Why This Socialist Feminist Is for Hillary


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Hillary Clinton at the kick-off event for New Hampshire Women for Hillary in Portsmouth, where she received Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s endorsement. (AP Photo / Cheryl Senter)

 

Suzanna Danuta Walters | The Nation | December 9, 2015

At first glance, you’d likely guess that I would proudly don a “Feel the Bern” T-shirt and make a generous donation to the democratic socialist firing up the Democratic Party. Born to leftists themselves born to leftists, I am what is known in some circles as a “red-diaper baby”: progeny of left-wing activists, often but not always members of the Communist Party. I was raised by a mother deeply committed to social justice, an activist first and foremost in the civil-rights movement but later engaged with feminism, anti-war activism, and the vast panoply of progressive issues that ebbed and flowed through our national politics of the past half-century. My mother’s immigrant Jewish parents met in the Lower East Side of New York City, at a meeting of the Young People’s Socialist League (we called it YPSL) and I grew up more familiar with the words to labor anthems than “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The pressure to join the Bernie Express—for those of us on the left—is intense. Friends and colleagues, casual Facebook acquaintances and lifelong political allies alike, throw up their hands in despair or sneer in disgust if allegiance isn’t pledged to the candidate whose forward march has been both surprising and energizing to progressives used to “holding our noses” and voting for the lesser of two evils. For maintaining my support for Hillary, I’m a dupe and a traitor. Mostly I’m a tool of (take your pick) imperialist, war-mongering, militaristic, in-the-pocket-of-Wall-Street corporate hacks.

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