Philadelphia 2016- The Mirror that is Hillary’s Glass Ceiling
On Thursday night, Hillary Rodham Clinton claimed the nomination of her Democrat Party at the Wells Fargo Center Arena in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
For herself, and for the many women who support her, her nomination represents what they believe to be a broken “glass ceiling,” much as Barack Obama’s nomination in 2008 represented the same for himself, and for the many black Americans who support him, as well. While other women have been nominated to the U.S. presidency before, Hillary’s nomination was the first by a major political party.
So be it…history made.
Taking full advantage of this notable nuance, Hillary’s video feed on Tuesday night, following the state-by-state roll call of Democrat delegates, showed individual portraits of the forty-three men who have been president of this country and was followed by a composite portrait of all of these men taken together. Suddenly, the composite portrait seemingly shattered on the screen, to the sound of glass breaking, and Hillary Clinton suddenly appeared in a closed-circuit video feed smiling and savoring her special moment. The messaging was clear- another barrier broken.
So be it…history made…and that was where the fantasy began.
After speeches by Michele Obama, President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, all designed to conjure up and create anew an image of Hillary as the perfect wife, the perfect mother and the “most qualified person to ever run for president,” Hillary arrived to claim credence to this fantasy. For most of the delegates gathered in the arena, and for her undying supporters across the nation, this was the moment they all had waited for, and even the worst of speeches by the Democrat nominee would not have altered this moment for any of them.
…and then, Hillary spoke.
Her tone, altogether condescending and authoritative, much like a school principal laying into a wayward student for misdeeds, took on an air of angry admonishment- particularly when taking her Republican rival, Donald Trump, to task. In between these insults (and there were many), Hillary gleamed in both adoration from her supporters and in the self-adoration for which she is well-known. Interspersed within these segments was a litany of liberal talking points and policy platitudes designed to lure Bernie Sanders’ supporters into the fold of her candidacy. Promises, promises… but yet, no meat on the bones of these promises.
While all, and we mean all, of the mainstream media has joined into the fantasy that this was a more-unified convention than the Republican convention the preceding week, close observation of her acceptance speech revealed something else. Vertical banners, depicting “HILLARY” spelled out in white letters on blue backgrounds occasionally had parts of the lettering marked out to reveal another word- “LIAR,” unmistakably showing that the final night of the convention was anything but unified. The most ardent and verbal of Bernie Sanders’ supporters, particularly from the state of California, were locked out of the final night- their seats given instead to Hillary supporters not originally invited to attend the convention. Coached to chant “Hillary, Hillary” anytime chants to the contrary began, her minions attempted to shout down the voices of disenchantment, all in an effort to portray a narrative that was not quite real- a narrative that all had supposedly united behind their queen.
Taken together, Hillary’s “glass ceiling” seemed rather a mirror of her own self-admiration, evoking a memory of the moment in Snow White, when the queen gazes into her own magic mirror and intones, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
Let the mirror of a watching nation provide a certain and final answer to this queen’s inquiry, once and for all.
-Drew Nickell, 29 July 2016
© 2016 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.
author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
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