Day 14 : A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Preface: I didn’t exactly grow up with what people define as male and female role models. There wasn’t a singular person I emulated. Figures moved in and out of my life, leaving behind admirable traits I wanted to embody. However, I never expected to find myself in a singular entity. All of the best, because this prompt is about the disillusionment with idealized people, public entities or personal entities.
Dear Hillary Clinton,
I grew up in what I consider to be “The Golden Years” during the Clinton administration. I remember the time before that, when my father, a war veteran, was fighting for disability. And I also recall my brother, a young boy with autism, was having problems getting help through public programs. Our family went through very difficult times prior to the changes that the Clinton administration brought to our country. It was a brilliant time of prosperity and effective, accessible, public programs. The Clinton administration focused on aiding the populations most in need, and keeping politicians and capitalists in check.
Unfortunately, it was about the time of my adulthood when the Bush administration took over. And his final blow to the country came at the worst possible moment of my life, in 2008. Prior to that year, I had managed to struggle my way out of poverty and minimum wage hell, into a comfortable desk job. My soon-to-be husband had worked his way up the career ladder in a short period of time, using nothing more than great ambition, incredible intelligence, and amazing talent. We were in a comfortable middle-class situation, as all young couples aspire to be before they are married and have children.
A month before our wedding, I was unjustly terminated as a result of my new. but high risk pregnancy. Companies just seemed to see fit doing what they pleased without much legal recourse. Unfortunately, the minute I began to take legal action, they offered me full reinstatement to my job with medical considerations. Pennsylvania is an “at-will” state, so if I were to have declined a full reinstatement, I would not have been able to collect unemployment. I needed the medical insurance felt as if my hands were tied.
Upon my return, I had found my desk was completely bare, sparing only my personal effects. The company had lied to me about the nature of my full reinstatement. Though I was restored to my job, I was not restored to my computer access or my essential functions. In essence, this company made me a glorified personal assistant to a personal assistant. Very soon after, at the admission of a nurse at a practitioners office, I discovered that the plan was to write me up for any unplanned missed sick days, and eventually find legal grounds to fire me. I should have been protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the company had found their loophole.
I quit, before they could fire me again, and leave a permanent black mark on my employment history. During our honeymoon, my husband’s company held a tribunal for layoffs. The only reason we know this for sure is because the administrator seemed to have forgotten that the nurse on staff was my MIL. By the time we returned, we had both resigned from our jobs, and were left completely destitute, save for the tiniest bit of wedding money remaining. By this time, I had gone beyond my first trimester and was showing. Though my husband was able to gain employment within the next month, we had gotten into severe debt. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky, seeing as how I was discriminated against at every turn. And at the time, high-risk pregnancy was not considered a long-term enough disability to collect SSDI.
Nearing the end of my pregnancy, Bush decided to start throwing money at every large company that would solicit him. I wrote Stop Them Before They Spend Again!, originally a blog essay against the Bush bailouts, seeing them as an economic detriment. And they were. We are still feeling the economic effects of such bad administrative decisions and capitalistic greed globally. My husband has just now secured a full time job with potential for advancement. But, that’s potentially due to the fact that the company is actually Canadian, and not American.
I’m not pinning any of the aforementioned on you. I was setting the scene for my disappointment. I voted for you in the primaries. When I heard that you were interested in running, I was overjoyed. I saw a time where we, as a nation, could make good decisions and dig ourselves out of the huge hole. I saw a rise in the middle class, and a quality of life like we have never experienced before. I was a little disappointed that you lost the primaries, and I don’t feel as if you really gave the campaign as much effort as President Obama.
The biggest disappointment has yet to come. When President Obama was elected in 2008, it was an exciting time for Democrats, Liberals, and pretty much the entire nation, seeing has how President G.W. Bush had the lowest approval rating of any president ever. I was pretty thrilled, but not as thrilled as I would have been had you been elected. And I thought to myself, “There’s always 2012, or even 2016.” When you announced that you were retiring after this term, and did not have any ambitions for running for President, my heart was crushed. How could the woman who pioneered Universal Healthcare back in the 1990’s not want to run for office? If any woman had the chance to become the first female president, it would be you!
I looked forward to the possibility of another Clinton Administration. With Bill at your side, we could have been the best nation in the world once again. Not to say that President Obama has not done his best and given us some relief. But, I really believe you could have gone above and beyond for us, as Americans.
Anyhow, I’d like to thank you for all of your political leadership and efforts throughout the duration of your career. I’d like to also thank you for being a strong female role model for all of the girls and young women of the world. And, I’d like to also say that there’s really no hard feelings.
Best to your and your family,