Hillary Rodham Clinton has gone from personal shame to presidential hopeful. Everyone from politicians to comedians have taken a swipe at Mrs. Clinton over the past two decades, from her husband’s indiscretions to her own suspicious dealings. In fact, famed comedian Chris Rock dedicated over seven minutes of his Bigger and Blacker comedy special to detail how the former First Lady should have handled former President Bill Clinton. Everyone has an opinion, but few have lived through what she went through while occupying the highest position in the world.
Although the late poet Maya Angelou had her own reasons for penning the famed poem Still I Rise it seems to fit Clinton’s bill as she aims to take the seat as the leader of the free world. Angelou wrote:
You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may tread me in the very dirt; but still, like dust, I’ll rise.
From 2001 to 2009 Clinton served as the United States senator from New York. During this time her accomplishments are few, with no piece of legislation bearing her name. Clinton then served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. As such she traveled to 112 countries but her accomplishments are unclear. She has nothing of magnitude to her name, except more scandals. While her supporters feel she helped restore America’s dying reputation in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, her critics maintain Clinton was too afraid to act appropriately for fear of affecting her 2016 presidential run.
Even among the list of scandals surrounding the Clinton brand, she is yet a powerful American politician who continues to rise. Admittedly, she may have never reached her current position had she not established strategic connections during her stint as First Lady. Some are wondering how many deals were made behind the scene to get her into power while wondering how many scandals it will take before her power is removed.
While it is true her list of scandals has become extensive, the presidential hopeful refuses to allow them to distract her goal for 2016. Many have said the Benghazi scandal coupled with the recent secretive email practices will not complete her list of questionable behavior. Her critics say the real woman behind the illusion of power can be found by connecting the dots which will reveal a politician who lacks any resemblance of principled integrity. Despite the accusations, some proven and others speculative, Clinton yet displays a Still I Rise demeanor as she continues her thrust towards the oval office.
Clinton’s journey from personal Shame to Presidential nomination not only displays courage and stamina but supports the “doctrine” of Dr. Brené Brown on guilt and shame. Although many people use these two words interchangeably, from a psychological perspective, they actually refer to different experiences. Brown explains it as such:
The difference between shame and guilt is ‘I am something bad’ versus ‘I did something bad’.
Many times guilt and shame go hand in hand. The same action may give rise to feelings of both shame and guilt; where the former reflects how a person feels about themselves, the latter involves an awareness that these actions have injured someone else. In other words, shame relates to self while guilt leans towards others. Every person who has had to endure an uncomfortable situation can use Hillary’s career as a blueprint to overcome the odds and be free from shame.
Clinton may not be the candidate of choice for some because of the simple fact that she is a female. It has been said that females are too moody and hormonal to run a country, however former British Prime Minister Margaret Hilda Thatcher proved this to be unfounded. The late Thatcher, who earned the name Iron Lady, served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office.
Both women are reminiscent of a song recorded by American recording artist Beyoncé titled Run the World (Girls). This song was designed to speak strength to women; its title and lyrics comprise an unapologetic and aggressive message promoting female empowerment. In the song Beyoncé soulfully sings:
I work my 9 to 5, better cut my check, this goes out to all the women getting it in, you’re on your grind. To other men that respect what I do please accept my shine. Boy you know you love it how we’re smart enough to make these millions, strong enough to bear the children then get back to business.
The late singer James Brown once sang This Is a Man’s World, but today is a testament of a definite shift in perspective. Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced her presidential run and is hopeful she can rebrand herself. Not only is her bid one that highlights the journey from personal shame to presidential nomination, it speaks volumes of empowerment to women across the globe. While it may be true that scandal loves the Clinton brand, this presidential hopeful continues to rise.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Featured Image Courtesy of World Bank – Creativecommons Flickr License
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Inside Image Courtesy of Jim Devlin – Creativecommons Flickr License