Our golden girl

Posted on November 12, 2016

Music from another room is a beautiful even if underappreciated romantic comedy. It is the story of a boy who helps deliver a baby girl at the age of five and vows to marry her. Many years later we are shown that the boy, now grown into a hopeless romantic Jude Law, returns to the city and his paths cross with the girl he vowed to marry. It is love at first sight. But it is complicated. The girl (Gretchen Mol) is engaged to a rich man who has done her entire family great favours and overburdened with self-assumed responsibilities. What follows is a charm offensive to woo her. He manages to win over most people around her but her. She is too bitter. In love with him but bitter. His advances are thwarted. Again and again. But one day when his head has been filled with all that bitterness he finally throws in the towel. He is leaving the town when confronted by her blind sister the girl has a change of heart. She rushes to the train station before he leaves. And when he gives her the very same dose of realism, there is one beautiful line that blows mind away. Listening to his bitter talk she says, “What have I done to you! You sound just like me.”

When Hillary Clinton reached the part in her concession speech where she said, “I am sorry that we did not win this election”, that is precisely what came to my mind. Look what they have done to you. A hopeless romantic, a crusader against prejudice, a champion of great causes, standing there, vulnerable and everybody thinking about own self not her. The world and the people who she was running for must have endured an incredible loss of vision that they failed to see all that is good in her. Not when she announced to run. And not even on the election day. Many who voted for her said they voted despite her candidature and for the party or the cause. Many who voted against her did so to spite her.

And here the problem lies primarily not with the opponents but her own camp and the media. Opponents usually try to discredit you. To paint you as a total failure. It is your side that fights for you. And media that tries to be objective. But with the visible exceptions of the first family and a few farsighted intellectuals and politicians nobody bothered to see her. And media is supposed to be as neutral as possible. Endorsements upon endorsements were written not in her favor but against Donald Trump. Her own base was constantly tempted by Bernie Sanders and kept revolting feebly on every stage. As for media just calculate how many hours of free publicity and airtime was given to one candidate throughout primaries and the general compared to others.

And in her case focus was always on weaknesses. Her husband’s excesses were her fault. She was corrupt. Evil. A puppet of corporate America. And about to die because of her poor health. Media spun it. Bernie or bust movement supported it. Frankly, when I came across use of abusive language in the campaign for the first time it was not coming from a Trump supporter or a Republican. It came from this lot.

Democrats should worry now about the leftward drift of their party. Especially now because as victimhood sets in everyone would return to their favorite pastime: Hillary baiting. The trouble with socialism is that while theoretically it is a beautiful concept but it never works. And Donald Trump has already shown us with his very creative message that even Republicans can exploit socialist views.

So even though everyone will eventually make peace with Trump’s America, it is important for Mrs Clinton to know that it is not her fault her side lost. She fought like a lioness. She won the popular vote. If her side had been united she could easily be the president-elect today. A broken system just dished out more vitriol and bitterness. She should know she has broken one important glass ceiling already by being the first presidential nominee of a major party. She will always be a hero to my daughters and me.

As for the post-election America, well, a good friend argues with you incessantly when he thinks you are about to make a mistake. But once it is done he stands with you to brave the consequences. May democracy in America win.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2016.

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