This is question was posed to me at a recent event by a Donald Trump proponent who passionately challenged me to change his opinions about Hillary Clinton.
I must confess the question left me baffled. After all, Clinton was First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the USA, Senator, then Secretary of State. How can anyone question her record? And in all honesty, I wasn’t prepared to talk about her specific achievements in detail.
We were at a dinner party, and I did what people do when in a group—we politely talked about our careers. When I revealed myself as the Founder of The Women’s Code, a movement that changes the way women lead and work, the next question I was asked was who would be on my dream team. That’s an easy one: Madeline Albright, Jodie Foster, Patricia Arquette, Hillary Clinton…. Wait, did you just say Hillary Clinton?
Here we go. Again.
Why is it that when we talk about men, we focus on what they are saying right now? Not one word is uttered about their past accomplishments. But when we discuss women in politics, we question her back story like it’s the only thing that matters. What has she done? Why does she deserve a place at the table?
I tried not to get mad. Mad at myself that I couldn’t rapid-fire answers to defend a sister or promote her with cold hard facts. Mad at men for talking down the most qualified candidate we’ve ever had by making this solely about her past accomplishments (especially in light of Trump’s zero accomplishments of political importance). Mad at the simple fact there is such a double standard in how we view women and men. I failed. I got mad anyway.
My man, who was with me at the dinner party, is a very smart and pragmatic guy. He suggested I arm myself better because this line of questioning will come up again and again. He’s right, and he doesn’t want me to be caught unprepared next time.
You see, women don’t think like men. We don’t run our mouths boasting our accomplishments to constantly remind others why we matter. Girls are not raised like that. Hillary was not raised like that.
Perhaps Hillary and I should both be better prepared to shatter those who dare ask the question: What has Hillary Clinton accomplished?
For my challenger who wanted to be convinced (which we know will never happen), here is a list of some of the heavy lifting Hillary Clinton has done on our behalf:
- As Secretary of State, Clinton was the principle author on the sanctions against Iran. She got the United Nations on board along with its five permanent members to approve those sanctions.
- As First Lady, she helped create and guide the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that resulted in health care for millions of children who would not have otherwise qualified. She was also vital in the drafting of the Affordable Health Care Act. As someone who grew up in Europe it has always baffled me that a fundamental necessity such as health care can be so hotly debated.
- Clinton helped make the world safer through a drug safety bill she helped push through. Before then, drug companies didn’t have to check dosage amounts for children. As a result, many children were given too much medication. This bill requires big pharma to ensure their labels have safety warnings for children and include the appropriate doses for children.
- She helped heal our hearts and reach the much needed closure to 9/11 through her direct involvement in taking down Osama Bin Laden. And while neither you nor me will ever know the details of this classified operation, there must have been a very good reason for to be in the room with our President when the operation was executed.
- And if that weren’t enough, Clinton holds the record of days spent on the road as Secretary of State. She visited 112 countries and covered 956,733 miles. She also pushed women’s issues to the forefront and made women’s equality a top priority of the foreign policies of the U.S.
- After 9/11 she secured $21 BILLION to help rebuild New York City, and made sure the first responders received the medical attention they needed if they got sick.
- She drove the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act (EPA) that prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women who work at the same business in jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. This was the first bill President Obama wrote into law.
Hillary Clinton has accomplished far more than any of the other Presidential candidates. These are the reasons I support her and the reasons why I believe women should support this qualified candidate.
What more could we ask? She has a long track record of accomplishments, her stance on women’s issues is exemplary, and IT IS TIME to change the political landscape from 95% men and 5% women to something more balanced. Wouldn’t you agree?