Heidi Hall: We Are the Quiet Revolution

NEVADA CITY, Calif. November 4, 2016 – We are the quiet revolution. We are smart, active, engaged, modest, middle-aged American women. We have come to accept living in the reality of a great country with deep flaws, and we work with it. We blossomed with worth and value and joy in the 1970’s when it looked like women would finally be seen, heard, paid and included as fully realized humans. We survived the disappointment of endemic misogyny that continued unabated through the turn of the century. We learned to cooperate and persevere and we decided to stop enabling misogyny. We fight back, make our victimhood a place of powerful action, and keep on keeping on.

I believe we are the quiet majority that will elect Hillary Clinton, will work to both support and hold her feet to fire, and will continue to volunteer in our respective political parties’ to make them better. We may not march, or shout on social media, or denounce people over ideological purity, or swoon over our candidate. We trudge on and on and on, and we will prevail against the hate and invective coming from every direction – the left and right, sexist men and women, and ideological purists. We are the moderate middle unwilling to be bowed by misogyny and hyperbole.

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Millions of words have been written about the various political groups targeted by candidates for votes, dissected for their values and attitudes about the world and politics, and bombarded by ads and pleas for money. None of them yet speak to me. I don’t think anyone is targeting us, really – we middle-aged, fully realized, employed and engaged women. And I don’t think we need to be targeted because we already know, quietly, where we stand.

We work hard, very hard. Often we work harder than our partners, our children. We combine a career with raising children, or choose not to have children but become fully engaged aunties. We move up the corporate or government ladder, or become indispensable in our blue collar jobs. We run non-profits. We volunteer on the side, engaging regularly in making the world a better place, often overlooked for awards or kudos. We also cook and clean, organize households, check in on our parents, get the car fixed, participate in church or women’s groups, and try hard to take care of ourselves. We vote like banshees. We vote hard. We vote always.

When it comes to Hillary and the smear campaigns that have become ugly beyond anything I have witnessed in my life-time, we are a little heart-broken, a little mystified, deeply angry, and only more determined to fight for common sense, civility, and fact-based action. We understand that it has become impossible to discuss what is real because of the out-of-context hyperbole about the Clinton campaign, both with people on the left and the right. The specific issues being endlessly flogged in the media – emails, Foundation connections, Benghazi – have become completely buried in lies and misdirection. Where there are real problems that should be discussed, they are likely smaller than the hyperbole allows, but real nonetheless. But we can’t get to that real and useful conversation, so we stop engaging altogether in comically meaningless shouting matches using completely meaningless polemic. Because we are buried in Clinton hate, conspiracy theories, and hyperbole.

As someone who has followed politics for over 40 years, of course I have some concerns this election cycle, even in my own Party. Some are about what happened within the Democratic Party, like rogue favoritism. Some concerns are about the candidate, like with the blending of Clinton’s roles as Secretary of State and a key part of the Clinton Foundation. Someday, I would like to discuss those issues, rationally and factually. But that is impossible in the hysteria of the campaign coverage today.

Separately, I do not question Hillary’s authenticity, because I understand women wanting to keep some distance from a frothing public. I do not question her integrity, because I am comfortable with the sausage-making that is politics. And I do not believe there has been criminal intent in any of her actions. I will vote for her with a firm confidence that the very progressive agenda she represents will have a fighting chance of getting partially moved forward once she is in office, as long as we send enough other reasonable Senators and Representatives to Washington to work with her. And I will continue to disagree with her on some of her positions, strongly, without the need to demonize her for them.

I don’t believe I am alone in this view. In fact, I believe there are many of us, but we just don’t engage in conversation very much, because we see the pointlessness. What we do is work our fingers to the bone to make the world a better place in our chosen way. We work tirelessly between the big elections to ensure there are good candidates for other, less sexy, offices. And we fight relentlessly within our parties for integrity above all. In the political arena, we support each other with a ferocity that lasts way past the latest call for revolution.

And. We. Vote. I know you are out there, staying out of a pointless fray, and I see you. Thank you.

For the rest of you willing to wade through the boring but critical boring facts, and uncomfortable with the hysteria of the times, feel free to join us. And don’t underestimate us. We too are part of the arc of history that bends towards justice.

Heidi Hall is Supervisor-elect for Nevada County’s District 1.