In First Post-Election Speech, Hillary Clinton Tells Us to 'Fight for Our Values' as Some Democrats Hint at Working With Trump
Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton made her first public appearance since the election at a gala for the Children's Defense Fund, the organization where she began her long career in public service. She is just as heartbroken as millions of Americans, telling the audience how hard it was to come and that, "There have been a few times this past week when all I’ve wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house ever again." But she was as strong as always, urging her millions of supporters to, "Believe in our country, fight for our values; and never ever give up."
Clinton reminded the audience that "our campaign was never about one person or even one election, it was about the country we love and about building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted." She continued: "I know this isn’t easy. I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America was the country we thought it was. The divisions laid bare by this election run deep. But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it."
If indeed America is worth it, the Democrats will need to fight overtime, and already some are simultaneously denouncing Trump's hateful rhetoric while pledging to work with him on trade and infrastructure. A recent New York Times article explains:
"On infrastructure spending, child tax credits, paid maternity leave and dismantling trade agreements, Democrats are looking for ways they can work with Mr. Trump and force Republican leaders to choose between their new president and their small-government, free-market principles. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected Wednesday as the new Democratic minority leader, has spoken with Mr. Trump several times, and Democrats in coming weeks plan to announce populist economic and ethics initiatives they think Mr. Trump might like."
This ignores many serious red flags, namely that Trump's transition team, including Steve Bannon and advisers like Kris Klobach, not to mention Mike Pence, have enormous influence over him, and are not huge fans of protecting the poor or disenfranchised. Also, back when Obama had an ambitious stimulus plan, Republicans fought against funding for essential infrastructure like transportation, roads, electricity, and much more.
Clinton's hopes for the presidency have been dashed in dramatic fashion, a defeat still causing her obvious distress. Perhaps some Democratic hopes for fighting back against complacency lie, as a recent Guardian article suggests, in elected officials like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who said at a recent book event, “Can you go out and raise substantial amounts of money from the wealthy and Wall Street and other powerful special interests and then convince the American people that you are on the side of workers and the middle class, or do you finally have to say that we are going to take on the oligarchs, we are going to take on Wall Street and the drug companies and the insurance companies and the corporate media, and we are going to bring millions of people together to create a very different type of party than currently exists?"
In her Children's Defense Fund speech, Clinton reminded us of, "The words of Dr. King, often repeated by President Obama: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.’ I know sometimes it can feel awfully long, believe me, I know. But I also know it does bend.”
Clinton's former boss, Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman told the crowd, "She has always been able to figure out how to get done whatever had to be done." That includes a vigorous opposition to hatred and a refusal to back down.
Watch Clinton's speech here: