Monday, June 9, 2008

An Open Letter to President Bill Clinton by Lynette Long

Guest author Lynette Long provides a thought provoking, from-her-heart blog today.

An Open Letter to President Bill Clinton
People say you have a temper, but from where I stand you have been incredibly patient. You have said little compared to the indignities you, as a former President, a citizen, a husband and a father have suffered over the course of this momentous campaign.
You have watched your legacy tarnished. You watched an America you left at peace, be at war. You have watched an America you left with a budget surplus, become the greatest debtor in history. You have watched an economy that was strong, plunge into a recession. You have had the blame for all these ills and others placed at your feet. But you stayed silent.
You have watched your political allies, desert you. Bill Richardson, your Secretary of Energy, the current Governor of New Mexico, came out in support of Obama. When questioned how he could defy his own edit, that superdelegates should vote with their constituency Richardson responded, “She only won by a small margin.” Janet Napolitano, the Governor of Arizona, whose career you propelled forward by helping her become Attorney General of Arizona, is another Obama supporter. David Wilhelm, your campaign chair in 1992, and who became head of the DNC with your support also showed no loyalty. There are the countless others, who you have advised, campaigned for, promoted, and raised money for, who have turned their back on you. But you stayed silent.
You have been deserted by the African Community you stood loyally beside. You were called the first black president by Toni Morrison, and have arguably done more for the African American community than any President since Abraham Lincoln. You’ve been publicly labeled a racist even though your most staunch critics say there is not a more racially blind person in America. And you have watched the African American community, vote as a bloc for Obama even though you and your wife have spent your entire lives fighting for racial justice. But you stayed silent.
You have watched your wife called a bitch, Hitlery, Billary, and treated as the devil incarnate. You watched people wear t-shirts that read, “Iron My Shirt” or “Bro’s before Ho’s.” You’ve watched pundits and self-proscribed journalists, spin data to intentionally undermine your wife’s campaign. You have watched your wife vilified, mocked, dissected and eviscerated on national television. And although you are not without your sins, no man wants to stand silently by as others abuse his wife and the mother of his children. But until now, you’ve stayed silent.
You have been accused of pimping out your daughter, because you allowed her to campaign on her mother’s behalf, a mother she is justifiably proud of. In addition, you have watched your daughter, your only progeny, asked questions about your indiscretions, questions no young woman should be asked about her father, under any circumstance let alone on national television. And you’ve heard pundits say, since she’s a surrogate, she’s fair game.
I, for one, would have told them all to go to hell. I would have told them look at their own cynicism rather than my mistakes. I would have told them to stay away from my daughter, or step outside and go toe-to-toe with me. I would have told them only cowards throw stones from afar. Not one was man or woman enough to call your wife names to her face or challenge her to a debate. I would have told the white men of the Democratic Party, that were so quick to push her out of the race, to meet me out back behind the woodshed, where one cowardly pundit wanted to take your wife. But you have more patience than I. I lack the patience of a saint.
I hope through all of this you have learned these painful lessons- that sexism is real and something every woman in America confronts daily, that loyalty is hard to find except in a dog, that power corrupts the incorruptible, that gratitude has no memory, and that envy will tempt a student to defeat his/her mentor. Also remember that the woman you married is brilliant, gracious and strong. She can take a punch and shed a tear. She is “woman” at her best. Hillary is the best candidate for President this nation has ever known. Her supporters will stand behind her in whatever journey she chooses to take. She has launched a new wave of feminism and given all women new hope for equality. And finally, whatever your shortcomings, feel proud that you have raised a beautiful daughter who has conducted herself even in the most difficult of circumstances with poise and grace. And she and her children, and her children’s children, will carry you and your wife’s legacy, into the future. What more could any president want? What more could any parent want?
Lynette Long
Bethesda, MD

Dr. Lynette Long is a licensed psychologist practicing in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of twenty books including fourteen math books. Dr. Long has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and was the host of One on One with Dr. Lynette Long. She recently published Op-Ed’s in both USA Today and the Baltimore Sun about the current election cycle.

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