Tuesday, November 08, 2016

What a Hillary Clinton Presidency Might Look Like

Mary L. Dudziak

With some women lining up to vote today in white in honor of the woman suffrage movement, I thought it would be a good time for a short reflection -- not on the negative and perilous campaign that's finally ending -- but on what the promise of a Clinton presidency might be.

If elected, Hillary Clinton could have a historic presidency in more ways than one. Shattering the nation’s highest glass ceiling is tremendously important, though, as the campaign made clear, it won’t eliminate misogyny but could even amplify it. Clinton’s history-making could extend to domestic policy as she would enter office with a policy vision, and a deep understanding of the workings of Congress and the Executive Branch. Of particular importance will be disability rights and hopefully civil rights generally and immigration. It is significant to finally have a candidate who makes disability rights a priority. Whether Clinton would have a landmark presidency depends on whether the Democrats gain a Senate majority, and also on whether a chastened Republican party rebuilds by prioritizing governance over obstruction, making compromise possible. On matters of war and peace, Clinton would shatter forever any remnants of the idea that women are more peace-loving. She would inherit a troublesome infrastructure initiated in the George W. Bush administration and embedded more deeply by Barack Obama. We would likely see the continuation of endless “light footprint” military engagement without meaningful democratic constraint, in part because most Americans, untouched by the costs of war, pay little notice.

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