Despite the Trump administration’s corruption, lies and attacks on the rule of law, Hillary Clinton is filled with hope for the country’s future — more now, she said, than even when Obama took office a decade ago.
“I think back to the night Barack Obama was elected president. So many of us were jubilant. Even I, who once hoped to beat him, was ecstatic,” Clinton said Sunday on Yale’s campus. “It was such a hopeful moment. And yet in some ways, this moment feels even more hopeful. Because this is a battle-hardened hope, tempered by loss and clear-eyed about the stakes.”
Clinton, the former secretary of state and the first woman to run for president with a major party’s nomination, delivered those remarks Sunday afternoon in a lively commencement address before Yale’s graduating seniors and just a handful of parents who made it inside Woolsey Hall.
To a generation that one student said was defined “by Fannie Mae, Facebook, and Ferguson,” Clinton issued a call for youth to reshape the world the way they’d like to see it. In the same way students already changed Yale’s campus with the renaming of Calhoun College, she told them to keep fighting for policies that treat everyone with dignity.
“We’re living through a time when fundamental rights, civic virtue, freedom of the press, even facts and reason are under assault like never before. But we are also witnessing an era of new moral conviction, civic engagement and a sense of devotion to our democracy and country,” she said. “If any group were ever prepared to rise to the occasion, it is you.”
Amid a debate about her place in public life (with some male critics telling her to “go away already”), Clinton’s speech indicated that she has no plans to disengage from the work of inspiring the next generation.
In the 25-minute speech, she referenced statesmen and scholars, recounted her college days, shared her regrets, and laughed.
Following an age-old tradition, the students sported over-the-top hats. Amid the baseball caps and royal crowns, a few wore pink “pussy” hats from the Women’s March on Washington. On stage, someone even managed to attach a Clinton campaign sign to their head. Clinton herself joined in the fun, pulling out a Russian fur cap.
“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” she said.
Reflecting on resilience, Clinton said she still hadn’t gotten over her devastating loss to Donald Trump in 2016, even after hikes in the woods, yoga and a more than a few bottles of Chardonnay. But she said she’d deal. She was more worried about whether the nation’s institutions would survive.
“Today, as a person, I’m okay, but as an American, I’m concerned,” she said. “Right now, we’re living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy. Now, there are not tanks in the streets, but what’s happening right now goes to the heart of who we are as a nation. And I say this, not as a Democrat who lost an election but as an American afraid of losing a country.”
But Clinton ended the speech on an optimistic note, recalling another commencement address Clinton gave a half-century ago — that one, to her fellow graduates at Wellesley College in 1969, as gays rioted at the Stonewall Inn and Nixon shipped troops to Vietnam. During both turbulent moments in American history, Clinton urged wide-eyed idealists to remain undiscouraged.
“Yes, these are challenging times for America, but we’ve come through challenging times before,” she said.
“How do we build democratic resilience?” Clinton asked. Advocate for college accessibility, subscribe to a newspaper, vote and use “radical empathy” to look past divisions of race, class, religion, and politics, she suggested. “We can’t just ask, ‘Am I better off than I was four years ago?’ We have to ask, ‘Are we all better off?’ Are we, as a country, stronger, better and fairer?”
Clinton urged the students to continue standing up for immigrant rights, racial justice, and gun control.
“The fact that some days it is really hard to keep at it, just makes it that much more remarkable that so many of us are, in fact, keeping at it,” she said. “It’s not easy to wade back into the fight every day, but we’re doing it. And that’s why I’m optimistic, because of how unbelievably tough Americans are proving to be.”
And when hope fails, blame others, promote fake investigations, blame sexism and don’t forget to scrub your computer, delete correspondence, lie and obfuscate.
posted by: wendy1 on May 20, 2018 10:29pm
We’ve heard all this before. I prefer Carl Haissen’s commencement. We need farmers, doctors, engineers, researchers, nurses, lawyers, forest rangers, and much, much more. And please kids wear a helmet in case a tree falls on you. I am not optimistic but I am pulling for you more than any rich politician full of hot air.
posted by: Dean Moriarty on May 21, 2018 12:16am
What a blatantly biased article (but I’m not very surprised). BTW, for the sake of clarification, it’s not solely “male critics” who want her to “go away”, and it’s not just Republicans either. Democrats are embarrassed also by her spurious claims of What Happened. IF, she had run a fair honest campaign her voice on present issues might be better received. But…the campaign (as impartial evidence clearly shows) was anything but fair and honest. And yet she still lost. Again. If I were a Dem I would want to distance myself also.
posted by: LookOut on May 21, 2018 1:10am
you’d think that with all those billions of dollars, Yale could find someone better…
posted by: Ozzie on May 21, 2018 6:09am
She showed her true colors raising a Russian hat with a red star , She’s a Commie
posted by: alphabravocharlie on May 21, 2018 8:22am
And yet she persisted…....in whining.
posted by: Lorirobin on May 21, 2018 9:57am
She ran a dignified, intelligent campaign. She was highly quailified to lead this country and participate in world affairs. She won the popular vote. She is still loved , respected and admired by millions of people both in this country and abroad. She is a prominent , successful Yale graduate , the school was lucky to have her as a speaker.
posted by: Elizabethaiken on May 21, 2018 10:08am
Did the students participate in the choice of Hillary as the class day speaker? I find that choice discouraging. Is Yale trying to help the Democratic Party self destruct? To the commenter who described Hillary as a commie, think again. She is a capitalist through and through. She is part of the 1%. We need other party options.
posted by: duncanidaho645 on May 21, 2018 12:46pm
The Clinton campaign was anything but dignified or intelligent.
posted by: robn on May 21, 2018 1:00pm
Sec Clinton’s Chardonnay comment is the reason why that jack@$$ Donald Trump is sitting in the White House.
posted by: Timothy G. ORourke Jr. on May 21, 2018 2:04pm
What blabbering hypocrisy! I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. Not only should her gratuitous critique be directly solely at herself but there is nobody more morally corrupt than she who has ever sought to rule save Marx.
posted by: TheMadcap on May 21, 2018 3:36pm
How is the chardonnay commnet reflective of anything?
posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 21, 2018 3:50pm
posted by: Timothy G. ORourke Jr. on May 21, 2018 2:04pm What blabbering hypocrisy! I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. Not only should her gratuitous critique be directly solely at herself but there is nobody more morally corrupt than she who has ever sought to rule save Marx.
Sorry the Bush Family is the worst.
Bush grandpa’s ties to Nazis clearer on 70th Auschwitz memorial
The ties between Hitler’s Nazis and American businessmen such as Henry Ford, Averell Harriman, and Senator Prescott Bush, the father of George HW Bush, have long been cited in lawsuits filed by Holocaust survivors seeking compensation for their suffering. The late Senator Prescott Bush’s German assets were seized in 1942 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the Trading with the Enemy Act, which also carried prison penalties which Bush escaped. The documents from the [National] Archives…show that the Bushes and Harrimans shipped valuable U.S. assets, including gold, coal, steel and U.S. Treasury and war bonds, to their foreign clients overseas as Hitler geared up for his 1939 invasion of Poland, the event that sparked World War II.”
Skull And Bones And The Nazi BUSH Connection John Buchanan - Exposes Bush Family Nazi Connection
A secret society that’s symbol can be trace to Nazi Germany through the Bush’s family bloodline. The skull and bones symbol was used by Nazi SS officers. This symbol is also used by soldiers all over the world.
Please, please, please run again Hillary in 2020. I’ll even help with a donation to her defense fund after she’s indicted by the Justice Dept. Of course he’ll have to stand in line behind Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and the many more Deep State individuals the IG is going to send to Justice.
posted by: 1644 on May 21, 2018 4:35pm
Is Christopher Peak a pen name for HRC? This “article” could have been written by HRC herself. It is certainly not a news piece. Paul mused in a piece about how the public no longer trusts the media. This piece is certainly an example of why, although I would also add blatant falsehoods the the Hartford Courant published in its coverage of the Republican convention. In an identity based campaign, HRC couldn’t even win her own demographic.
posted by: JCFremont on May 21, 2018 4:57pm
Don’t know what’s more pathetic her speech or that the next crop of Yalies enabling her. How is she a role model? Watching her on the campaign trail or even her public speeches we see why she latched herself and stayed “latched” to Bill. She has been a phony all her career, if she was a tough modern woman she would have walked out of the White House but like 95% of her career she owes it to her husband. One last comment. A never mentioned reason for Mr. Trump sitting in the White House is that many citizens are realizing that political dynasties are a bad thing. Jeb Bush never got out of the primaries for that reason. We are not ruled by a monarchy, nor are we a Democracy as Hillary seems to think. @Ozzie she’s not a communist she got that hat for approving The Russian Uranium One deal.
posted by: Atwater on May 21, 2018 5:02pm
Timmy O’Rourke: Just a point of history. Marx never sought to rule anyone. He was an economist/historian/philosopher, much like Adam Smith.
Also, I think the Donald is as corrupt or more corrupt than Hillary Clinton. And, there have been a lot more corrupt people who have sought to rule. Please, read a book or Wikipedia article (or two, maybe three). Rhetoric cannot (or should not) replace knowledge or sound reasoning.
posted by: Marion on May 21, 2018 5:08pm
It’s hard not to gag when Hillary claims the “rule of law” is under attack. Ordinary folks without power and wealth have been indicted and jailed for far less serious violations of federal law than the many Hillary has committed. And her preaching about “democracy” is a joke given that she hijacked the DNC, took control of its finances and, together with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, rigged the primary process n her favor. As for her endless speeches whining about her loss, cries of sexism, and attacks on the man who beat her, the only thing missing from her refusal to accept her rejection is a rabbit simmering in a pot on a stove.
posted by: robn on May 21, 2018 6:15pm
It’s percieved to be an elitist beverage and that perception is backed up by the demographics of us consumption. Feel free to research for yourself what should be obvious.
posted by: TheMadcap on May 21, 2018 7:00pm
I mean yeah if you drink budweiser and Schaffer then yeah, I can see Chardonay being elitist
posted by: Lorirobin on May 21, 2018 9:08pm
actually, the chardonny reference is her joking about her drinking wine after her defeat. not said or mentioned for the first time in this speech.
posted by: Timothy G. ORourke Jr. on May 22, 2018 8:16am
Atwater: Implicitly purporting to be a person of reason while resorting ad hominem is far more rhetorical than my imminently reasonable claim that Clinton is definitively a Marxist independent of the consideration of Marx’s desire to rule or not (he never got the chance as we was ousted from his country as the dangerous revolutionary that he was) That being said, for the sake of peace, simply transpose Lenin for Marx and my clause should be completely valid for you. Thanks.
Threefifths: Explitlty criticizing one member of one family is not tantamount to implicitly endorsing another family.
posted by: robn on May 22, 2018 9:03am
You really don’t get it do you? Many more Americans drink beer than wine and many more drink cheap beer rather than expensive beer. HRC’s gaff was twofold. She mentioned drowning her sorrows in something perceived to be a luxury item and (probably worse) she named a wine which I’m sure she thinks is common and reinforces her bonds to the common person. This is why Bernie Sanders always polled better against Trump and why HRC lost the election. All skills, no warmth.
posted by: Atwater on May 22, 2018 12:43pm
Timmy O’Rourke: Hillary Clinton is not and never has been a Marxist, not even close. Had she been I might have voted for her. HRC is a typical liberal-capitalist, who is a proponent of Neo-Liberal economic and social policy. Again, some light reading might have clarified the difference for you. Red baiting, which is what I think you’re trying to do, is typical for those who either do not understand or ignore the nuanced differences of liberal social, political and economic theory.
Also, to simply transpose Lenin for Marx would not remedy your problem of hyperbole and lack of historical context/knowledge. Lenin was a despot whose economic and political programs directly caused the deaths of millions of people, through the creation of a state-run command economy and unitary political system. Again, not Marxist, or even Communistic according to a close reading of Marxist and Communist theory. But that’s a digression. HRC, as corrupt as she might be, is nowhere near the level of Lenin. in terms of despotism and treachery. Think of it this way. Would you rather live in the U.S. with HRC as President or the Soviet Union with Lenin as Chairman?
It is common for those on the “right” to compare left leaning political leaders to Lenin, Stalin, etc., and is it common for those on the “left” to compare right leaning political leaders to Hitler, Mussolini, etc. But, instead of going to such ignorant and over simplistic “arguments” we should endeavor to try to actually learn about history, economics, politics and geography so that our opinions sound less ignorant, more reasoned and, perhaps, civilized.
posted by: Lorirobin on May 22, 2018 1:10pm
I can not believe that wine vs beer has become some kind of rallying point . This is so irrelevant, while Trump and his followers trash everyrhing worthwhile about the USA. Wake up to the reality that his supporters no little or nothing anout gov’t., politics, economy or world diplomacy. Nor do they care to educate themselves. I will guess that a great many of them never bothered to vote until they watched TV amd saw an ignorant, greedy, lying ,hateful capitallist spewing out words that they believed would improve their lives. HRC was and remains always on their side- they just refused to pay attention.
posted by: robn on May 22, 2018 2:00pm
I’m not a GOP supporter. I’m merely pointing out that HRC’s comment is one of many dog whistles that conservative voters listen to and hear saying (I’m better than you). And like it or not, likability is not an option in a presidential election. Anyone who wants Trump gone and believes that the solution is another HRC run is completely out of touch with reality.
posted by: JCFremont on May 22, 2018 6:02pm
@Lorirovin. You can’t be that naive can you? HRC the only sacrifice Hillary ever made was she had to serve a sentence in Little Rock Arkansas. She has always treated her career as part of Clinton Inc. or The Clinton Syndicate.
posted by: TheMadcap on May 22, 2018 8:42pm
“Many more Americans drink beer than wine and many more drink cheap beer rather than expensive beer”
This just isn’t true news.gallup.com/poll/194144/beer-reigns-americans-preferred-alcoholic-beverage.aspx
And the largest sales of wine in the US are Merlot, and, wait for it, chardonay. Like this is just another example of for all the very numerous valid criticisms of Hillary, people will anyways latch onto the stupidest things.
posted by: robn on May 23, 2018 6:52am
if you bother to research actual sales data instead of polls you’ll find that what I wrote is true.
posted by: Timothy G. ORourke Jr. on May 23, 2018 8:59am
Your point about generalization is well-taken. However, the way by which you personally demean your interlocutor militates against your well-honed prose and in the end any points that you hope to impart. In any case, I am not offended nor have you taught me anything that I did not already know.
posted by: JCFremont on May 23, 2018 3:41pm
Maybe it was just a case of Identity Politics! Mrs. Clinton chose a Chardonnay for her speech at Yale, had she been in a rare appearance at Univ of Arkansas she would have chosen La Moneda Reserva Malbec, if she had speaking at Yeshiva University, Manischewitz. We’ve all heard her changing voice inflections so why not with her choice of intoxicant. Had she been in at a public school in Milwaukee or St. Louis Beer would had a shout out.