Martin Luther King. Harvey Milk. Susan B. Anthony What do all of these people have in common? They were all unconventional, viewed as 'problems' and 'troublemakers' in contemporary society. They all faced large, increasing opposition. However, all of them made a difference. Just like the latter Hillary Clinton has already made a difference to the lives of millions from being unconventional. In November, she will demonstrate how being unconventional can propel somebody to the highest political office, the Presidency of the United States.
Potentially, Hillary is the most radical personality to aspire to the presidency and certainly the most radical in the 2016 race. In the political arena in which Donald Trump absorbs the stage, branding 'radicalism' and 'anti-establishment' as his own, it is often forgotten that his Democratic counterpart is equally, if not more so, unconventional.
The most obvious distinction is that Hillary is a woman. She is the first woman to run for President of the United States on a major party's ticket. Hillary has overcome explicit and latent sexism throughout her career. Whilst her husband, Bill Clinton, was running for President in 1992, Hillary was forced to defend her decision to work and not to support her husband from home, as was expected. She defended herself stating:
"I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfil my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life."
She suggested that becoming a housewife to support her husband's career was the 'proper' thing to do. Hillary fought against it, demonstrating that women could be in public life and work to progress their career aims. Hillary conveyed herself as unconventional before it was popular. This sexism continued to play into her 2008 Democratic campaign, in which Neil Cavuto of Fox News stated Hillary was unelectable because:
"She reminds [men] of their nagging wives."
It was not Clinton's views or policies that made her unelectable, it was the fact she was female with a woman's voice. Cavuto implicitly argued that despite being a leading candidate in the Democratic race, being a woman would somehow disqualify her or weaken her ability to lead. Despite this, in 2016 she became the first woman to win the nomination of a major political party. She has defied latent and explicit sexism to put herself into a position to contest the highest political office in the world. This is slightly more impressive than a billionaire who has bankrolled his own campaign.
Clinton has portrayed herself as unconventional in the White House before. She used her position of power to give eight million children health insurance - the biggest health programme the United States had undertaken until Obamacare (which could not have been implemented without Clinton's previous successes). By being different, Hillary has changed the lives of millions of Americans without a vote.
Similarly, Hillary has, with the help of Bernie Sanders, unconventionally moved the Presidential debate further to the left than any other major candidate since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour would be a major boost to working families. Planning for every household to run on renewable energy by 2027 to tackle climate change, which the Republican candidate branded "a Chinese hoax", is an incredibly modern and new outlook on government. Hillary would also ensure the Supreme Court has a progressive majority for the first time since the 1970s. Hillary will change America with a huge government and social reform, unconventional compared to anything that has come since FDR. Conversely, Trump has called for less government, more conservative values and more money to the military, a repeat of the conservative, Republican agenda.
The Republicans would not be afraid of Hillary if she were a typical Democrat. America is due for a change in government and direction, a swing that often happens every eight years. However, Americans are not looking toward the Republicans. This is because Hillary is different. Her policy is different, her personality is different and her outlook is different. Trump, in contrast, is a louder, bolder version of a decaying Republican Party. His hard-line extreme immigration policies echo the growing desires within the Republican Party. His calls to scrap Obamacare mimic conventional Republicans and his proposal to abolish the federal minimum wage resonates from the Republican's fundamental desire to retract the state from citizens' lives. Hillary has escaped media attention toward her actual campaign because of the (sexist) attention toward her as the candidate, in contrast to Trump's policy focus. However, it is she who is the unconventional candidate in this year's election.
Brits for Hillary are aware of Hillary's uniqueness, her difference and her strength. This is why we support her. It is her strength, to fight against convention, against norms and against tradition in both her policy and her personality that makes us support her. That's why I'm with Her.
Originally Posted on 'Brits for Hillary' in September 2016 - http://www.britsforhillary.com/blog/well-behaved-women-seldom-make-history-hillary-unconventionally-strong-and-historic-legacy/