaved otherwise than she has? Hillary Clinton may be more insular, self-protective, awkward in public, etc., than most politicians—but how many of them have been Hillary Clinton, the first woman to endure this level of scrutiny in the history of the United States, and someone who also had to endure eight very public years as the First Lady of a philandering husband, and whose husband was In short, Clinton is a successful political leader who is also a woman in a man’s world. And, as Plato taught us millennia ago, political leaders tend to be loved by their friends and hated by their enemies. And Clinton’s principal enemies are clear: partisans of a Republican party that is led by Paul Ryan, Mitch Mc Connell, and a cadre of right-wing extremists, that selected Donald Trump as its presidential candidate, and that seeks to turn back the clock on decades of progress for women’s right, civil rights, the rights of minorities, and the (already very attenuated) rights of workers. Clinton is a centrist liberal, not a socialist or a social democrat. She is a liberal feminist, not a socialist feminist. She is a foreign policy hawk, but within a bipartisan mainstream. She is an insider and an experienced operative in an oligopolistic two-party system, and not a radical or participatory democrat. These are the reasons she is the presidential candidate of a major political party in the United States, which is not Sweden! It is true, on every one of these dimensions she comes up short when judged from the left. On every one of these dimensions of politics and policy, she deserves criticism. This was true before, it is true now, and it will be true if she wins the White House. Her opponents on the right have demonized Clinton for decades. They have succeeded in raising her to a level of distrust and opprobrium in the eyes of the mass public that exceeds any reasonable sense of proportion. Mike Pence is now saying that she has a “criminal scheme” to take over the US government. Donald Trump calls her a “criminal” and he promises to jail her. The Republican Congressional leadership is pledged to either defeat her or to dedicate four years to a legislative politics of inquisition modeled on the Benghazi hearings. She is being attacked by the right wing because the right wing hates her. And the right wing hates her because she is a liberal and a feminist and a woman and because she supports the things that most anger the right wing: gender equality, reproductive freedom, equality for gays and lesbians, gun control, racial equality, and civil rights. In the next 10 days leading up to Election Day, Clinton will be subjected to a last-ditch barrage of attacks from the right. To And then let us treat that Democratic neoliberal feminist, once in office, the same way that any president ought to be treated: with suspicion and critical scrutiny and a determination to press forward an agenda of greater social justice and political responsibility. It's been 200 days, or 239,040 minutes, or 17,280,000 seconds since the presidential election. President Trump still talks a lot about it. And on Friday, Hillary.
Jewish Tyranny At Supreme Court Real “We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. that is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Thanks to generations of Americans who refuse to give up or back down.”“We are stronger when we work with our allies and we're stronger when we respect each other, listen to each other and act with a sense of common purpose. And to build a stronger future for us all.”“[My mother] was the rock from the day I was born until she left us. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.”“Yes, there are still ceilings to break for women and men for all of us. We're stronger when every family and every community knows they're not on their own. She overcame a childhood marked by abandonment and mistreatment and somehow managed not to become bitter or broken. But don't let anyone tell you that great things can't happen in America. My mother believed that life is about serving others. history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party. And she taught me never to back down from a bully which it turns out was pretty good advice.”“To be great, we can't be small. On her campaign site, Clinton addresses a wide variety of issues she believes in, among them: lowering student debt, criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform, improving the healthcare coverage and costs of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. However, she is also known for changing her stances on various hot button issues such as gay marriage (she now supports it) and trade deals (e.g. In regard to the environment, Clinton has a plan to combat climate change but has been questioned by environmental activists for supporting fracking. Comey announced on July 5, 2016, that the agency would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton. Director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State,” Lynch wrote in the statement. We have to be as big as the values that define America. We teach our children that is one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. She is also in support of the death penalty but claims it should be implemented in exceptional cases. “Our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said at a news conference. “I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.”Clinton’s email troubles resurfaced on October 28, 2016, when Comey revealed in a letter to Congress that while investigating disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner for texts he had sent to a 15-year-old girl, law enforcement officials had found emails that appeared “to be pertinent” to the closed investigation of Clinton’s use of a personal email server. Not just for people who look a certain way or worship a certain way or love a certain way. In May 2016 the State Department issued a statement regarding Clinton's ongoing email scandal, in which she exclusively used a private server while serving as secretary of state. investigation of Clinton’s email practices while she was secretary of state, F. He added: ”Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information."The following day Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a statement saying that she would accept the F. I.’s recommendation and Clinton would not be charged in the case. The emails were reportedly sent by Huma Abedin, Weiner’s wife and Clinton’s top aide, to Clinton’s personal server, but the content of the emails was unknown. For all, indivisible.”When Hillary Clinton was elected to the U. Senate in 2001, she became the first American first lady to ever win a public office seat. The department criticized her for not seeking permission to use the server and also stated it would not have approved it if she had. The timing of Comey’s letter, just 11 days before the election, was unprecedented and critics called for the FBI to release more information. The 79-page report, along with a separate FBI investigation and other legal matters that involve her private email account, has exacerbated Clinton's controversial political reputation and been fodder for Republican officials. A bipartisan group of almost one hundred former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials also signed a letter criticizing Comey. “We cannot recall a prior instance where a senior Justice Department official — Republican or Democrat — has, on the eve of a major election, issued a public statement where the mere disclosure of information may impact the election’s outcome, yet the official acknowledges the information to be examined may not be significant or new,” the letter stated. On November 6, just two days before the election, Comey wrote another letter to Congress stating that Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of the new emails. "Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July," Comey wrote in the letter. On June 6, 2016 Clinton was hailed as the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party and the first woman in the United States' 240-year history "to top the presidential ticket of a major U. political party," according to the Associated Press. The assessment was based on Clinton winning the support of a combination of pledged delegates and superdelegates needed to win the nomination. On June 7th, the night of the final Super Tuesday primary, Clinton delivered a speech from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, acknowledging the historic achievement. It was eight years to the day since she had conceded her loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.“Tonight’s victory is not about one person,” Clinton told a crowd of supporters. ”It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible. In our country, it started right here in New York, a place called Seneca Falls in 1848 where a small but determined group of women and men came together with the idea that women deserved equal rights and they set it forth in something called the Declaration of Sentiments and it was the first time in human history that that kind of declaration occurred. So we all owe so much to those who came before and tonight belongs to all of you.”Clinton also acknowledged the impact of her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders’ campaign: “I want to congratulate Senator Sanders for the extraordinary campaign he has run. He’s excited millions of voters, especially young people. And let there be no mistake: Senator Sanders, his campaign, and the vigorous debate that we’ve had—about how to raise incomes, reduce inequality, increase upward mobility—have been very good for the Democratic Party and for America.”She also addressed the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom she called “temperamentally unfit to be President and Commander-in-Chief.” “He’s not just trying to build a wall between America and Mexico; he’s trying to wall off Americans from each other,” she said. “When he says, ‘Let’s make America great again,’ that is code for ‘Let’s take America backwards.’ Back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not all.”Clinton personalized her rhetoric when she spoke about her mother Dorothy, “the biggest influence in her life,” who died in 2011: "This past Saturday would have been her 97th birthday. She was born on June 4th, 1919 and some of you may know the significance of that date. On the very day my mother was born in Chicago, Congress was passing the 19th amendment to the constitution. That amendment finally gave women the right to vote. I wish she could see her daughter become the Democratic party's nominee."On July 12, 2016, just two weeks before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Bernie Sanders endorsed Clinton at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. And I really wish my mother could be here tonight . "This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who sought the presidency," Sanders told the crowd. And there is no doubt in my mind that, as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that." He added: "I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States."Clinton acknowledged the contribution Sanders and his supporters made to the presidential race and the political process. "This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face . "Senator Sanders has brought people off the sidelines and into the political process," she said. "He has energized and inspired a generation of young people who care deeply about our country. To everyone here and everyone cross the country who poured your heart and soul into Senator Sanders' campaign: Thank you." "We are joining forces to defeat Donald Trump," she added. "I can't help but say how much more enjoyable this election is going to be when we are on the same side. We are stronger together."On July 22, 2016, Clinton announced via text message to her supporters that she had selected Tim Kaine, a Virginia senator and former Virginia governor and mayor, as her vice presidential running mate. In July 2016, on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wikileaks published over nineteen thousand DNC emails that revealed how officials seemingly favored Clinton over Sanders and sought to undermine his campaign. The leak also showed the bitter tension between DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver, the collusion between the DNC and the media, and the ways in which officials persuade big money donors. As a result of the leak, Wasserman Schultz announced she would not be speaking at the convention and would step down as DNC chair. During this time, an FBI investigation was underway to discover who was responsible for the leaks, although intelligence was already pointing to Russia being behind the cyberattacks. The release of the emails by Wikileaks during the Democratic National Convention was a blow to what Party officials had hoped would be a time to unify and energize their base of supporters. The scandal reinvigorated the ire of Bernie Sanders' supporters, many of whom felt the DNC had rigged the election for Clinton from the start. Nonetheless, even amid protests, Clinton received an array of support from political allies, delegates, celebrities and everyday citizens in a series of convention speeches, including Barack and Michelle Obama, actresses Meryl Streep and Elizabeth Banks and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. After being introduced by daughter Chelsea, Clinton utilized the DNC's final night to officially accept her party's nomination for president, a historic achievement for women in the U. S., and then delineate aspects of her platform and national vision. In September 2016, “Since ' The Arizona Republic' began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles. similar decision to break with their longstanding Republican roots by endorsing Clinton over Trump. As the returns rolled in, Clinton’s path to victory faded. Late into the evening her defeat became clear when Trump earned the required majority of electoral votes. Breaking with political tradition, she declined to give a concession speech when the race was called, but phoned ex- host Donald Trump to concede. The following afternoon Clinton delivered an emotional concession speech in which she congratulated Donald Trump and said she "offered to work with him on behalf of our country.""Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election," Clinton told her supporters. "It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power."As she continued, she acknowledged her painful defeat and encouraged her supporters to continue to participate in American democracy. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it,” she said. intelligence agencies unilaterally concluded that Russia was behind the email hacks that were given to Wikileaks. Clinton also addressed falling short of becoming the first female president of the United States: "I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.""We need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives and to all the women and specially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion," she said. In December 2016 the CIA, the FBI, and the National Intelligence Agency publicly concluded that Russia and specifically, Vladimir Putin himself, were behind the cyberattacks at the DNC and of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's personal email account. "And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams."Clinton concluded her speech quoting Biblical scripture. The three agencies asserted that not only was Russia trying to undermine the U. presidential election but were also aiming to harm Clinton's campaign and to tip the scales for her Republican opponent Donald Trump. "You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap. Soon after these assessments came out, Clinton spoke about Russia's impact on her campaign at a private event. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do."Despite Trump winning the electoral votes, Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million more votes. She blamed both Russia's email hacks, as well as FBI Director James Comey, who issued a letter concerning an investigation over her email server just days before the election. Outside of Obama's 2008 presidential election victory, Clinton currently holds the record for winning the most votes than any other presidential candidate in U. On Putin, she said: "Vladimir Putin himself directed the covert cyberattacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me," Clinton stated via . (The "beef" she refers to goes back to her speaking out against Putin's unfair parliamentary elections in 2011 when she was secretary of state.)She added: "Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people. And that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election." Clinton also gave light to the larger, more pressing issues at stake. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation.”After taking time to decompress from the campaign, Clinton resurfaced in May 2017 to co-found the political action organization Onward Together. “This is not just an attack on me and my campaign... In September she published another memoir, , an attempt to rationalize the many factors that contributed to her election defeat. In January 2018, she drew a laugh at the Grammys for a segment in which she read from , a book that revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos within the Trump campaign and White House. Not all the news was positive; shortly before the Grammys, a report surfaced that a senior adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign had been accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a subordinate. According to the report, Clinton was aware of the accusations but did not fire the adviser, instead choosing to dock his pay and send him to counseling. The former first lady continued appearing at events, opining about the state of politics and her role in it. At Rutgers University in March, she was asked how she felt about some in the media telling her to "get off the public stage and shut up." "I was really struck by how people said that to me — you know, mostly people in the press, for whatever reason — mostly, ' Go away, go away,'" she responded. "And I had one of the young people who works for me go back and do a bit of research. They never said that to any man who was not elected. SCOTUS is a political machine of the Left. And the Left’s got their best on the bench 4 Jews and a modernist Catholic. No matter how they slice it with legal.
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