Her speech was eloquent. She thanked her supporters. She showed her humility. I could see her sadness as well as her resolve to accept what had happened.
I first saw Hillary Clinton in person over nine years ago, at a speech given at an apple orchard in Canterbury, NH. It was a small venue and she was running for president. I sensed how much she wanted to make a difference. It was nearing Primary season and I liked her very much.
I saw Barak Obama at the Verizon Center, in Manchester, NH. It was December 2007 and he was there with Oprah Winfrey asking for my vote. I had seen him on television and thought he was a phenomenal orator. At the time, I was a professional speaker with over 15 years experience and knew plenty about the industry. From my perspective, some speakers speak on leadership but they cannot lead themselves out of a paper bag; some speakers are self-proclaimed experts on customer service, but are unkind and uncaring; and some presenters speak on integrity and have none. I have learned to separate the speaker from the person. Often, people speak on topics they feel they can make the most money from, but do not practice. I was guarded with my opinion on him.
If truth were told, I was actually there to see Oprah, not Obama. I had missed an opportunity to meet her a few months back while in NYC, so I wanted to at least see her in person, even if it were from the distance.
Miraculously, I got a seat close to the stage. Oprah was everything I thought she would be; loving, smart, funny and filled with charisma. When, this guy running for president got on stage, I was already filled with inspiration. Maybe it was the energy left over from Oprah or maybe I just got caught up in his words and the whole cool idea of having our first African American president, but I was smitten. I voted for him, cheered him on while elected and was thrilled he brought Hillary in to be Secretary of State. I thought the country was in good hands. Now I believe I was wrong.
The first time I saw Donald Trump live was at the Boston Garden Arena over twenty years ago. I was there with friend Kathleen Shean as we attended a Tony Robbins daylong motivational program. Tony had gathered different speakers, including Larry King and Barbara Bush for an extraordinary day of inspiration. It was a wonderful. Kathleen and I loved the spoken word. It was a passion we shared until her death a few years later and we were in our glory.
The last speaker of the event was Trump. He took the stage and delivered one of the worst speeches I had ever heard. He didn’t “um” and “uh” at all, but his words were filled with negative ideas, such as “go out and get people before they get you.” Ugg! We cringed. What a terrible way to end an otherwise inspirational day. Kathleen actually wrote Tony Robbins a letter starting with, “Dear Tony, What were you thinking? How could you bring this Trump guy into something called motivational? Poor choice.”
I had the opportunity to see Trump again thirteen years later. He was a hired spokesperson for a multi level marketing company I had signed onto. He spoke at a rally in Detroit that I attended. Having gone through a difficult divorce, I was hoping this company would become a way to secure my financial future as a newly single woman. I wasn’t looking forward to the Trump speech, but I had to admit, when he took the stage, I could see he was different. More mature perhaps, and although I didn’t love him, I found I could tolerate him. Too bad I couldn’t tolerate the company. It wasn’t for me and I left it soon after.
Trump went on to write books, create television shows and build billion-dollar business. I never paid any attention to him, never read his books, watched his shows or stayed in any of his hotels. I went on about my life, getting remarried and creating my own prosperity.
When the Primaries arrived this time, I will admit, the thought of having a woman president peaked my interest. However, the women listed on the ballots did not. For me, Clinton no longer seemed like the hard workingwoman who once inspired me. She now appeared like a hardened insider, a woman I could no longer relate to. Republican Carly Fiorina did catch my curiosity, but she left the pack too fast. Okay, so if it wasn’t a woman, whom could I back?
All my life I’ve been a registered Independent. In New Hampshire, this means both parties court you. Being in the state, which holds “the first in the nation Primary” … we get lots of political attention. I usually vote Democratic, but always maintain my Independent stature. It’s a nice place to be, not behooving to any side.
This time around I have a husband and mutual friends who are very interested in politics… so by default and the sheer reason of having to listen to the radio/internet and the TV always tuned politics, I listened to more political minutia, than ever. I heard information from both sides and I began to notice how one side lied and the other one stretched the truth. I read articles and watched how the various news outlets had slants for particular candidates. The Huffington Post for example, always included a disclaimer at the end of every report on Donald Trump that he was a misogynist, xenophobe and racist. Every article had the same tag line. No matter what, it was a standard from them. No derogatory remarks against Hillary, just the republican candidate. Now come-on. That didn’t seem like fair reporting at all.
After listening and listening and reading and reading, even I was surprised when I came to the conclusion; Trump really offered the best choice for me.
I had matured and know entrepreneurs think differently than other people and felt we needed new ideas if we wanted to heal our country. I had been a life long entrepreneur, starting my first company at twenty. Although had not became a billionaire, I had created businesses that allowed me a nice living. Not a Trump type living, but a wonderful living. Yes, we entrepreneurs have a different outlook on life.
I felt comfortable with his spiritual views and I could see how he was growing personally. He was a better person then he once was, and he was filled love for the country and his fellow Americans. Humility began to find him. I also loved the fact, being a billionaire; he didn’t need any lobbyist’s funding and was not behooving to anyone. But it was more than that. Since I was not the same person I was ten/twenty/thirty or forty years ago, how could I think we was?
I had grown through life experience and he had too.
As a leader of a strong women’s organization, I took a stand not to voice my personal political opinions in public, but privately I attended Trump rallies and got excited at the possibilities of real change coming to the country. When scandals such as what he had said about groping women, I cringed. “Donald, what were you thinking?” But then I thought about the fact it had been eleven years since it happened. I was different now and so was he. The campaign itself was making him a better man. He was meeting people who were hurting and it was having an effect on him. I admired the relationship he had with his children and how they became part of the campaign. I got to know his wife through her speeches. She’s a very smart businesswoman in her own right, an immigrant who came to this country legally and became a US citizen. I noticed who Donald surrounded himself with, and I grew to love the people who were standing up to corruption.
I saw how stories were created on things he had never said and how the media twisted everything around. Long ago, I heard this quote: “The best lies have seeds of truth woven in – that’s what makes the lies so believable.” I saw the lies in action.
Election night I was on pins and needles, waiting to see how things would end. I keep praying, “God, Your will be done.” In the early hours of the next day, we would have our answer.
So here we are, Trump has won, Hillary has conceded, and Obama and Trump have met and the world is still standing. Actually, the stock market is up higher than ever before, the new US Cabinet is being formed, but that has not stopped the protests.
The silent majority, the Trump supporters are still being threatened, called racists and deplorable. Some family members are distraught about the outcome and have accused me of causing their distress, as I was one of those “white privilege individuals that hate Muslims and listen to the Russians.” I have friends who will not speak to me, and who knows what will happen to my business when people learn “the truth” of my respect for our incoming president. What happened to “Love TRUMPS Hate” campaign? I am not a racist (I voted for Obama remember?) I do not hate Muslims, have not listened to Russian propaganda and if what I have is “white privilege,” then how do I rid myself of it? My being white has never brought me power or riches. Hard work and a devotion to God has brought my good fortune and my $1.92 in my bank account. I am prosperous in spiritual gifts and the Universe always takes care of me because I am curious and kind.
The purpose of my story is actually three fold. First, a reminder times are tough; this election has been tough; but we positive women are tougher. We can over come any obstacle that comes our way. We can disagree, but we still can be loving and positive. We can each see the world from different perspectives, but remain respectful and loving to each other. This we need to set an example.
Second, when my sisters cry because the “glass ceiling once again has not been broken,” I can remind them the ceiling only exists in our minds. It never occurs to me there is a “ceiling” for my potential; therefore it does not come into play. As for this election not having a great outcome for women… I beg to differ. Look at Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Donald. She is awesome! Her dad states she is one of his closest advisors and I can see why. I bet she will run for President someday, and I will vote for her in a heartbeat. How about Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway? She made history as the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign. Have you see her in the media, doing hundreds of interviews? She always is smart, polished and very positive. These are my kind of ladies.
Third, Hillary did not loose the election because she was a woman. In fact, she won the popular vote – just not the Electoral College. Perhaps now she can come back home to her real self, the loving woman I once listened to at an apple orchard. It’s not too late for her.
In every election, there are winners and losers. Just like in life. Who to vote for? Do your research, choose what’s best for you and if things don’t go your way, accept it, deal with it and move on. The sun will come up tomorrow and you will have a chance for a “do over” another time. Don’t get sucked down the negativity drain spout and take out your frustrations on others that didn’t agree with you. That is not a positive move. Always remember, love does trump hate and a positive attitude trumps negativity every time.
So let’s give the new guy a chance. Let’s see what he can do as he tries to make the tough changes we need as we create a new movement. Judge not, least you be judged. Stop taking everything you heard through the media as truth and find real answers for yourself.
I have hope for our future, and one day we will vote in women to be president. But, it won’t be her gender we will be cheering on – it will be her ideas, her courage and her integrity. Think positively. It will happen.