The last few days haven’t been kind to Hillary Clinton. FBI Director James Comey resurrected Clinton’s email woes with a maddeningly vague letter to Congress saying that the agency was taking “appropriate investigative steps” after learning that some additional emails may have turned up on another device. (Subsequent reporting said the device belonged to sexting fiend Anthony Weiner.) Comey’s actions have all the earmarks of a CYA action, particularly since he ignored Department of Justice policy in publicly commenting on an investigation in such an early stage.
So Clinton enters the final stretch of the campaign with a cloud hanging over her. Whether the cloud is legitimate or not is something we won’t know until well after Election Day. Considering how much ink has been spilled over her emails, it’s hard to believe that there’s a ticking bomb waiting to explode in the latest round. (The emails may be duplicates and may not even be from Clinton.)
But it’s a good time to stop and consider why Hillary deserves our backing. It’s not just because Trump is, well, Trump. It’s because Clinton has demonstrated that combination of steel and empathy that we will need to further our progress in the coming years.
Here’s a reminder of just a few of the reasons why we stand with HER.
There’s no denying that Clinton is cautious, and that applied double to us. But once she made the leap, much like the president, she was all in, as her State Department record shows. That’s particularly important in this election, because the next president has the opportunity to press LGBT issues as a human rights cause–which is the explicit link that Clinton made in her landmark UN speech. Now that she’s embraced us unreservedly, she seems to be enjoying herself, as she did at New York City’s pride parade last June.
2. Her debate performances
Imagine how hard it is to pretend that the giant orange boor next to you is actually a serious person. Clinton did a good job of make-believe up until the point in the first debate when Trump declared he had a “much better” temperament than Clinton. The shimmy and smile were the perfect response to how ridiculous Trump’s comment (and the candidate himself) are. As an added bonus, Clinton slipped a shiv into Trump’s fragile ego, setting him off on a tear about Miss Universe.
3. Her emphasis on keep our issues in the campaign
Gay issues haven’t been much of a focus in the current election cycle, but insofar as they have been, it’s because Clinton keeps bringing them up. The Democratic National Convention was rife with pro-gay comments. Clinton has kept that theme in her campaign speeches and in the debates. Just last week, at an appearance in North Carolina, she criticized the state’s antigay law. In the third debate, she made preserving marriage equality a key goal of her Supreme Court choices.
4. Her personal outreach
Clinton has a nice record of sending messages to folks who are facing everyday cruelty for being trans or gay. There was the Facebook message to the trans woman assaulted on a New York City subway. There was the reassuring message to the unhappy teen struggling with being gay. Clinton is also good at celebrating people doing the hard work of activism: there was the personal letter to a lesbian couple congratulating them on their marraige and for their work on behalf of the It Gets Better project.
5. Her enemies
Look at the stalwarts lining up behind Donald Trump. Many of the leading (dim) lights of the religious right are among Trump’s biggest boosters, even after his sexual assault tape came to light. It’s the same crew that would gladly reverse twenty years of our progress. They hate Clinton for all the same reasons why we love her, starting with her willingness to stand up for us.
6. Her stamina
Clinton is the textbook case of an unstoppable survivor. A lesser person would have wilted under all the negative coverage and the vicious (often sexist) attacks she’s endured. There’s no question that resonates with a lot of folks in the community. Even Donald Trump had to acknowledge that “she doesn’t give up and she doesn’t quit.” It may be the only time Trump has been right in this election.
7. Her friends Are Our Friends