Opinion: Should Hillary Clinton still have to answer for her husband’s affair?

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Hillary Clinton in Arizona, 2016. Photo by Gage Skidmore (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/25982365345)

 

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.”

These will be the words forever synonymous with Clinton – even though Hillary Rodham Clinton never had the affair that has marred Bill Clinton’s political career. She will always be remembered and scrutinised as the woman that stood beside her husband when the going got tough, even though so many women do this. In the late 1990s it surfaced that Bill had had an affair with White House Intern Monica Lewinsky. An impeachment charge began and even though he had the highest end-of-office approval rating for a US President since World War II, the scandal severely impacted his career until the end of his term in 2001.

 

But this article isn’t about Bill Clinton or whether he was right or wrong to have engaged in any form of affair with Lewinsky, or whether the several sexual misconduct claims against his name are legitimate. This is about Hillary Rodham Clinton, and for once Bill isn’t going to highjack this one.

 

Hillary has had a distinguished career in both law and politics. She earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Yale Law School in the early 70s, and not even 6 years later she was the first female partner at a law firm in Arkansas. She gave birth to her only child, Chelsea Clinton in 1980 and between 1978 and 1993, she earned more money than Bill did – it was only when she became First Lady of the United States did Bill’s salary surpass her. This would make her the first First Lady to have a postgraduate degree to her name and have a career until she entered the White House. Carl Bernstein says in his book, A Woman In Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, that she was apprehensive about getting married and feared that her hard earned achievements would be jeopardised by someone else – little did she know that her future would be fraught with nightmares. She made the unpopular decision in the 1970s to keep her last name as “it showed that I was still me.” She seems to want to keep her identity so badly and not lurk in the shadow of her husband – but it seems that the majority of people want to tear her down for the actions of someone else.

 

I want to know why we have such an issue with women in power in the West. Hillary has admitted in the past that her approval rating as First Lady was not the best, but she was arguably the most empowered, independent First Lady up until that point in history. She donned her bullet-proof vest and worked hard, she set an example for First Lady’s to come. Someone had to be the first First Lady to take the role by the reigns and achieve great things – you probably don’t know much about her accomplishments before she even walked into the White House. Of course, you know about Bill’s affair, you know about Monica Lewinsky, you know about his denial and then impeachment charges. But you don’t know that in the 1970s she helped set up Fayetteville’s first rape crisis centre and was the first female Senator for New York.

 

After her unsuccessful campaign to be the first female President of the USA, the sexism projected towards Hillary Rodham Clinton became incredibly clear. People feared that Bill would highjack her presidency, they brought up his affair again, they scrutinised her for not leaving him, they scrutinised her outfits, they overanalysed every word that fell from her mouth. But no one picked on her opposition Donald Trump’s questionable tie, his multiple wives, his sexual misconduct charges. When it seemed like she had been given the platform to shine on her own during a different time (20 years after Bill’s affair), she was once again subjected to sexism.

 

The word ‘first’ is used 12 times in this article for a reason, because Clinton was a pioneer in the field of politics and was a successful woman in law, but people still  condemn her because of her husband’s actions. It seems that Hillary’s worst nightmares have become a reality, even with the momentum of the #MeToo movement and her tireless advocacy of gender equality. The moral of the story here is to look beyond the towering figures of powerful men, to the women fighting harder for their place at the table. The women you find might surprise you.

 

Hillary Clinton

Scotland empathises with disappointed Americans following Trump’s election

“Today we make America great.”

This is what Donald Trump posted on his twitter page, 22 hours ago.

Today Scotland, along with the rest of the world, wakes to a new US President. Donald Trump is victorious against his rival Hilary Clinton.

Scottish political leaders have expressed their shock and disappointment after Donald Trump took a surprise victory earlier today.

Kezia Dugdale, leader of Scottish Labour and strong Clinton’s supporter, wrote a comment piece published on The Times website a few days ago. She said “Yes, Clinton can – if she withstands the crazy”.

There was hope in her words, a hope that was destroyed this morning when Trump gained enough votes to defeat Clinton.  “Cannot believe my eyes-what a dismal desperate day,” Dugdale said today.

Kezia Dugdale is not the only Scottish Clinton-supporter now struggling to come to terms with the results.

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens,  tweeted: “OK America, you have had your fun now. You’ve given us all a good scare. Time to be serious, and make the bad man go away”. This morning, after finding out the official result, he simply tweets “sickening”.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the US was “turning inwards”, and that the UK therefore has a “duty to advance Western democratic values”.

However UKIP’s leader in Scotland, David Coburn, insisted the new president would be a “good thing for Scotland” because of his long connections to the country.

Nicola Sturgeon, whilst Americans were casting their votes, said she thought Clinton had the experience, strength and resilience to make a “good president.”

After the results Sturgeon stated: “The ties between Scotland and America are long-standing, they are very deep and they are enduring. And whatever the outcome of the election I respect that outcome and will continue to work to ensure that those relationships, which are not just relationships of family and culture but also very important business and economic relationships, continue to be in good health.”

More than 1,000 students from Edinburgh’s Universities watched the battle for the White House unfold in the city centre.

Organised by Edinburgh University North American Society and the Edinburgh Political Union, the sold-out event in Potterrow had TV screens broadcast results live from across the Atlantic, with experts from the school of history providing live analysis on the results throughout the night.

The Golf Tavern extended it’s license until 5 am to broadcast the results. We asked the Scottish crowd how they think these elections are going to affect our country.

“It will affect the world’s economy” said James, “ I am afraid it will potentially affect our ability to travel.”

Andrew said this election seemed to be “a new chapter after Brexit.” Perhaps it is for this reason many Scottish people could empathise with the many Americans leaving the pub in tears early this morning.

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Comment: Why Harambe’s votes are a statement on America’s political disillusionment

A gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo

A gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo

The notion that America’s fate would be different had over 15,000 voters not opted to vote for a dead gorilla is, for many, a frustrating state of affairs. But are votes for Harambe a wasted opportunity?

In fact, it could be argued that a vote for Harambe is better than a vote for either presidential candidate; supporting the lesser of two evils does not achieve more than using your vote for protest. As a result, we must consider: how different would America’s fate be in the scenario of a Clinton victory?

When placed alongside Trump, any candidate would appear an acceptable choice for presidency. Those who reject Trump for his foreign policies, his statements concerning deportation, nuking and such must reflect on Clinton’s equally heinous policies.

In reality, she is not enough of an improvement to merit a vote. This is the woman who stated in interviews her intent to launch attacks on the likes of Iran and Palestine in the case of her victory – a vote for her is a vote for attacks on the middle east. And so opting for a dead gorilla is perhaps not so preposterous after all.

Harambe’s supporters evidently had no desire to have Trump or Clinton in office. The fact that they were active and used their vote regardless is a great feat. Rather than sitting in silence, the people are standing up and fighting back.

Some may question how much this really achieves. Spoilt ballots may not have an immediate visible impact, but they achieve at least as much as any vote for a valid candidate. If nobody voted, we would not have any of these radges in office.

Votes for a deceased gorilla are in fact very important indeed – they are an expression of the disillusionment and discontent felt by voters in regard to the current political system. Harambe’s legacy lives on; this crazy gorilla continues to smash the system from beyond the grave.

Words by Ailsa McEwan

Here’s what the US electoral map would look like if only millennials had voted

A electoral college tracking map giving live updates on the US election results highlights the voting trends of Millennials.

The breakdown, released early this morning by data website surveymonkey showed an overwhelming majority of millennials cast their vote in favour of democrat Hillary Clinton.

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Despite the overwhelming support for Clinton, it did not translate into real life events with Trump winning over 60 electoral college votes more than the democratic party nominee.

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With some states still to declare a result, the map below shows how strong the Republican vote was across the US, pushing Democratic support back to strongholds on the west coast and the north east. Nationally, Donald Trump has won with 47.7% of the vote, with Hillary Clinton taking 47.5% – this has translated into 278 votes for the Republicans and 218 for the Democrats.

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