Where do we draw the line on hate?

I’ve been really troubled by the free speech issues that arose in both San Fransisco and Vermont recently. I fundamentally believe that it is essential for all voices to be heard. However, I can’t support hate speech. And I think the targets of it have every right — an obligation even — to protest/argue/demonstrate against it — short of behaving violently. That said, I do think what Milo Yiannopoulos does goes beyond hate speech. He was publicly outing trans students on their college campuses. Particularly in this environment, that is not okay. So, were I in charge at Berkeley, to protect my trans students, I would not have allowed him on campus. And if that constitutes blocking free speech, I’m okay with it. 

Vermont is a slightly different story. Charles Murray’s rhetoric is hateful and, to my knowledge, has no support in actual fact. So, as a university head, am I doing my students a service by sponsoring him as a speaker? Aren’t there other thinkers, whose underlying assumptions are in some way factually supportable (even if they are odious), who could argue some of the same points? On the other hand, and, as far as I know, he has never directly harmed someone (except to be insulting). So — to me — he is not the same as Milo. And, in the end, he did get to speak, via live-streaming, if not live. However, there were demonstrations and personal attacks, which are just wrong.  As an academician, I might have blocked him  because he has no factual basis for his work or, if allowed to speak, I might have insisted on a counterpoint.

My thoughts in both of these instances are colored by the fact that these speeches took place in an academic environment. While students should be exposed to the widest range of thinking and have their positions challenged all day, every day, I can’t support speech that is directly and purposefully hateful or based on faulty premises. Facts and personal safety are simply too important to be ignored in favor of some other ideal.

At what point are we willing to take a stand on hate speech — as most other first world countries have done? Do we condone a speaker who promotes rape? If not, why condone someone who supports racism or homophobia? They are as damaging.

This is an interesting article. It makes the point that the students did themselves a disservice by ceding the moral high ground to the speakers. But are we obliged to both allow AND promote all speech?

Middlebury: Who Pays for Free Speech?

States’ Rights Versus Human Rights

Two days ago, our new president signed an Executive Order that threatened to take away funds from so-called “Sanctuary Cities.” So, what does this mean?

First off, what are sanctuary cities?

When police talk to immigrants – or people they think might be immigrants (and this distinction is important) – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) want them (police) to hold the immigrants until they can run them through their system to see whether they ought to be deported. Seems sort of reasonable, right? But, here’s the rub.

  1. Police talk to people for lots of reasons. Sometimes, it’s as witnesses. Sometimes, it’s as victims. If witnesses and victims are afraid to talk to police, law enforcement is working with their hands tied behind their backs and will not be able to solve crimes that affect ALL people.
  1. Holding people without probable cause violates their Constitutional rights – whether they’re immigrants or not.

So, what happens in sanctuary cities? The police don’t hold immigrants who are victims or witnesses and don’t report them to ICE. Police do hold and report people who commit serious crimes, or are strongly suspected of committing serious crimes and run them through the ICE database.  Why do I keep using the word “serious?” They are not turning over litterers, those who slide through a stop sign, or commit other petty crimes.

In those cities that identify as sanctuary cities, the police and administration feel that this choice makes all of their citizens safer and are willing to take the small risk attached to it. In many cases where they might hold onto immigrants or people they think might be immigrants (thereby complying with ICE’s request), they are also subject to lawsuits because, without probable cause, they are not legally allowed to hold people (which would apply to all of the witnesses and victims). Many courts have already ruled that these holds violate the Constitution, so municipalities are liable for the consequent litigation. This is especially problematic when – gasp – they are wrong, and the person they’re holding turns out not to be an undocumented alien. (This happens often enough.)

Plus, the administration’s request that police turn over every undocumented immigrant to ICE taxes local police forces by asking them to do the fed’s job. It is not the job of local police to enforce immigration laws.

Okay, that’s what’s going on now. Let’s talk about Trump’s decision to withhold federal funds to self-proclaimed sanctuary cities. There are a few problems with it.

  1. He exempted police from the cuts. Again, seems logical, right? Hurray for law and order! One problem: current court rulings say the federal government can only withhold funds to local jurisdictions if the money is directly tied to the behavior it objects to. So, you can’t cut funding for, say, education (which is part of what his order threatens) for actions taken by the police – especially when you exempt the police from retaliation for an action they are taking.
  1. Trump’s order slashes funding to all municipalities that refuse to share all information with immigration authorities. The director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project said the cities can argue “they are fully in compliance with that statute,” since they do share information with federal authorities, but limit cooperation when it comes to turning over immigrants who are not convicted criminals.
  1. In most federal disbursements, the White House negotiates with states, not cities — nearly 90% of the money the federal government handed out in the most recent fiscal year went to states, according to a Reuters review of federal spending data.

If the Trump administration wanted to cut off Medicaid money to Chicago, for example, it would have to work through Illinois, making this incredibly challenging. Let’s take this one step farther: suppose Austin, for example, declared itself a sanctuary city, but Texas wants to play ball with Trump.  As a practical matter, how will we differentiate between states and cities? (The order doesn’t.)

  1. To force sanctuary cities to hold detained immigrants at ICE’s request requires new legislation, but, Congress already rejected similar legislation in 2015. Maybe they can ram it through now, but it isn’t law at the moment.
  1. What happens in case of catastrophe? Several GOP legislators already withheld Sandy relief because they wanted to stick it to the northeast (although they were aghast at the mere notion that turnabout might be fair play when they needed federal funds for lesser catastrophes). What happens when catastrophe happens to a sanctuary city? What are the odds that this president will choose to withhold relief until/unless he gets the compliance he wants?
  1. And then there’s the ironic (I have the feeling I’m going to be using this word a lot in the next few years). The Constitutional source for some of these challenges to Trump’s order is the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, in which the court rebuked the federal government for threatening loss of funding to states that refused to expand Medicaid programs. In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said Congress couldn’t hold “a gun to the head” of the states. So, what supported the GOP position re: the ACA may undo them when it comes to immigrants.

This Executive Order takes away states’ and cities’ rights to self-determine how they keep their citizens safe. There is no federal law requiring local police to turn over every single person they talk to. States do turn over serious offenders. Punishing them for being selective and self-protective undermines their ability to determine what’s best for them. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t it used to be a fundamental and sacred tenet of republicanism that states have rights and the feds should defer to them? And then, what about those pesky human rights? Are we throwing those out too?

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-legal-idUSKBN15B03H

https://www.aclu.org/news/court-finds-federal-immigration-officials-and-state-rhode-island-violated-constitution

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-sanctuary-cities_us_588936f3e4b061cf898cbfc6?&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Morning%20Email%20012617&utm_content=The%20Morning%20Email%20012617+CID_f5d79f9c5b1adda780e7e503222da9ed&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=are%20fighting%20back&

In search of truth.

So, after my way-too-long hiatus, what are we to do now?

I remain of two minds: I want to smash things, scream, yell, argue with anyone who even turns right while walking, never mind votes/leans right – and I want to find peace and compromise and reason. I want us all to agree on facts and then discuss our differences based on a commonly held set of facts.

I am determined that the good angel will win.

So, I’ve been reading a lot and I have a lot of thoughts and theories percolating in my head. I plan to continue to throw some of them out here for your input and consideration.

My first mission is to do all within my power to arrive at a commonly agreed to set of facts when we discuss issues. I am convinced that the growth of cable is an important reason behind our differences. We all used to get our news, and, therefore, our facts, from one of three networks, all of whom reported pretty much the same news.

We then debated policy based on that news and those facts. Now, the right listens to Fox; the left listens to MSNBC, and we no longer base our conversations off of the same information. Our inability to agree on the most basic of issues was revealed when Sean Spicer was either unwilling or unable to state the current unemployment rate in this week’s press conference. The government releases those figures (or used to) and they should be readily available to the White House Press Secretary. He managed to have an aide bring him the number of people the WH brought to the CIA meeting and in what rows they sat. Doesn’t it seem possible that someone could have dug up the current unemployment stats as well and delivered them to him?

With most federal departments muzzled per executive order, it is going to become increasingly important – and difficult – for us to track and monitor our information and its sources. The administration says this is temporary as they sort things out. We shall see.

I urge everyone to become more active and diligent consumers of news. Check EVERYTHING you read, even when – or especially when – it comes from a “friendly” source, i.e., those who already agree with you. Let’s not contribute to the unhealthy noise.

If we as a country are to move forward with any semblance of unity and peace, we need to start negotiating from a place of truth and integrity. I will continue to do what I did prior to the election and research issues with as unbiased an eye as I am capable of. I will add my own opinions and perspectives, but the facts I provide will be vetted from multiple mainstream sources.

Please do the same. Call out untruth where you see it. Be polite.

Washing one another’s feet

The schisms within families and amongst friends and colleagues, the uneasy – and momentary – peace brought about by “agree to disagree” is not because of the election. Your differences were unveiled (not created) because of the election and the fractures in our supportive tissue couldn’t stand up under the stress. The people who have angered and disappointed you always felt the way they are now revealed; they just hid it well. Now, there is both a mechanism and permission for them to say what they have hidden from you all this time.

I have read (too many) stories of people with bi (racial and sexual), disabled, gay or trans children who have enjoyed the support of their friends and families until the election when lines became clearer. But Trump did not take away that support; your friends and family just got honest about its limitations. The lines were always there. They just needed a black light to be seen.

A few of my conservative friends (and several social media strangers) have belligerently demanded to know whether I’m calling them “racist,” “homophobic,” or “misogynist,” putting the burden on me to chip away at the fissure between us. My answer is that “You chose to support a racist, homophobic misogynist and you were quite vocal in your criticisms of Hillary. You had your reasons – taxes, trade deals, whatever – I don’t know and I don’t care. So, you decided to sacrifice your tolerance to your other issues. That is your choice.

“Now, he is appointing even more racist, homophobic and misogynistic people to his cabinet. If you choose not to separate these actions from the ones you chose to support – and call him on them in no uncertain terms – then you support them. I’m not calling you racist, homophobic, or misogynistic. Your choice to support those who are, without demanding they stop it, speaks for itself.”

These are people I think of as “good” people. They are kind. They can be quite generous with their time and money. However, this is bigger than “agree to disagree.” This defines who we are – and who we have always been.

I’m not going to change your minds. Nothing I say will cause you to fight for whatever you already don’t believe in. So, I am done. (Okay, probably not really, but you are not my focus any more. You are responsible for your own choices and I can’t change them. But I can’t ignore them either.) So, I am going to focus on those who are hurt by what is happening here.

From now on, I plan to hark back to my not-yet-forgotten biblical upbringing and wash others’ feet.

 

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”

John 13:14

 

It’s a new day.

Day 1 — New world.
 
I am both hurt and afraid.
 
Yes, I remain hopeful that I’ve been wrong all this time and my Republican friends are right…BUT, I am still very afraid of the anger and intolerance that’s been unleashed.
 
There is the (pretty large) escapist part of me that dreams of moving to a small sea town in Nova Scotia (with healthcare). And then there is the angry (and maybe a little escapist) piece of me that thinks, “ok, guys, you got it all – the whole magilla. The world is in your hands now – warts and all. Go ahead. Fix it. I’ll be gardening and walking my dogs for the next four years. Let me know how it goes.”
 
And demanding (more than) equal due, there is the piece of me that has gotten me to my current place in life: my infernal, never-ending, god-damned resilience. I start imagining the things I can do to fix it; to contribute; to find the positive spin, until I realize how exhausted I am.
 
And then, as if that stupid bounce-backedness weren’t sufficiently annoying, my fierceness emerges. How dare you, America, put someone in charge who maligns me and my friends and family?
 
Not on my watch, baby.
 
I am one of the privileged. I’m white. Christian (by upbringing). I’m well educated. I was brought up to navigate the world’s avenues. I’ve chosen to leave NY professional life and make room for a “real” life – one that is not commandeered by my paycheck and the demands of those who give it to me. I walk my dogs during the week in the woods. Sometimes, that means I work on Sunday morning instead – tea, dogs, and Meet the Press keeping me company, but I’m good with that. Although, it sometimes means that my upbringing relates to the Whole Foods crowd while my bank account negotiates with the Cracker Barrel folks.
 
Other than my gender (which is no small issue), I am entirely privileged and not at the mercy of many of the forces unleashed during this past election cycle. But that doesn’t buy me a pass. It buys me a passport to travel in other’s worlds.
 
My social community, on the other hand, is, in large part, the community I’ve built around my dogs and the sports I play with them. A fair percentage of this community is lesbian. Over the past ten years, I have watched many friends blossom, throw off protective silence and emerge as the real, true, fully fleshed human beings they are when fear is not their guiding principle. The legal and social progress we’ve made over the course of the past administration has enabled people I love to fly their rainbow flag in public. And it’s beautiful.
 
I am so intertwined in this community – they are my chosen family – that, even though I have my straight-girl “Get Out of Jail Free” card, I am incapable of playing it. I feel I have become an invited guest of the LGBT community. And this election just threw down. Yes, I know, I know: blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, immigrants, the disabled: I do cry for us all – and it just magnifies the pain. I know people who, quite literally, would not be alive today were it not for the ACA. And I’m not young and I freelance, so my health depends on it too.
 
So, with all my fierceness going to the mat with my escapism – one hand researching work laws in Canada while the other Googles community programs I can participate in to protect at least my small piece of the world, that oh-so-pesky resilience and fight whispers (not so quietly) that it will win and we all know it.
 
Not me. Not my family.
 
And then, because WWIII is not enough to rip out my insides, possibly my very favorite Millennial (she ranks with those related to me by blood – and she practically is blood. I have known her since before her parents met), reaches out and messages this old and irrelevant lady:
 
“Don’t stop.”
 
And, with those two words, it’s game over.
 
Good-bye Nova Scotia. Garden, tend thyself.
 
I haven’t yet sorted out what form my fight will take. I suspect, like my mission to change the tone of the election we all may or may not have survived, it will demand truth, facts, research, opening minds and a path toward peace, tolerance, acceptance, love and dogs.
Don’t go away. We’re going to need you.

Love must trump hate.

Day 100 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.

Because of what could happen. Because of what did happen.

Because, despite the outcome of the election, I need to believe that love does trump hate.

She honors history — voting rights and the ERA

Day 99 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
 
She honors her history.
 
From the time the women’s voting rights movement started, it took almost 100 years to pass. Now, it’s another just-shy-of-100 years since then before we may elect a female president.
 
In its too-circuitous path to ratification, the 19th amendment (granting women the right to vote) was leveraged for a variety of sins. Much of its early support arose because many thought allowing white women to vote would help quash efforts to allow black men to vote. Some were tempted by this alliance for passage, but – fortunately – backed off. And yes, in the end, black men got the right to vote 50 years before women of any color.
 
As women organized around voting rights, they chose white as the color to wear identifying themselves as supporters of the movement. It’s why Hillary wore all white when she accepted the DNC’s nomination to run and at one debate. Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro also wore white, in a nod to suffragettes, when they accepted nominations to their historic positions in politics.
 
Some interesting facts about the voting rights movement.
• Idaho and Utah (among other states) gave women the vote before the federal government mandated it.
• Women didn’t turn out to vote in equal numbers as men until 1980 (!).
• It was Democrats who blocked passage of the 19th Amendment.
 
So, here’s a gigantic THANK YOU to all of the women who have gotten us this far. They sacrificed everything to do so.
 
But let’s not forget, folks, the Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified. The Constitution STILL does not provide specific relief for discrimination based on gender. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in September 2010 that he does not think the Constitution prohibits sex discrimination.
 
Some reasons we still need the ERA:
 
 Because we don’t have it yet. Even in the 21st century, the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that all of the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex. The only right that the Constitution specifically affirms to be equal for women and men is the right to vote.
 
 We need the ERA because the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause has never been interpreted to guarantee equal rights in the same way the Equal Rights Amendment would. The 14th Amendment has been applied to sex discrimination only since 1971.
 
The Supreme Court matters (and whether we have strict originalists on it). Voting rights matter. Electing a woman to the highest office in our country matters. Hillary knows it and honors those who have gotten us this far and I like that she looks backward as well as forward.
 
My links today include information on the history of women’s suffrage and its choice of white as its identifying color. But it also includes Susan B. Anthony’s defense after her arrest for voting. There is not a word of it that is not true or resonant today. And that just makes me sad (or maybe just a little bit angry and energized).
 
 
 
 
http://www.history.com/news/woman-in-white-hillary-clintons-suffragette-tribute

To sum up…

Day 98 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
 
So, to summarize.
 
If you’ve been following this blog post (and thank you to those who are, and a special shout out to those who have commented – you make all the work worthwhile), you have heard – so far – 97 reasons I will vote for Hillary. Some of them are sliced pretty thin, some are broadly sweeping. So, how do they add up?
 
First, the easy parts. Here are the things I truly love about her:
 
• She does her homework: every day, all the time, on every subject, well beyond what 99.99999999999% of us would do. Ignorance is inexcusably sinful in her world.
• She follows up – this may be one of my favorite discoveries. With all she has on her plate, I would expect her to finish up some legislation and then move on to the next fire. She does, but somewhere in there, she finds the time to backtrack to the passed legislation, research its effectiveness, poke holes in it to see what doesn’t work – AND THEN SHE FIXES IT. I love that!
• She actively listens – She sets aside one day per month to read articles she’s saved about people who are struggling, she stops lots of the people she meets (shopkeepers, teachers, police) and asks them what’s on their minds, and then meets with her policy folks to strategize a response.
• She writes Thank You notes. All the time. To all sorts of people. I wanted to make a separate blog post about this because it touches me, but never got to it. It’s sweet. It makes people feel important. It’s unnecessary, but lovely.
• She has worked her entire life for other people in unexpected ways. Two of my favorite articles talk about her going undercover in Alabama to investigate desegregation of schools (or, more specifically, schools not desegregating) and going door-to-door in small-town Texas registering Hispanics and young people to vote. This is nitty-gritty work for a woman on a path to the presidency (these, plus the canning factory in Alaska amuse me).
 
Onto some of the grayer aspects of who she is. My primary issue with the Clintons themselves is, and always has been, their looseness with the rules and their sense of personal exceptionalism.
 
My most succinct summation of Hillary is this:
 
She believes the ends justify the means, but I do – in my heart of hearts – believe that her ends are altruistic.
 
Her childhood pastor describes it this way:
 
“My sense of Hillary is that she realizes absolutely the truth of the human condition, which is that you cannot depend on the basic nature of man to be good and you cannot depend entirely on moral suasion to make it good,” Jones says. “You have to use power. And there is nothing wrong with wielding power in the pursuit of policies that will add to the human good. I think Hillary knows this. She is very much the sort of Christian who understands that the use of power to achieve social good is legitimate.”
 
This brings me to my next point: anyone who discounts the power or essence of her faith in her work is missing who she is at her heart. I don’t think she’s cynically manipulative. I think she truly believes that everything she does is in pursuit of doing good in the world.
 
It’s why I think both Clintons always seem a little surprised and perplexed when the world goes after them. “We were curing AIDS throughout the world, why are you bothering with who paid for it? We treated 9 million people!”
 
At some point, it becomes disingenuous, but I think it’s what’s there.
 
In this vein, far from “pay for play,” it turns out that giving money to the Clintons is a risky proposition: you may not get what you think you’re paying for. Wall Street and Pharma both received tighter regulations. The “women-hating” governments the GOP likes to reference gave millions to the Clinton Foundation only to have them use it to treat AIDS and uplift women. I keep picturing the Clintons sitting around chuckling gleefully, “Whee hee – we just got Mobil to pay for solar energy! SCORE!”
 
My next big issue with Hillary is her default to fog. If she could, I believe she would be the Wizard of Oz hiding behind a curtain while creating policy. Some of it is just who she is; many believe some of it is the household she was raised in (I can believe it, but don’t know that for sure), but, however it began, after 30 years and an estimated $200million in investigations, it is now part of her DNA.
 
My life couldn’t stand up to the scrutiny she’s been put under. I don’t think many of us could. And after $200million and counting, what have we learned about her? She didn’t want the world to read all of her emails (because, gosh, maybe they’d misconstrue some of what she said), so she did something really stupid. I understand it. I don’t condone it. But I sure understand it. And I’m here to tell you, If anyone spent 1/millionth the time and energy investigating me, they’d find a lot worse.
 
My strongest initial objection to Hillary was grounded in the visceral loathing she elicits from the right. This concern lingers. And, unfortunately, I don’t expect that to change. However, as fractured as we’ve become as a nation, I remain hopeful that she is uniquely suited to bring us together. She has always worked well with Republicans and, one hopes, that she will be given the chance to continue to do so. I hope her intelligence, hard work, sincere (if somewhat messianic) desire to do good, will resonate with someone, anyone, and encourage cooperation.
 
My most surprising, interesting or illuminating articles are listed below. This is my “Best of” list (and cheers to the NY Times for writing all of them), so, if you’ve ignored all the policy articles, these represent the softer side of Hillary.
 
 
 
 

Because I’m a woman.

Day 97 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
 
Because I’m a woman.
Just as Obama’s election stirred the pot on racism and spewed out dregs of the uneasiness between blacks and whites and all of the shades in between, this election – for me (and many others) – is really about women.
 
It’s not just that Hillary will be the first female president if she wins. It’s not just the comments on sexual predation that Trump made. It’s not just the issues. The circus surrounding this election and the women who have tried, on so many levels, to navigate it has truly delivered the good, the bad and the ugly for women in America and changed the conversation and – one hopes – the reality.
 
I’ve been uplifted and demoralized by the brilliant, thoughtful, very prominent role of female broadcasters and journalists. It’s been torture to watch them be ignored, interrupted, talked over, condescended to, and insulted. One can only imagine what life is like when the microphones are off and the cameras are gone.
 
Megyn Kelly’s grace under bombardment by Trump, Gingrich and, apparently, Ailes, leaves me breathless with respect. Katie Tur was personally singled out by Trump at multiple rallies and at least twice needed the protection of the Secret Service to leave the grounds safely – and yet, she comes back the next day, and the one after that…
 
Parents, teachers and girls report widespread body shaming in response to the comments about fat, ugly, flat-chested women, and creates a groundswell of feminism in children who smell the unfairness and are rising up with a purity and righteousness that is appealing only in the young.
 
We all would like to think there are no more barriers for women – that we’ve achieved a hard-won equality, even as we are still paid only 80¢ on the dollar – just as many declared racism dead once Obama was elected. As a woman who came up through corporate America just a little behind Hillary, I can tell personal stories that, today, would have killed the careers of a couple of handfuls of men who were never so much as reprimanded nor felt a moment’s discomfort for their actions.
 
Money and power soften blows the less fortunate take to the gut. Ivana’s proposal for childcare works fine for the wealthy, but offers no relief to the poor. Her brother’s notion that any woman who’s treated poorly should just find a new job suggests a privilege few “real” women possess.
 
I joined a forum of women for Hillary and the members introduce themselves by telling their “stories.” They are heartbreaking and inspiring simultaneously. They speak of hate, and struggle, and fortitude, and ignorance and lots and lots of misogyny. Mostly, they are the stories of women who do not have nannies, portfolios, healthcare, or, in many cases, a partner or family to get their backs. They are the stories of women up against the wall, doing the best they can – backwards and in high heels.
 
And then there are the men – the ones who get it – the ones who back the women they love. The ones who are fighting in the best ways they know how to support and elevate us. And my heart swells.
 
Lest anyone think women’s issues affect only women, let me offer the following: “we now know that the participation of women’s groups in peace negotiations increases the likelihood of reaching an agreement and implementing it, and the probability that it will last longer.
 
“When women were included in peace processes between 1989 and 2011, agreements were 20% more likely to last as long as two years, and 35% more likely to last 15 years. Additionally, women’s leadership and political participation enhances a community’s ability to resist violent extremism, and women play the most critical family role in influencing young people who are susceptible to radicalization.”
 
…if ever there were an argument for a woman president. The role of women in the political process affects nothing short of world peace and the promotion of terrorism.
 
It’s impossible to guess how much of the pushback and vitriol directed at Hillary has to do with gender, but I know in my heart, there’s an ocean of it. And it’s far from over. If she wins, a fresh round is just beginning. Just ask McCain or Jason Chaffetz. A meme I’ve already posted sums it up nicely for me: I’m not voting for Hillary because she’s a woman. I’m voting for her because I am.
 
But it ain’t over until the fat lady sings – and women, girls and enlightened men think she’s beautiful just as she is.
 
Vote.

She supports the energizing value of immigration.

Day 95 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
 
Hillary supports a clear path to legal citizenship for immigrants.
 
We’re a country of immigrants – always have been. It’s our legacy and our DNA. It’s also part of what makes us great. It energizes us culturally and financially. As a Senator, Clinton co-sponsored the Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement Act of 2004 with Sen. Edward Kennedy. She co-sponsored the Dream Act in 2003, 2005 and 2007, which helped give immigrant students access to higher education and supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act in 2006 and 2007.
 
Hillary’s pledge not to deport any illegal immigrants except violent criminals and terrorists while we fix the system and create a path to citizenship represents a major break from President Obama, and it could vastly increase the number of people who would be allowed to stay in the country.
 
For those who think this is problematic, immigrants actually contribute to the employment of US citizens rather than take jobs, in part, because so many are small business owners – they employ more people than the jobs they take. In fact, the share of immigrant workers who own small businesses is slightly higher than the comparable share among US-born workers; they are 18% of small business owners.
 
Additionally, immigration reduces the federal budget deficit – they contribute to Social Security and pay taxes — about $12 billion a year (more than some presidential candidates, in fact) and, until/unless they become residents, never recoup that money.
 
Immigrants also increase U.S. economic output because they are disproportionately likely to work and are concentrated among prime working ages. Despite being 13% of the population, immigrants comprise 16% of the labor force.
 
Some of Hillary’s plans to facilitate the orderly influx of immigrants:
 
• End the three- and 10-year bars that force families whose members have different citizenship or immigration statuses—into hard choices of leaving or hiding.
• Defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) laws.
• End family detention and close private immigration detention centers.
• Let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
• Expand fee waivers to alleviate naturalization costs, increase access to language programs to encourage English proficiency, and increase outreach and education to help more people navigate the process.
• Create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs to increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education.
 
As an aside, net immigration from Mexico is 0 – as many Mexicans leave the US as come in each year. If we want to build a wall, we have to build it in JFK as most immigrants come from Europe and 46% of them have white-collar jobs – kind of like Melania.
 
 
 
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