As published on LinkedIn Influencers on July 29th, 2016.
“I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I am a Canadian.” Those two simple statements have saved me from a lot of arguments over the past few months. Who are you voting for has become one of the first questions people seem to ask these days. It is not that I don’t have opinions, I have many, but I have chosen to be somewhat quiet on the topic. Why? Because I have been practicing my listening. Also, as a Canadian, I cannot vote in the US, and I fully respect that everyone has the right to vote for whichever candidate they choose.
To be clear, I have dreamt about the day that a woman would not only become a serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States, but would win. I have thought about this for decades, and in the year 2001, it became the core plot line for a Wonder Woman screenplay I was working on at the time. That is a long story that you can read about here. The reason that having a woman President was so important to my story was because I saw it as a game changer. If and when a woman, a great woman, a qualified woman, a remarkable woman, ascended to the most important and powerful role in the world, the journey towards a truly gender balanced world would take a GIANT leap forward. In my make believe world, my lead character Wonder Woman, would use her superpowers to help make it happen. Not by forcing voters to choose her candidate, but by using her lasso of truth to make sure each of the candidates were in fact telling the truth. There was a lot more to it, but wouldn’t that be a handy device to have right about now?
So tonight, with Hillary Clinton accepting the nomination for President at the Democratic National Convention, I honor the moment. How could I not? This is the first time a woman has received such a nomination from a major party. Whether you support Hillary or not, it is a game-changing moment.
Below are some highlights that I pulled from tonight’s program.
Firstly, I think she is awesome! As a mother of a 16 year old daughter who I think is one of the most amazing people on the planet, I know what an incredible bond it can be, should be, between a mother and her girl child. If you can be judged by the character and accomplishments of your children, then Hillary rocked it. May I be so blessed. Of course, you can say that Chelsea has been given every privilege and that is true, but I have seen lots of kids grow up with similar levels of privilege and turn out to be, well, not so nice and very self-interested. That is not Chelsea. She came across so natural, so poised, so honest, so likable. Amazing job.
The video by Shonda Rhimes with Morgan Freeman.
I get that the whole point of that video was for us to leave feeling that Hillary Clinton is a complete gift to us all. So good job. That was what I was left feeling. But what was also clear from the video, and from other speeches, is that she has a life-long commitment to children, to families, and to public service. Making the statement, “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights” was a game-changing moment, and one of the most important speeches of all time. She said that over 20 years ago at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. I am glad they featured it.
Also, when they hugged on stage I truly lost it. What a moment. A moment for mothers and daughters everywhere.
Hillary Clinton – Some of my favorite lines from her speech.
We will not build a wall, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a job can get one.
As Secretary of State I went to 112 countries.
Don’t believe anyone who says I alone can fix it.
America needs everyone of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to make our nation stronger. Stronger Together. It is not just a slogan, it is a guiding principle. The economy needs to work for everyone.
My job titles tell you what I have done, not why. In all these years of public service the service part has come easier to me than the public part.
Caring is not enough. To drive real progress you have to change both hearts and laws. You need understanding and action.
When there are no ceilings, the sky is the limit.
I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives. Our Democracy is not working the way it should.
In America, if you dream it, you should be able to build it.
If fighting for equal pay and affordable child care is playing the woman card, then deal me in.
America is great because America is good.
Let’s be stronger together my fellow Americans.
I am ending with one of my favorite quotes included in my Wonder Woman report.
“If ever the world sees a time when women will come together purely for the good of humanity, it will be a power as the world has never seen.” – Matthew Arnold, circa 1800
The photo was from 2013 when I received the Global Fund for Women’s Global Philanthropy Award. It was presented to me by Hillary Clinton. I was truly touched by how gracious she was, and how personal she made the award. Also in the photo is Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President of The Global Fund For Women. Love her!