Debate as Rorschach Test—or Why I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton

Watching the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, in the wake of the release of Trump’s sexual assault tapes, was a gut-churning, visceral experience for me and, I suspect, for every woman who has ever suffered from sexual assault or the fear of rape. Clinton won my admiration and respect for her grace under fire, and her ability to remain focused, clear and smiling while Trump stalked her.

Trump literally threatened her, saying he’d jail her if he becomes president—a new low in American politics—and then proceeded with a display of disrespectful and intimidating body language, pacing, turning his back, and looming up behind her for all the world as if he were auditioning for the role of predator in a film noir thriller.

Every communication involves both text—the words we say—and subtext—everything else, tone, body language, syntax, etc.  Trump’s text was bad enough:  besides threatening to jail Clinton if he wins, he promised to ramp up the nuclear arms race, support more development of oil and coal, and continued to defend his racist, sexist positions on women, people of color, immigrants and Muslims.  But his subtext was downright creepy—from the dismissal in his tone every time he mentioned his ‘locker room talk’ to the lurking, snuffling monster imitation of his physical presence, not to mention the venom in his voice every time he said the word ‘she’. 

Yet even while he dissed and dismissed Clinton, he also attributed to her almost Godlike powers, continually complaining about how, although she’d been in politics for thirty years, she hadn’t solved crime or education or poverty or a host of other problems.  As if she were a Queen with absolute power, not a participant in a system with multiple conflicting powers, checks and balances.  Or maybe not a Queen, but that other deep archetype of female power—a Witch!

Oh, a Witch!  For decades I’ve been writing about the legacy of Witch persecutions and how they leave us with a collective fear and distrust of women’s power.  I’ve embraced that archetype to attempt to transform it, but watching the debate and the discussions around this election, I see how deep and powerful the unconscious images are.

As disturbing as Trump’s performance was, I find it almost more alarming at how many people—including friends of mine that are staunch progressives—join in on the chorus simultaneously inflating and disparaging Clinton’s purported powers.  “A vote for Clinton is a vote for murder/suicide”.  “If Clinton is elected, your children will become cannon fodder.”  “Clinton showed her true colors, and they were ugly.”  “Calling all Hillary sheep…the poor lambs are so going to be disappointed if their savior Queen is elected. But in their usual stupidity they will excuse her by telling themselves that Trump would have been worse.”

Huh? What is going on?  Why this venomous hatred for a woman who actually has one of the better progressive track records of recent times?  Granted she’s a long-time, professional politician, who has made mistakes and compromises.  Yes, she takes money from Wall Street—so does every other politician except Bernie Sanders who made a huge step forward by showing just how far you can go on small donations.  But he is the exception. As long as politics are dependent on money, politicians will be beholden to money.  Why this intense hatred so specifically focused on Clinton?

At the end of a talk I gave last week in Santa Barbara, a young woman approached me and said something I found extremely insightful about the current political moment.  Her name is Margaret Gregston, and I want to credit her because women so often don’t receive credit for our contributions.  “People think they hate Hillary Clinton, but really they hate the political system,” she said. “Hillary Clinton is bearing the brunt of people’s dissatisfaction with the whole thing, just as women always catch all the flak.”

Thank you, Margaret!  Much has been written about the misogyny involved in the virulence of people’s hatred for Clinton.  But there’s an aspect of this that goes deeper than simple misogyny.  It goes to the heart of the risk all strong women take when we stand up, especially publicly—the deep archetype of our collective fear and mistrust of powerful women.  We risk being seen as the Witch—She whose powers are immense and unfathomable, scary and malevolent.

Where does that archetype come from? Dorothy Dinnerstein, in The Mermaid and the Minotaur, a book that came out when I was a young psychology student, talked about the projections that burden women. As infants, we see our mothers as the Goddess-like source of nourishment, comfort and well-being, and yet even the best mother fails us at moments.  We awake hungry, or uncomfortable, we get ill or injured, and because Mom appears to us to be all-powerful, we believe her lapses in care are deliberate slights, and her limitations are purposeful withholding. 

At the same time, Clinton bears the brunt of another common projection onto women—the Mom Who Spoils Your Fun, the dull, fuddy-duddy restrictor of pleasure, the enforcer of homework and bedtime, the Responsible but Boring One.  She pays a price for being sane, rational, responsible, committed, with a long record of actual political battles and achievements, wins and losses. How mundane, how dull, compared with Trump who gets to play both Rebel Adolescent in revolt against that same political system we’re all frustrated with, and Flashy Divorced Dad offering us a trip to the bizarre horror-show amusement park of his fantasyland,  while every now and then channeling the authoritarian Voice of Dad, telling Hillary she should be ashamed of herself.  No wonder his supporters aren’t disturbed by his bullying and lies—they don’t see themselves suffering the brunt of them, they want to be him!  While nobody sane wants to be Hillary—slogging along in the trenches of public service, valiantly trying to talk about children’s health care while dodging a hailstorm of accusations and the fallout of her husband’s transgressions.

So, I’m speaking to my friends and allies on the progressive side—can we stop the viciousness? Like her, don’t like her, criticize her, but leave off the venom, please!  Your vitriol hurts women—all of us.  It reinforces the archetypes that see women’s power as dangerous and malicious, the same archetypes that contributed to the burning of Witches and that make women vulnerable targets of male rage.

Vote for Jill Stein if you like—I won’t. I don’t believe a protest vote makes sense at this moment.  We had our protest vote—that was Sanders, in the primary, and it was tremendously effective.  It pushed the Democrats farther to the left than they’ve been in decades, and we can build on that—if Clinton wins.  If by some fluke she loses to a bigoted, racist bully, at best we’ll spend the next four years desperately scrambling to limit the damage.  Every racist killer cop will take heart and the alt-right will claim a mandate for racism, rape culture, climate catastrophe, and possibly nuclear war.  We will lose whatever small margin we still have left for addressing climate change and avoiding massive global environmental meltdown.

At this point, Trump’s chances of winning seem slim.  But even a slim chance is still a chance, and surprises can happen—look at the Brexit vote, where all the predictions were that it would lose. 

I would rather see the Green Party focus its efforts on local elections, on running people for school boards and water boards and town councils where Greens can be effective in important ways.  That’s how the right wing gained their power base.  Stein’s policies are great, but she has no experience that would qualify her to fight off the sharks in Washington if by some miracle she got elected. 

I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton—because I support her policies on women, on children, on climate change, on the human rights of people of color and immigrants in this country.  I want to see her appoint the next Supreme Court justices so that we have a chance to overturn Citizens United and get rid of the worst abuses of money in politics.  I am wary of her foreign policy, but I believe with her as president we will be in the best position to organize, to increase the progressive base and push for those bigger changes in the system that we all want to see.  I also think that those traits people don’t like about her—her ability to strategize and her political savvy and insider knowledge—are exactly what’s needed for her or any politician to have half a chance of getting anything done in this current polarized climate.

  But whether you do or don’t agree with me, please get out there and vote!  There is much more at stake than the presidency—there’s the House and Senate, local and state elections, referendums and local issues that have vital impacts on real people.  We need a Democratic landslide to send a strong message that we reject racist, sexist inflammatory politics and that they won’t be rewarded.  We need to break the obstructionist Republican deadlock on the House and Senate.   We need to do everything we can to turn the country back from a dangerous, destructive path of hate and discrimination.  Clinton is not Emma Goldman or Mother Teresa—nor is she Cruella de Ville.  She’s a real, human being with a solid track record and policies I partly don’t like but mostly do, and I’m proud to support this strong, savvy, responsible woman whom I believe will move us forward on the vital issues of our time.

86 comments to Debate as Rorschach Test—or Why I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton

  • I cannot tell you how relieved I am that you are supporting Hillary Clinton. I was afraid you would support Gary Johnson. You are absolutely right. Trump was showing all the classic signs of a predator. By the way, a speech therapist pointed out that the sniffing was likely due to anxiety, which is a good thing.
    I have acknowledged myself as a witch since 1997, and your book is still one that I turn to.

    I will be at 40 Foley Plaza, NYC on 12/12/16 with a shirt on saying “I am Jane Doe” to support the woman in the child rape case. You’re welcome to join me.

  • Julie O'Hanley

    Said with all the wisdom of the Goddess.

  • I have thought all along that people have very conflicted relationships with their mothers that get projected onto Hillary. And, just as there is the phenomenon of spiritual bypassing that happens with people who see themselves as so “advanced” spiritually that they don’t need to do the real work of personal growth…some progressives want to leap right over the collective destiny of having a female president. We don’t need that they proclaim….we’re so beyond that, and then they proceed to use Republican-generated fodder to trash her. Hmmm, maybe not so progressive after all. If we are to have a female President, it will take someone as focused and determined as Hillary to make it happen. Love her or not, you have to appreciate that very few people have the right stuff to shatter ceilings.

  • I hold the vision that 10 million women posting on Twitter about their sexual assaults represent a rise in our collective voice. That should we elect Hillary we can make her hear us! I wonder that people forget our power. The outrage and outrageousness of her haters sounds to me like internalized impotence. The vote is one power. Our voices and our numbers constitute another power, a greater power. During Earth Activist Training, I did not see myself on the front lines, marching. I do now. I would march on Washington with 10 million women, or 1/10 that number!

    • Lynette Schmidt

      Thanks for writing this I am so in touch with my mother being beaten by my father and finding her all in a heap as a young child. I agree this is such a violent approach always comes when there is impotence. Lack Of Power. I send the arms of great angel warriors to surround Hillary and stand with her as she braves this trail.

  • Doris Mehler

    I don’t see voting for Jill Stein a ‘protest vote’! She is the type of woman i would like to see as the fast female president of the US, who truly represents the Feminine, something this country and the whole world desperately needs!
    If you are voting for Hillary you are also voting to
    – support GMOs
    – support Fracking
    – support Big Pharma
    – support the TPP
    – support NAFTA
    – support DOMA
    – support Citizens United
    – support offshore drilling
    – support arms deals with dictators
    – support drone bombing of innocent people
    – supported Glass Steagal
    – support election fraud and voter suppression

    I am very disappointed in you, Starhawk!

    • EarthMom

      The problem with third party candidates in America is that the way the Electoral College works essentially guarantees that any third party vote is a wasted vote. It’s not like every vote is counted individually toward who is elected president. It goes by districts, Electoral College votes. So, by all means, vote your conscience…but you’re still taking a vote away from someone who could actually keep our country from spiraling into an apocalypse.

    • Kelly tadlock

      I also will vote for Jill Stein. The latest wiki leaks … The threats to assassinate Assange …the Warhawk stance. I am disappointed in your message here I can’t support a candidate who will lead us into war because I was in the military at a young age and I know who gets shuffled into that category not the Chelsea clintons no it’s the underclass always. It is time to vote for a level playing field.

      • Kate Tremaine

        There is no “threat to assassinate Assange,” though. The unattributed claim that she mooted attacking him with a drone is not only a third-person attribution, it is wildly out of character for her unless you believe the widely discredited right-wing smear job that is the “Clinton Body Count.” And even then you have to get around the fact that she knows perfectly well that launching a missile at an embassy in London is not only an act of war, it’s impossible for a multitude of reasons.

        Jill Stein is someone whom, though I agree with her in principal on many things, I cannot vote for because she does not apprehend the limitations and powers of the Presidency – she has made promises she cannot possibly deliver on even if something seismic changed in American politics and she were able to earn ascendency to the Oval Office. And the things on which I disagree with her, including her desire to abuse power even if it is abuse of power in the name of the greater good, are things I consider dangerous to the American civic life or to life on Earth itself.

        Thank you.

        • Anna

          All I can say is that there is information out there that people should take their precious time to read or listen to, especially in the upcoming weeks before the election. Read/listen to BOTH sides, please. It is more important than spending time on Facebook or Twitter. Go to sources that are credible, like Ralph Nader, Chris Hedges, William Engdahl, Paul Craig Roberts, and see if there is a convergence here – even from people with different backgrounds and political stance. You will find it much more useful than arguing with people who are not well informed. We all know our country is changing, and we know something is wrong. This election process is more divisive than usual, and it creates fear and anger. The only way you can get an understanding of what is happening is to understand the history going up to present time. It “ain’t” pretty, but it is better to know the truth. William Engdahl is particularly good at explaining this, including what lead up to Al Qaeda. It is fascinating to learn, and so necessary because it all ties in with what is happening right now, in our election process, and the fact that we are inches away from a world war… Americans have to start becoming truly INFORMED and not rely on the main stream media for information. Then, we can make our choice for candidates! Thank you for reading this!

    • Debi K

      I’m not meaning to be rude, but I’d love to hear another list from you of why you Are voting for Jill Stein. You are clear on the things about Ms Clinton, and vague on the policy and running track of Stein.

    • Pam Vlcek

      Doris Mehler you really need to do a bit more research on what Clinton actually stands for and very few if any are on your list…”support election fraud and voter suppression” what?…I mean come on…also Clinton was the original target of the Citizens united case…your obvious lack of effort put into your comment is very deplorable…

    • Jasper

      i am also shocked that the woman who wrote the 5th scared thing is voting for the deadening system she so stunningly transcribed in her visionary book. …. I respect that she must have decided to vote, now that it seems to be either trump or hillary… but in general i can’t believe anyone would vote for one of them at all at this point. its absolutely insane. I find it highly disturbing.

      Sending love from Europe and despite my shock I can only support the choices you guys are making over there on the other side of the atlantic.

  • I absolutely LOVE this! You’ve captured my feelings exactly with what you’ve written here. Bright Blessings!

  • I have always loved you and looked up to you and appreciated your kind advice regarding Grace and the Grail, but I have to tell you you are so very wrong about Hillary!
    She is a warmonger, serving the Wall street and warmonger interests. She will work to expand fracking. She has never denounced the DAPL because GOLDMAN SACHS her donors are in on it.
    The Kochs and Kissinger and Glenn Beck are all supporting her. So are many Republicans.
    When she steals the vote this time, it will be a big step forward for the Oligarchy.
    and a huge loss for MOTHER EARTH.
    I cant believe you are drinking the kool aid!

  • Thank you Starhawk for your thoughtful overview on this election. I am unapologetic in casting my vote for Hillary Clinton. I voted for Bernie in the primaries and have always been ‘left of liberal’ in my politics so this election is very interesting to say the least. I have watched Hillary for over two decades and have seen her demeaned time and again by Republicans with a consistent dose of fake news and false attacks. Now the progressives have taken up the mantle and it’s very disappointing. In any event, I pray she will be elected and progressives stay engaged in the political process. It is much preferred to make change from within the system and electing Hillary gives us that chance.

  • sarah williams

    Well Said! My observations were so right in line with your own. I felt that Hillary answered the questions given to her directly and succinctly, Trump skimmed over the questions and went as directly as he could to whatever point He wanted to make which was usually some sort of pandering comment aimed at one of the groups he believes he has in his pocket, like fundamentalist Christians ( Roe VRS Wade) and NRA advocates etc. In my opinion it is fruitless to debate or discuss anything with someone who does not keep on the subject. I applaud Hillary Clinton for her ability to keep calm, keep focused, and keep her game clean and honest. Yes I said HONEST. She didn’t pander to anyone. She actually told some hard truths which some critics might say was not good politics. I say, It is proof of her metal and heart. Hillary Clinton is gracefully powerful.

  • Paul Collin

    This should not be about their personal attributes it should be about taking people out of poverty globally and Trump as a disrupter is much more likely here is why.

    • Trump will never bring people out of poverty. He has made his fortune in part by exploiting people and stiffing them. His election would mean that every racist, sexist, prejudiced idiot in the country would claim a mandate to further the violence and opression directed at people of color, women, Muslims–and the list would not stop there. He IS the moneyed, corporate class, and benefits from every policy that supports them. He has done nothing with his wealth to alleviate poverty as yet, and there’s no reason to think he would do anything if he wielded the power of the presidency other than support his own interests.

  • Starhawk,
    I have been a fan of yours for so many years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this. I am a strong Hillary supporter although I did have many hopes for Bernie (and still do as he continues his work in the Senate.) I watched the first debate and found myself triggered beyond recognition and then I realized it was because I recognized Donald Trumps abusive rhetoric and behavior as the very same as the man I threw out over 35 years ago. When I watched the second debate, I was thrown again and I wasn’t sure why until I read your words here which have brought me so much power. When I got to these words I began to choke up…”But there’s an aspect of this that goes deeper than simple misogyny. It goes to the heart of the risk all strong women take when we stand up, especially publicly—the deep archetype of our collective fear and mistrust of powerful women. We risk being seen as the Witch—She whose powers are immense and unfathomable, scary and malevolent.” I have not understood the level of vitriol that has been thrown at Hillary until I put it through the lens of history. I am grateful to have come across your wise, provocative and yet simple message and I have shared it over and over again now with women young and old and my husband of 34 years who loved it. Thank you so much for sharing yourself so openly. I am grateful .

  • I’m glad she’s not Mother Teresa. Hillary has a better stand on abortion.

  • R.M. Rivera

    Great article! Watching Trump act menacing and predatory was uncomfortable but very annoying. Hillary’s grace and answering directly to the folks’ asking the questions, was wonderful to watch. She was understanding. offer solutions and make them feel a part of us. Trump was on the mission to destroy her, but he is destroying himself.

  • Heidi

    I’m a feminist and a spiritual person. I’ve been to Starhawk events and goddess circles. I would never vote for Hillary. Hillary stands for death. She is paid for by big oil and supports wars of aggression in which civilians are killed. She supports fracking, Monsanto and Big Pharma. She demonstrates more than the “normal” amount of shady dealings and criminality. Trump is awful, but he has not killed anyone while Hillary has killed huge numbers innocent people with what she has stood behind, and by doing the bidding of who has bought her (who she’s accepted money from). A vote for her is a vote for more death. Her gender has absolutely nothing to do with it. I am voting for Jill Stein. Also, I don’t think Donald Trump is for “ramping up the nuclear arms race.” Hillary would more likely do that according to this article:
    “Based on Hillary Clinton’s record of foreign policy as overwhelmingly favoring intervention and aggression over diplomacy and pragmatic restraint, tensions with Russia are only likely to worsen under her presidency. Hillary Clinton’s presidency will continue the unending war Bill Clinton’s presidency set the stage for in the 1990s. During the Kosovo Conflict, Bill Clinton circumvented the House of Representatives’ vote against him taking military action, and ordered bombing missions anyway. In 1998, he signed the Iraq Liberation Act, making it official US policy to support regime change in Iraq, laying the foundations for the Iraq War in 2003, which Hillary Clinton voted for in the Senate. During Clinton’s service as secretary of state, she promoted regime change in Syria, Libya and Honduras with disastrous results, and presided over the resurgence of the Cold War with Russia. A return to Bill Clinton’s warmongering foreign policies through a Hillary Clinton presidency will likely result in at the very least, increased tensions with Russia, and at the worst, the next World War.” I think you should read the whole article and at least think about the implications a bit before putting your energy behind Hillary’s by voting for her:

    • I disagree, but still approve your right to your opinion. But for the record, Trump said in the debate that we were behind Russia in nuclear arms and he would fix that.

    • Eric Roberts

      Trump has clearly stated that he is for nuclear proliferation…Hillary is not for nuclear proliferation or war. Please pay attention to the facts and not to right wing propaganda. The right has been like a pack of howler monkeys pooping in their hands and then flinging it to see what sticks. She is not for the TPP…she has been quite clear on her lack of support for it. When it was first proposed, she thought it was the gold standard for trade deals, but when she looked at the final product, she said that she couldn’t support it. Syria and Libya both had ongoing rebellions against the dictators that ran the country, who also supported terrorism. So naturally we have supported the rebellions. Russia also invaded a sovereign nation that did not threaten Russia in any way…it was an illegal land grab on Russia’s part and we rightfully condemned it and helped the resistance against it. Clinton didn’t increase tensions with Russia. Those tensions were increased by Putin and his illegal actions against other countries in the region. He is also an Assad supporter…Assad is a brutal dictator and terrorist supporter. In case you haven’t noticed what has been going on in Aleppo, but that is due to the actions of Assad and Russia, not the US. The humanitarian crisis going on there should involve the US as well as other nations. That is not something e should stand by and allow to happen.

      Starhawk nailed it on the head.

  • Bonijean Isaacs

    The entire time I was watching the debate – I felt like I was felt like I was getting solar plexus – Red Flags and alarms were jumping up and screaming. I was concerned for Hillary’s safety. I will so glad when the election is over and that deplorable, odious man is sent packing. I have survived sexual assaulted and survived a relationship with abusive partner. DT is a predator, a bully, and an abuser who has been protected by the good old boy system. He is his kind are on their way out. I am lighting candles and visualizing a shield of protection around his wives and daughters.

  • Joanna

    Starhawk, you have expressed many of my thoughts, more eloquently than I have been able to. I supported Bernie wholeheartedly, and it took a while for me to accept Hillary as my choice of the remaining possible options. I’ve known for many weeks now that I will vote for her, but couldn’t bring myself to add my name to the “I’m With Her” posts of my friends. I never maligned Hillary, even when my son-in-law swore at the family dinner table that he would NEVER vote for her. Thank goodness reason now rules, and all my immediate family members are on the same page. No matter how likely her presidency appears in the coming days, I will still be anxious and afraid. Trump has triggered too many painful memories from the seven decades I have already lived, and I need to rebuild HOPE for however many more years I will remain on this planet.

  • Cynthia Backlund

    Dear, dear Starhawk! Thank you for this. I have been holding my breath throughout these months, like so many of us, hoping for air. You have provided the oxygen I need now, with this wonderful endorsement. I’m a political junkie, admittedly, and have been my entire adult life. I was in a small women’s book store in New Haven, CT, in 1985, looking for SOMETHING, something more than the pure politics of feminism, but not knowing what it was. A stranger reached for a book on a shelf In front of me, and she said, “this is what you are looking for”. It changed my life. It is a hardcover, first edition, with the blue/yellow dust jacket, of Dreaming the Dark. You opened me, gave me Nature, introduced the Earth to me. I am beholden to you, enthusiastically! And, now. Hillary Clinton has run within and through the gauntlet of the patriarchy for decades. Merlin Stone wrote of how it was only the goddess Athena who remained in our awareness, “allowed” to live in our world consciousness for so long, because of her compromised birth from Zeus’s head. When all other Goddesses were buried from our awareness, Athena alone provided a gateway to female wisdom and power. Until the eighties, she was all we had, for the most part. And so, yes, she is compromised. She represents the last, but also the first. And for that I honor Her. Times have changed. But still, we expect everything from successful women. It seems appropriate that because of the opening provided by HRC, the first female candidate, we, the electorate in general, allow ourselves to reach for the extremes, good or otherwise. NOW our expectations are set for the highest standard. Of course, she won’t fulfill such expectations because they are high, higher than we would have expected before. To me, she is like the wise goddess warrior, tested and true. Not because she is the perfect person, and I don’t mean “warhawk” either, but because she is a very skilled politician who has yet to realize her vision, a new vision of female power in this country. Now we have the power to offer her the opportunity no other woman has had. She breaks ground for other qualified women. The first woman could never be all that everybody wants! What woman is? In this culture, men are still very much in charge. And yet she still rises every morning, working, trying, excelling, and I believe, DREAMING of a better world. Thank you for keeping my heart steady, Starhawk.

  • John Fox

    Starhawk….So glad you wrote this way, say what you do. Thank you. I appreciate you speaking up for Hillary Clinton and her excellent qualities. She will do such good for country and world. She will advance so much of what President Obama has done, stymied by the obstruction of Republicans. I believe they won’t be able to keep that up anymore. The intense hatred and judgment of Mrs. Clinton by the far right/left wing folk says more about them than her. I for one can’t tell the far right/left apart. What you write is clear and compelling — and oh so necessary. It is a long time not being in the company of each other. I hope you are well. John Fox (with poetry and healing)

  • Starhawk, I respect you so much. Your book,the Spiral Dance which I read when it first came out helped affirm for me all the past life memories I had of being burned at the stake and feeling proud of myself. Your continued environmental and political activism comes from a true heart. Yes you are right that Hillary is taking the projections of all the MOTHER LODE, the good the bad and the ugly. Yes society is afraid of powerful women and the WITCH Archetype. I was thinking about this last night. Margaret Thatcher ruled Britain,Golda Meir governed Israel,Indira Ghandi in India, Benazir Bhutto, Isabel Peron holds the distinction of being the first female president of any country in the world from 1974-1976. This is not news to have a Woman lead a country.American is very far behind in this.
    Given all of that Hillary Clinton still must be judged and weighed for all the things she has done.Hillary Clinton is a hawk, who accepts bad blood money from wall street,and who screwed up in Benghazi and had innocent people killed. Worst of all for all the feminists of which I am one, is the fact that she has protected her husband Bill, a serial rapist because of her own power needs. Yes she has done some good things for women and children,and will uphold gay marriage and appoint a decent judge, says she will honor the $15 an hour minimum wage, is upholding women’s rights to abortion, and is experienced. Trump is a dangerous narcissistic, sexist, bigoted imbecile. So in these “worst of times” with only these two choices. I would vote for Hillary Clinton if only to protect the women and children in some ways. All of the truth and all of the factors must be laid out. I cannot excuse Hillary Clinton’s actions and call them projections. She is the best of the worst.

    • Tara, you – none of us – will ever know what was in Hillary’s mind and heart when she stayed with Bill. And I cannot believe people talk about him, as if it is he who is running for president. Hatred of Hillary is sexism, pure and simple. There isn’t one man in America who would be judged by how his wife behaved in the past. There isn’t one political male figure in America who hasn’t done the “terrible” things she’s done. Take a breath and reconsider.

      You write: “Yes she has done some good things for women and children,and will uphold gay marriage and appoint a decent judge, says she will honor the $15 an hour minimum wage, is upholding women’s rights to abortion, and is experienced.” This? This is not enough for you? Her flaws fall so far above the low bar set by Trump that I cannot believe anyone is even bothering to discuss them.

      And it IS big news for a woman to run for President in America, regardless of women in politics in other countries. It’s very big news indeed.

  • My friend wrote this in July. Here is an excerpt:

    Well my family, she has arrived.

    Love her or hate her, a grandmother has arrived and is actually positioned to lead this nation.

    How have we received her?

    She didn’t show up with an angelic grace

    she didn’t show up carrying a lamb

    she didn’t show up pure as snow

    she didn’t even show up coming around the mountain riding 6 white horses.

    And if she did, would she have made it this close to the gate?


    She showed up with blood on her hands

    She showed up with battle scars

    with mistakes made

    with lies told

    with promises broken.


    she did show up.

    And we have been turning our backs to her.

    We have been scolding her.

    We have been shaming her

    threatening her

    abusing her.

    We have been hating her.

    The Goddess has many forms.

    Woman has many forms.

    She has walked through 1000s of years of oppression and dominion and warfare

    and she has not come out unscathed.

    Not by a longshot.

    But she was carried through nonetheless

    and she is standing on our door

    and now is our time

    our opportunity

    to welcome her in

    with love

    and warmth

    and celebration.

  • Laurel

    I don’t believe I have ever done so but IF I have ever said anyone was stupid for endorsing Hillary, I apologize. You are right that all this venom does no one any good. And it has to be said that because I do *not* support her, I have been called, “immature, privileged, entitled, crazy, naive, and clueless,” — oh, and to “shove it” if I am supporting any third party.
    So it certainly goes both ways, doesn’t it?
    I wonder if Trump were not in the picture and Hillary was a man running for President, but with her exact same record, would many women would be so willing to support him? I think not. I think that women are apologizing for and minimizing her “flaws,” as you say, because she has come so far up the ladder — and that is indeed something to applaud and feel full of pride for in this historical moment — – but not something that holds much water considering those pesky “flaws,”. .
    I understand fully that she persevered and suffered and put up with loads of crap and trouble from the good ol’ boys club along the way. And I have to hand it to her for that — yes. She is a pioneer. No doubt.
    However, I think we could agree — she came to a crossroads at some point along the way and made some questionable choices, to my mind. It’s as though she decided to show them — to be more of a man than any of them could ever be — and a war hawk woman was born.
    I so want a woman to lead our country and be president and I am so sad that this woman does not work for me. I have looked deeply into myself as to whether maybe I have some internalized sexism because maybe I am expecting more from a woman than I would a man? And I have decided, that, no, if she were a woman in my community who was a leader, who was running for an office . . but she flip-flopped on whether she cared about the earth, and upheld trade laws that supported corporations over humans and the environment, and flip-flopped on that too when it was politically advantageous to do so, who was likely guilty of voter fraud and therefore guilty of squelching democratic process, who I could not expect to listen to my voice because she is extremely beholden to Wall Street, but most of all. . .bottom line. . . end of story. . .who has been complicit in war. . .would I champion her? No.
    And would I want to gloss over all that just because that’s how all the male leaders were too, anyway? No.
    And she unrepentantly wants very much to **continue** to be complicit in war, nay — to wage war. I cannot uphold an “idea” of feminism when it’s going to be a moot point after a nuclear war.
    I have been reading everything from both sides until my eyes are bleary and it has struck me how deeply insane and violent our culture is — and I have been wondering, when our nation may be on the brink of yet another unnecessary war, this time with Russia that could blossom into World War 3, how is it that that insanity and violence could drive us to the brink of this? How is it so ingrained and invisible that we are largely unconscious of it?
    I ask how can we believe Hillary cares about women and children when she has green-lighted the death of thousands of innocent women and children? Do their lives matter less than ours because they are far away and we don’t know about it? The brainwash & propaganda is strong as hell and most of us are vastly unaware of it. I sat with my mother for 4 days and watched CNN nonstop and I saw exactly what was going on there. Same with New York Times. MSMBC. There are dozens more and they are quite simply Hillary public relations firms — they are not impartial, trustworthy, journalistic news outlets anymore. We need to question the source of everything we see and read — and most of us do not.
    People with brown skin are dying every day for no damn good reason and we are oblivious because it’s not happening here, to us, and we don’t hear a whiff of it on the news. And did you ever hear much on the news about the weapons she sold to the Saudis for them to use in Syria and the arming of the rebel factions there? No. But you heard about Trump until the cows came home and went back out again. Ad nauseous nauseum. And the fear of him spread like wildfire, just as planned.
    And I hear women saying — “Well, all the presidents before her did the same exact things.” Yes, they did.
    But WHEN is it going to stop? When do we break out and stand up and demand the truth? Next election?? Or the one after that if there is anything or anyone left?
    Somehow, when it comes down to it — to war, if a woman is asking to be the leader of the free world, when it comes to war, I want and need her TO . KNOW. . .BETTER. I would only give my vote to a person; whichever gender, who, when it comes to war, knows BETTER.
    Of course she will win. She’ll be the President Select (not President Elect – clearly, it’s not working in any legitimate way like that anymore, and I hope people realize that fact asap.)
    Donald Trump was utilized perfectly and played his part well.
    And the wars will continue until together, we finally wake up. . .

  • Dear Starhawk,

    I completely agree about ending the demonization & vitriol I’ve seen from fellow progressives regarding Clinton. I’ve seen posts in progressive groups citing Breitbart & Fox “News” as sources. WTF?

    But I can’t agree with your voting strategy. The huge thing missing from your piece is the effect of the Electoral College on presidential voting.

    You live in solid-blue California, where all indications are that literally millions of people could vote for Jill Stein without helping Trump one iota. Why should people who prefer Stein to Clinton (while preferring both to Trump) vote for the lesser evil instead of the greater good? Isn’t that truly a wasted vote?

    Hillary is horrible on the issue of Palestine, sees military options as a first resort rather than last resort (especially when protecting US empire), is embedded with Wall Street & corporate interests, and (along with her husband) had a big hand in steering the Democrat Party toward a corporate centrism & away from working people’s interests. To name a few. Lots to criticize there.

    Why shouldn’t people in non-swing states actually vote our conscience so long as those votes don’t help Trump? Why not help break the two-party duopoly by supporting the Green Party?

    You repeat the common critique of the Greens that they should focus more on building at local levels instead of presidential candidates, but many of the issues that most need a progressive alternative voice are federal issues: foreign & military policy, the climate crisis, corporate regulations, etc. Greens can’t address these issues running for city councils or school boards — they need a national candidate & national profile to bring a much needed alternative perspective to these vital issues.

    As a voter in solid-blue Washington state, I’ll be voting my hopes & not my fears by voting Green in November.

    Your ever-loving fan, Lance

    • I have supported the Green Party since its inception back in the ’80s, but I do believe they would best be focused on the local. Yes, the issues are Federal but they are also local. Where the decisions come down–to grant a water permit for development, to allow a fracking company access, what textbook to use in a course–is often on the local level. That is how the right wing gained power–very strategically, by taking over school boards, and slowly building a local base in many, many now-red states. The Green Party does not have the resources and money to wage a real fight on the national level–but it could put those resources to use in many local places where Greens can win elections, produce real results, and build a strong base. In forty years, they’ve done remarkably little of that. Where they have, as in Sebastopol, CA where we’ve had a Green Mayor and City Council, they’ve done good things–like a permaculture food forest around the police station. Nationally, what they can do is raise issues and pose alternatives–but in this case, Sanders did that extremely effectively. But the Greens are still, nationally, under 5%–just where they’ve been for the last forty years. At some point we have to say that strategy isn’t getting us where we want to go.
      But I respect people who are voting for Stein–and I respect people’s concerns with Clinton’s policies and track record. I share many of them–but she does have a track record, which is more than can be said for Stein, who served a couple terms on the Lexington Town Council. If by some miracle she got elected, she wouldn’t have the first idea of how to navigate and negotiate the Washington shark tank. I expect to be on the streets protesting Clinton a lot in the next four years–particularly pressuring Clinton to hold to her promise to do what she can to overturn Citizens United. Until that’s done, the entire political process will be held hostage to big, big money. That’s my thinking.

    • Eric Roberts

      Exactly Starhawk. Not only does Stein have zero experience, she also has a horrible VP choice. He has some rather anti-Semitic views that really concern me, plus his co-authorship with a well known Holocaust denier concerns me as well. I didn’t believe Ron Paul when he claimed he didn’t know about the white supremacists publishing articles in his newsletter and I don’t believe that Baraka wasn’t aware of who his co-authors were. If he didn’t then he doesn’t have the common sense to be the VP. I cant take Stein seriously. She pops her head out from under her rock every 4 years then disappears. If she were a serious candidate, she would be out trying to build the Green party so that it has the infrastructure to run candidates for higher offices. There is a reason she isn’t on the ballot in every state and there is a reason we don’t have green governors and congressmen…they don’t have the infrastructure needed to do so. It’s not an easy task. as a veteran of congressional campaigns and as an officer in my county’s democratic organization, I can tell you that it takes a lot of work to run candidates and a lot of people and funds. If you don’t have that infrastructure to bring people on board, both volunteers and paid personnel, raise funds, etc…you are not going to elect candidates beyond the local level. Voting for Stein is like pissing into the wind…it’s not accomplishing anything as long as they don’t have the infrastructure. No amount of voting will change that…not to mention that our system does not support third parties. We need some major legal and systemic changes before that is possible. Other democracies can because most of them have parliamentary systems, which do support multiple parties. Ours doesn’t. We need to elect democrats who are willing to make those changes. We can also use the fact that Hillary is a professional politician and doesn’t want to be seen as a failure. She will have a lot of pressure on her, as the first female president. If progressives unite, we can use that to hold her feet to the fire to ensure that she upholds her promisers and supports the platform that Bernie fought for. If Trump wins…that is gone in a poof of smoke.

      • Yes! Well said! I wish the Greens would buckle down and work on building power locally, running people for things like school boards and utility boards and county supervisors–things that are winnable but make real crucial decisions on local issues–like development. That’s how the right wing built their base. And as you say–if Clinton wins, we can continue building progressive pressure on her. But if Trump somehow gets in power, the alt-right and every bigot in the country will take it as a mandate.

  • Colelea

    Starhawk this is such a good piece and you put words to many things I have seen and felt now and also in 2008. I voted for Barack and Bernie in both primaries which I don’t regret or second guess, but in both case I was at odds with my partners about the decision and so got into the practice of explaining the why of it quite often. In the process of articulating those thoughts and feelings I did recognize a bit of internalized misogyny and a bit resentment towards the ‘responsible no fun Mom’ . It is hard to imagine someone in her position that did not have everyone project their Mommy issues/mother hatred rebellious misogyny on. I don’t mean to distill all criticism of Hillary to that of course. As you said she is certainly not perfect …Barack Obama certainly isn’t perfect either …but in terms of similarity in positions they are practically identical. The still represent an imperfect system. As you said I am happy with how far Bernie got and how left he was able to push the Democratic platform! Yes more of that! I want revolution just as much as the next witch but in the mean time we have to live in this real world and with an imperfect government that we need to work each day incrementally to change. Between now and the revolution women still need to maintain rights to access reproductive care, families at risk of deportation still need to worry about the risks of mass deportations, we still need to fight to stop police terror and abolish the prison industrial complex. I would rather fight for those things under a Clinton presidency. Under Trump we won’t be able to push forward; we will just be pushing back and fighting against rollbacks and attacks on our rights and our environmental protections, and dealing with a TERRIBLE Supreme Court nominee.

  • Catriona Mundle

    I rejoiced when Margaret Thatcher was first elected – until I heard her saying UK should earn a living through arms sales, and then….it just got worse. Actually to vote for her because she’s a woman is as bad as not voting for her because she’s a woman. And so is Ms Stein. To me from the UK there is no right answer. The forces Trump has unleashed and brought to the surface will not go away when he is not elected, just as UK has seen a frightening number of racial attacks since Brexit.
    Indeed Clinton has supported ecocide (fracking and Monsanto) as well as promoting militarism. Call it the system if you like, but methane in our atmosphere poses a greater threat than carbon, because carbon could (theoretically) be reduced, but methane probably not as more and more is released from melting permafrost – and who needs to increase this with leaky fracking pipes. Even those which do not currently leak are ticking time bombs because the degrade. Sigh…..

  • First, I want to say thank you Star from the deepest part of my heart. I too will vote for Hillary . I want to take time to put some words together here and elsewhere . I woke up this morning saying I must write something about whats happening. I was so glad to see your post first thing this morning. I have been thinking about this since Trump first announced that he would be running. I was so quickly thrown back into passages of history. Besides the obvious Trump- It is the people in his base that echoes of history and frightens me sometimes beyond words .We are in a time where a call for the best of Humanity to come forward in all the diverse ways possible is needed. My mantra for today and onward is as folows.

    May our hearts be open
    to to the deep wounds of our past.
    May the best of Humanity
    both Ancestor and Living
    come forward, to rise ,sing and hold our future
    Let the spark that endures be present in all that we do .

    Eclipse Neilson ( director of Woman Soul)

  • Eclipse Neilson

    First, I want to say thank you Star from the deepest part of my heart. I too will vote for Hillary . I want to take time to put some words together here and elsewhere . I woke up this morning saying I must write something about whats happening. I was so glad to see your post first thing this morning. I have been thinking about this since Trump first announced that he would be running. I was so quickly thrown back into passages of history. Besides the obvious Trump- It is the people in his base that echoes of history and frightens me sometimes beyond words .We are in a time where a call for the best of Humanity to come forward in all the diverse ways possible is needed. My mantra for today and onward is as follows.

    May our hearts be open
    to to the deep wounds of our past.
    May the best of Humanity
    both Ancestor and Living
    come forward, to rise ,sing and hold our future
    Let the spark that endures be present in all that we do .

    Eclipse Neilson ( director of Woman Soul)

  • Trisha Dee

    I think it’s important for people to pick their battles. And sometimes its important to vote with your conscience and lose.

    I believe that right here and now it’s important for the whole World that Trump loses.

    Sometimes, my Enemy’s Enemy is my Friend.

  • Starhawk, Thank you for adding your voice to the wise women (and men) spreading the light.

  • I found this interesting to read in light of Charles Eisenstein’s reflection on the collective shadow of our society as manifested in the public roles of the two leading U.S. presidential candidates and in the “endless procession of videos of police brutality.” According to Eisenstein, “[O]ur current moment of social evolution is calling [both Clinton and Trump], in their public roles, to be an avatar of a cultural shadow archetype, presented to us in extreme form so that it cannot be ignored. Clinton and Trump are a product of their conditions, playing the ‘game of thrones’ according to the secret rules of the insiders, in a system that has long allowed, encouraged, and in some ways nearly required hypocrisy. That system is coming to an end.” Read more at

  • sharen

    I have only one thing to say. If Trump feels entitled as a star to grope women, I ask you what do you think he will feel entitled to do with the power of the presidency? Please check out Breitbart news to see what Trump’s real policies would be and the point of view he has of the world. We are witnessing how hard it is for a woman to get her message out when it is so easy to yell louder and voice innuendo and rumor. I’d like to know who can debate a person who lies constantly and changes the lies in the very next sentence? This is one of the first behaviors we teach our children is not allowed.

  • Maxine Krasnow

    I have been a staunch supporter of first Bernie Sanders and now Jill Stein.
    I am voting for Jill Stein because she is not owned by corporate money. I would like to see as the first female president of the US, someone who represents a balance of feminine and masculine energy (yin and yang). I am deeply disappointed that you are supporting Hillary Clinton. Her values are not at all aligned with what I thought yours were. Hillary supports
    – GMOs
    -regime change in Syria
    – Big Pharma
    – the TPP
    – NAFTA
    – DOMA
    – Citizens United
    –offshore drilling
    – arms deals with dictators
    – drone bombing of innocent people
    – overturning Glass Steagal
    – election fraud and voter suppression

    I am very disappointed in you, Starhawk!

  • Madrone

    You are surprised Star, in the same way I am surprised at your support for Clinton. You say “wary” or her foreign policy, can you elaborate on that. What do you think she has actually done for women and children? Yes there is absolutely rampant sexism and misogyny, and not just from Trump. Its deplorable and degrading, infuriating. I don’t hate Clinton, I have never met her, but her track record has never led to peaceful resolutions. She is the Oligarchy, and seems to believe that the USA needs to lead the world. I do not. I do not support Imperialism, or a woman who in 2009, fought against Haiti raising their minimum wage (whose labor force includes many young children). Before her assassination, Berta Cáceres singled out Hillary Clinton for backing the Honduran Coup. 200 environmental and human rights activists have been murdered in Honduras since that coup and thousands of other innocent people. Fact, look that up too. Clinton bragged about the Coup in her memoirs book, then deleted the whole section on Honduras in the reprint of that book, after she got a lot of world wide criticism for her participation in leading that Coup. The absolute immoral coup in Libya resulted in a prosperous North African country being torn into war and devastation, on Clinton’s Watch. Gaddafi was murdered in the street and stabbed in his anus, Clinton laughed about his death, also documented on video on you tube. Clinton voted yes to the Iraq war and then merely dismissed it as ” A mistake”. 1.2 million died because of the Iraq war, and continue to die because of USA Imperialism. I have not seen any actions from Clinton that have led towards peaceful resolutions. Her vote yes to the Iraq war should be enough to eliminate her from running for President. Not only did Clinton vote yes to the Iraq war she pushed it, after AFT submitted a statement that Iraq was not a threat to the US, the AFT were convinced by Clinton that AFT were wrong and she and Bush and Cheney were right. Hilary Clinton has a callous disregard to other peoples lives as she strongly supports Israel’s racist apartheid government, defended Israel’s illegal settlements, backed Israel’s illegal annexation of large parcels of Palestinian territory, and has publicly defended Israeli war crimes, (UN calls them war crimes) and attacked human rights groups which have documented them. She called those Palestinians being occupied and murdered “Terrorists” in her speech to AIPAC a few months back. I think I know who the real terrorist is. Stephen Zunes said this about Clinton “How would Hillary Clinton supporters feel about a foreign country electing someone as president who supported bombing, invading, and occupying the United States and backed an utterly devastating counter-insurgency war for the subsequent five years that destroyed the country’s economy and social fabric as long as she eventually acknowledged it was a “mistake?” This is exactly what Hilary Clinton did. People of Color cannot afford to keep living in a militarized racist police state, 1205 gunned down by cops in 2015. Every 24 hours a person of color is murdered by the police. Jails filled with 80% browned skinned human beings. Mostly on hyped up non violent drug offenses, accepting absurd plea deals, as they have no money for lawyers. If you have read the truth behind the war on drugs, its was a way to disrupt and undermine communities of African Americans. Clinton has supported the War on Drugs and referred to brown skinned humans as super predators also banning Black Lives matter members from her rallies. Reading some of her exposed emails, she threatened to kill Syria’s Asaad’s family, and clearly exposed the USA as the perpetrators of the Syrian war. In the email, released by Wikileaks, then Secretary of State Clinton says that the “best way to help Israel” is to “use force” in Syria to overthrow the government. In another batch of emails, it is proven that Clinton knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding ISIS, yet she took millions from the Saudi’s for her campaign in 2016 and her Clinton Foundation. Here is a link to that email, released just a day ago. So I think Clinton has committed some serious crimes, don’t you. Trump and Clinton are both disgusting and criminal for different reasons. Its just tragic and horrific that two equally self aggrandizing, casual racist criminals are running for the most powerful political position in the world. Yes I loathe the system, and that is why I choose to not vote for it. Clinton is very much embedded in that system. Oh and I would love to see a woman President, or better yet no President, just not Clinton.

  • Thank you for a well reasoned argument for Hillary, whom I am already in full support of, for all the reasons you enumerate. Wake up folks, this is not a time to be puristic about your values, but to keep a despot from taking power and destroying all we are working for. Even if we see the whole two party system as a sham, this is a reality this time — that the spectre of Trump in power could plunge us into unmitigated crises that will effect generations to come, if not end the human experiment through nuclear war or climate disaster.

  • Jan

    Starhawk, your support for Hillary Clinton is more than disappointing.
    This is a woman who was named in the New York Times Sunday magazine as the most hawkish of the 18 candidates, Democrat and Republican, vying for their party’s nomination. She is not a starhawk. She is a warhawk.
    Her record in foreign affairs is abysmal. As senator she voted for the Iraq war, a war that was to kill tens of thousands of Iraqis, many of the women and children. The speech she gave in support of that vote could have been written by Dick Cheney.
    As Secretary of State she supported the coup in Honduras which at the time was being condemned by almost every country in Latin America as well as by the OAS.
    She pushed a reluctant President Obama into the attack on Libya and cackled like a mad rooster when she heard of the death of Ghadaffi. Do you remember “we came, we saw, he died.” She disgusted me.
    The Wikileaks have shown that she was backing regime change in Syria so as to benefit Israel. Weapons were being funneled to Syrian rebels (some of them undoubtedly ISIS) through the CIA station in Benghazi.
    Heaven knows what more she could do were she in the Oval Office. A war with Russia that could well go nuclear? Maybe.

    As much as a loathe and fear Donald Trump, I also loathe and fear Hillary Clinton.
    My vote will go for the only honest and decent person in this race, Dr.Jill Stein.


      I agree with Jan. I cannot vote out of fear. I cannot vote for a Democrat after what the Democratic Party did to Bernie Sanders and how disparagingly Hillary has spoke about Bernie supporters. I will not be beaten into submission. I will move forward and vote for the greater good. Jill Stein 2016.

  • Andros Baphomet

    “Hillary Clinton is bearing the brunt of people’s dissatisfaction with the whole thing, just as women always catch all the flak.”

    The problem I have with this statement is that Hillary Clinton identifies with the current political system. She is an active and major part of it, and has been for virtually her entire career. She has perpetuated the system, and in the process caused no small amount of harm including some of the problems we now face today.

    It’s one thing to blame a woman for the state of politics when she had no hand in it, but it’s quite another when she had the power to change things for the better and did the opposite.

    As for the rest — I don’t vote for Jungian archetypes for President, I vote for people who I can trust to turn us around from the slow-motion catastrophe the status quo has produced these last two decades, and whose policies might make life more bearable for me and mine. And for better or worse, I can’t trust Hillary to do so. Jill Stein is better, but still misses the mark on being an MD and thinking Wi-Fi will give you brain cancer. The rest don’t bear consideration. But to blame people’s distrust and revulsion of Hillary Clinton on mommy issues is an absurd oversimplification.

    As far as Hillary being easier to push to the left — Hillary seems to be only nice to her friends. Witness what happened to that one Greenpeace staffer asking after her campaign being funded by fossil fuel lobbyists. When attacked, she digs in and returns fire. I doubt a progressive movement could push her anywhere she wasn’t willing to go herself. When faced with a protest, she’s more likely to send out the riot cops than to listen. The progressive movement didn’t get very far with eight years of Obama, a much more amiable person; what makes people think Hillary will be better?

  • Yogi

    “My vote will go for the only honest and decent person in this race, Dr.Jill Stein.”
    To that I say, “Pragmatism is the honesty Jill Stein lacks”.
    A friend linked me to this blog. Like me, she supported Bernie in the Democratic Primary; like Bernie she has pivoted to Hillary for the reasons Starhawk has outlined. I couldn’t agree more. Her foreign policy positions are worrisome, but for the most part, she’s solid on student debt, minimum wage, health care, and civil rights. She’s been stripped and tied to the whipping post, blamed for all our collective sins, no matter what politics we subscribe to.
    Another friend, a voice over artist who does a spot on Hillary impersonation, said something that floored me. She holds mock debates with a Trump impersonator, mostly at colleges or corporate events. While the audiences love the comedian doing Trump, they are hostile towards her. After pondering this for a while, it now makes perfect sense.
    Trump’s character flaws are readily apparent, driven by male ego and easy to make fun of and laugh at. The things people don’t like about Hillary run much deeper; they’re hard wired into our reptilian brains where we can’t see them. In fact, they’re not even
    flaws, they’re evolutionary adaptations and they scare the hell out of us.
    Like Trump, everybody plays the fool. He’s Falstaff in a Shakespearian comedy. Everybody dies in a tragedy so dark, we dare not say its title aloud. We call it, “The Scottish Play”

  • Chris Rubacky

    I agree with you, Starhawk! Keep Trump out and work forward from there. HRC is not Bernie, but there is a good reason the Bern is endorsing her, along with the true Fab Goddess in the DNC, Elizabeth Warren!! VOTE HRC -put the racist Trump out of his (and our collective!) misery! Chris R.

  • Hrieth

    Starhawk, Thank you for “calling down the moon” as well as calling upon reason, strategy and wisdom. You have been a wayshower for me for decades and the path you’ve trod begins with no other footprint than yours. Again, you are going where others fear to tread or fear to tell and I applaud you (wiggling my hands silently in the air, of course!) I agree. I Agree, I AGREE! I appreciate all you’ve written here and I hope others see the wisdom in your words. grateful and with love, Hrieth

  • Sarah

    I disagree with a commenter above who states that, if a male with Hillary’s flaws were the candidate instead, we’d be up in arms about him. I think that, if a man with all her qualifications AND all her flaws were in the running, he’d have been winning in a landslide for the entire general election. People still might not be happy with some of his positions or record, but they wouldn’t be demanding perfection of him, or that he be twice as good for half the respect, or would that he should smile more/not smile so much or any of the macro and micro aggressions this woman puts up with gracefully on a daily basis. She has a backbone of steel, is incredibly well-versed in the issues with many substantive policy positions, and is generally the smartest person in the room. I’m voting for Hermione.

  • Sandi

    I am very disappointed and surprised. I go back to Diablo, long time anti-nuclear activist. HRCs affiliations should tell most that she is more like Margaret Thatcher than is comfortable. Kissinger, Cheney, the Bushes, even Trump, all close friends and allies. Wolfowitz and Pearl also endorse her. She is a hawk. I am shocked you are not throwing all your weight behind birthing the Green Party now, in this rare opportunity to advance a third party.

  • Sandi

    Poor poor Hillary and the Right Wing Conspiracy. But wait. Why is she so loved by Kissinger, Cheney, etc? Why does the National Review write glowingly about her support for nuclear energy? HRC is a neo liberal, a Libertarian at heart, an oligarch working for business as usual.

    In a candidate questionnaire published in the September 13 issue of Scientific American, she said that addressing climate change is “too important to limit the tools available in this fight. Nuclear power . . . is one of those tools.” She went on, pledging to make sure that the “climate benefits” of existing plants are “appropriately valued,” adding that she will “increase investment in the research, development and deployment of advanced nuclear power.”

  • “pragmatically” speaking.. U$A economy is fueled by war.
    52% of the ‘budget’ goes for war (plus appropriations which pay for 25% of Israel’s genocide against Palestine.)
    U$A military is also the largest user on the planet of petroleum. This sucks, obviously.
    Hillary is the warhawk supreme .. the candidate of Wall St.
    U$A people need to be able to see beyond their comfy wealth, which comes at the cost of murder.
    Choose to make a stand for PEACE .. or we all face annihilation as the U$A warhawks continue to push Russia while planning “limited engagements” and use of nuclear weapons. This is unconscionable U$A must do better than electing a well known warhawk simply because she’s female. Choose the OTHER female. Vote for peace and justice. thanks.

  • Jasper

    can’t you stick to doing the work through writing and courses and spreading love and knowledge and let the voting game be played others? … each vote is a perpetuation of how we let ourselves be governed and oppressed. … My heart is so confused by americans who are actually voting . But again i can only send respect to you, because I am not in the USA nor a USA citizen so i can’t know what it must be like at this point.

    love and looking forwards to everything else from you but support for hillary.


  • Susan Saxe

    Because I live in a swing state, I find myself having to suck it up and vote for the neoliberal warmonger, a woman who is essentially no different in her policies than any of the corporate Democrats I have had to hold my nose and vote for most of my life. Having once been a focal point of the tension between radical feminism and what we used to call bourgeois feminism, I would like to weigh in on why I do have a stronger emotional response to Hillary than I do to the male corporatist Democrats who share her politics. My vision of feminism demands a complete dismantling, not just of sexism but also of racism, imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, extractivism and every other ugly manifestation of power-over culture and winner-take-all economics. Hillary Clinton is a key player in redefining feminism as mere female identity politics, lacking any kind of radical (root) critique of the systemic rot that is driving the destruction of humanity and Mother Earth herself. She is one of the most skilled and successful co-opters on the planet. Just as she and Bill spearheaded the rightward march of the Democratic Party away from progressivism and toward neoliberalism, so she is leading the march of “feminism” away from its radical roots and into little more than equal opportunity for women to participate in (or for most of us be equally oppressed by) the dominant paradigm. Do I resent her more for that because she is a woman and claims to be a feminist? Indeed I do. A betrayal from within is worse than an attack from the outside because it undermines our solidarity, our trust in each other, our very definition of who we are. I have lived long enough to realize that once every four years I get to vote, not for who I trust to truly represent me, but who I prefer to be fighting next. If I lived in a clearly red or blue state, I would cast a protest vote, but because I live in swing state I will do the strategic thing. Just don’t tell me I have to like it. The bottom line is a question I have for all my feminist friends, whether they believe that Hillary is the progressive she claims to be or totally mistrust her: If she proves by her actions that she is NOT what you who like her think she is, or that she IS what we who mistrust her believe she is, WILL YOU STAND AND FIGHT?

  • Jamie

    A protest vote makes absolute sense when we look at Hillary’s position on endless wars in the middle east and how Bernie Sanders was basically cheated out of the election.

  • I encourage full and intelligent consideration of the Supreme Court. We are not a parliamentary government. If you don’t understand what is at stake there and for the future, should you participate in aiding a fascist as president, then it is on your shoulders that you did nothing to stop him and found your idealogugery to be more important. A fatal flaw, as history shows us..

  • Indigo Ocean

    Reading these comments is as enlightening as the article itself. What I see are two points of view, then various comments that are consistent with one or the other. Basically, either you believe all the misinformation the right has put out about Clinton over the decades they’ve been trying to bring her and her husband down OR you don’t believe it and evaluate her based on how much you agree or disagree with her previous votes and announced policy platform.

    I personally fall into that latter group, and see that I agree with her about 70% (women’s rights, free college education, Supreme court nominees, etc.) and disagree with her strongly about 30% (fracking, Wall St., Monsanto, military involvement in the Middle East). The thing is, I would have to say all these same things about Obama. And I’d have to say far worse about every other president who has served in my lifetime!

    People conveniently overlook how Clinton stacks up to current and past presidents. If you only compare her to Trump, then it can seem like the right can’t possibly be serious, and this election must be rigged, because there is no real competition between them. It’s like a race between a Stallion and a gerbil when it comes to competency to fulfill the office of president. But to think that overlooks just how powerful the fear of female archetypes is within this society, including within every single person reading these words.

  • JoAnne

    The Dalai Lama has said that “The World will be saved by the “Western” woman. I’ve loved this quote but always thought that his denoting the “western” woman alone was strange, especially for the leader of an Eastern religion. In viewing what is happening in this country right now and how we woman are the primary force in the stand against Trump, I’m wondering whether the Dalai Lama’s quote is actually prophetic.

  • Alyson

    Starhawk, I’m deeply moved by your provocative essay. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Tonight I watched Michele Obama’s words on Trump’s impact on women, and Hillary’s (whether or not anyone likes any other policy or belief of hers). As my friend posted, “From the heart… cuts through to the truth… filled with passion.. I do not care what political party you associate yourself with this is ONE FINE SPEECH!!! As a woman, I thank you Michelle Obama. <3 <3" And I thank you Starhawk! We are treading deep collective-shadow waters this autumn. May they be transformed!

  • Marg

    Thank you Starhawk! Great insight and good debate here.

    I thought I’d vote Green until a few months ago when the race tightened up between Clinton and the rapist. Even though the recent video exposure of sexual assault bragging is deeply triggering, and Clinton’s having to endure lots of misogyny, what swayed me is a dislike of the Green Party’s decision to remain in the race in swing states. That’s a disturbing strategy — it takes us close to a very dangerous place, and reveals a deep flaw in the Green third party strategy. I need to “vote my conscience” right now, but that means supporting Clinton, even though I’m fully aware of her problems. I want my vote to prevent a catastrophe. I know folks say the “lesser of two evils is still evil” but, really, it’s LESSER BY A MILE! Everyday I make small compromises because we live in an imperfect world, and must navigate lesser evil choices. ( eg I use fossil fuels, I sometimes buy plastic, my back pain means I take a bath rather than shower) I gave up trying for sainthood when I left the Catholic Church years ago. (well, truth be told, somewhat sooner)

    Even in multi-party democracies, choices have to be made at some point in the process to compromise and form coalitions. I wonder what the Green Party long range plan is for that? Or do they plan to simply replace one of the two major parties? My priority is finding the best strategy for building a progressive movement. The Sanders campaign took us forward in a big way, bringing progressive issues to a national stage.

    I’m worried that the bigotry, hatred and violence will not go away after the election. Expect ongoing attacks from the right which question the legitimacy of the election, and undermine any progressive agenda. A landslide for Clinton may help dampen this. Of course I’ll be in the streets to oppose her militarism. At least I don’t expect to be imprisoned, tortured, raped or murdered for doing so.

    For years I’ve tended to vote Green because it more aligned with my values.

  • If we really want to act from an empowered place… then, here’s my take. I can not vote for election fraud. I will not forget what I know. I will not acquiesce to fear. I will not obey when told how to fall in line and be a good girl. I will hold my head up high and affirm that this world WILL ascend despite the drama manufactured to hold us down. This world will ascend when we hold the space for the higher energy to be manifest. We are the midwives.

  • Branwyn Lusitano

    Thank you so much for this, Starhawk, for your analysis, which is keen, insightful, and thought-provoking as always.

    I worked very, very hard for Bernie, and I was deeply disappointed by the outcome of the Democratic convention.

    I became a Jill Stein enthusiast in the streets of Philadelphia in July. I happened to hear her speak before the march on July 25 from Philadelphia’s town hall down the streets to FDR park. She blew me away.

    I went to hear her speak three more times. I was on my feet cheering every single time. She is a gifted speaker; she speaks from the heart; she believes in what she is saying.

    I resonate to the core with most of the ideas she presents: that we MUST address climate change as the emergency it is; that we must end corruption in our election system; that the abuse of our country’s military might must stop. That we must end the systemic physical and political violence against Black, Hispanic, and all other non-White lives. I believe like Jill Stein believes almost 100 percent.

    Then I looked into the particulars of her proposal for canceling student debt. Uh oh. She has repeatedly stated that she would use the “magic trick” [her words] of quantitative easing to cancel student debt. I won’t go into the ins and outs of what quantitative easing is and is not, but the bottom line is that it cannot be used in the way she states that she plans to use it. The Federal Reserve system was set up to prevent any elected official from directly tinkering with quantitative easing or any of the other mechanisms the system uses. So either: a) Dr. Stein doesn’t fully understand quantitative easing and how the Federal Reserve system works; or b) she does understand it and is saying she can do something she knows she cannot do. Either way, it’s deeply concerning. How many other policy issues are similarly being either misunderstood or misused?

    And then I watched the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I had managed to avoid listening to him speak because he is so repulsive. But when I did sit and listen to him “speak” (it was more like “babble”) during the debate, my blood literally ran cold. He is menace to our country and to the planet. He is a terrifyingly unstable personality, and if he is elected President, he will have his fingers on the controls of the 7100 nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal. It’s the most frightening prospect I’ve been forced to consider in my 40 years of being politically active.

    I watched the second debate as well and was even more horrified.

    No matter how bad anyone thinks Hillary Clinton is, Donald Trump is WITHOUT DOUBT orders of magnitude worse. And it concerns me deeply that some of my fellow Bernie supporters say things like “Oh, Hillary’s worse than Trump — she’s more secret and underhanded about what she does.” And many of my fellow Bernie supporters saying those things haven’t even watched either of the debates!

    Finally, if we consider Bernie to be the great leader that many us proclaim we believe, then we should listen carefully to his advice. He has said that this is not the year for a protest vote. He has said we need to vote for Secretary Clinton. I trust Bernie’s experience, intelligence, integrity, and wisdom.

    I would, of course, prefer to be voting for Bernie in November, but I’ll be voting for Hillary — and straight down the ballot for the Democrats who, in my neck of the woods anyway, are the more progressive candidates for all of the other offices up for election all the way down to the county commission level. (Sitting out an election is not an option for me as a woman — not after what the suffragists went through to secure my enfranchisement: arrest, imprisonment, solitary confinement, beatings, sexual assault, and forced feeding in prison when they held hunger strikes.)

    • Yes! I vote if for no other reason than to keep faith with those women who struggled so hard for so many decades–over 60 years! to gain women the right to vote. And yes to the rest of it–I strongly supported Sanders and would prefer to be voting for him, but given the hand we’re dealt, I believe Clinton in a good choice.

  • MacMorrighan

    Good day, Starhawk! I have been wanting to tell you for a while that your book, “Dreaming the Dark”–even more so than “The Spiral Dance”–has been the most empowering book that I, as a Socialist/ Political and Environmental Activist/ a Gay man/ and a Witch have ever read! In fact, because I have two copies I will be giving the second to a friend whom I believe needs to be empowered, himself. 🙂

    However, as others have so eloquently expressed before me, I cannot in good consciousness vote for someone–irrespective of gender–who doesn’t earnestly hold our progressive and immanent values at heart and had to, if you’ll pardon the expression, be dragged to the progressive left “kicking and screaming”, but only in token at that! Sadly, Hillary (henceforth HRC) doesn’t support the fight for a $15 min. wage, but she is stuck at $12 when those three extra dollars would be life-changing for scores of people! An article published recently has concluded that, before the debates, she only rarely mentions raising the min. wage as if it is superfluous; rather, her positions tend to be, “vote for me because of fear for Trump!” But this is merely a tip of the icebergs over my deeply profound concerns for her if she were elected President. I simply don’t expect that she would meaningfully fight for me and the ideals that I uphold and have fought for my whole life. It’s absolutely heartwrenching, however, when very real concerns over her unfortunate past and present is merely dismissed by others as if it’s “Republican propaganda”! That’s a Logical Fallacy! However, facts are facts, and HRC has a record, and she has made firm statements–that we will “never, ever” have Single Payer health care in this country if she has any say in the matter, which she said in Iowa during her campaign–that gravely concern me for the future of this country, its people, and the well-being of the peoples of Earth! During her tenure as Secretary of State HRC, with the backing of the Department of State, fought against the Haitian fight for an increased min. wage of 61 cents, and got it reduced to a paltry 31 cents. Given these grave concerns (others have expressed different concerns that I also hold, so they need not be repeated ad nausium), HRC does not, in my estimation, uphold the ideals of Immanent Consciousness. It is heart wrenching to admit that she is utterly a Republican. Therefore this election is between two different types of Republicans in that regard. I freely admit that I would feel different if I believed that HRC were authentic and genuine, but her prior record and how late she was in adopting these immanent values is of great concern to me. From the very beginning I have insisted that one must earn my vote–they aren’t deserving of it–because I am sick of being told to vote out of fear since it has created a Party that keeps drifting further and further right, rather than to the left.

    What I want to see is a fighter in office, rather than one who admits they are going to compromise from the very beginning. After all, if the Republicans know she will concede at the outset, what incentive do they have–or the Blue Dog Democrats for that matter–to meet her in the middle? We *had* a contender who spoke with utmost Integrity–who walked his talk (the key foundation of magick, itself)–but, the Democratic Party contrived to sabotage his campaign through election fraud, voter suppression, and a bevy of sickening Republican tactics! I do not have it within me to forgive that level of treasonous behavior against me, personally, and my American brothers and sisters. And now they rub salt into the wound of his humiliation by trotting the poor man out like a trained monkey (I personally believe that he was threatened to endorse HRC, since those who have not endorsed her were punished by the Party!). The Democrats have betrayed the American people! During the Celtic Era–and as a priest of The Morrighan–such an individual would be deposed for having grievously harmed their people (it was for this reason that The Morrighan forbode the doom of Kings and Chieftains). We need to hold a ritual to this effect as Reclaiming and M. Macha NightMare once performed against the Bankers some years back! 🙂 But I digress…

    If one lives in, for example, a dyed-blue state they can and should feel free to vote without compromising their immanent values! I, for instance, live in Iowa (a swing state), which will probably be going to Trump since I know of no one in the area who will be voting for HRC. Ironically, everyone I know would have leaped at the chance to vote for Sen. Sanders, a man whom I still support as a fellow Socialist. (I had supported him years before he threw his hat into the race, and because of that he was the very first person I *ever* Caucused for! Words cannot express how proud I was to be able to support him in this way. Unless I see another one like him I may never Caucus again.) This isn’t to say that I will be voting for Trump–although every Establishment Democrat that I have spoken with presumes that I will! Instead, I will be voting for the Greater Good out of protest against the duopoly of the Two-Party System.

    I hate to seem dystopian, but if HRC should lose to Trump, it will be a very bitter pill for the Establishment Democrats to swallow, and sometimes the most bitter pills are the most beneficial for change in the long run–the greatest lesson may, therefore, be gleaned. Indeed, if HRC should lose, perhaps it would send the Party a very clear message from The People as to why HRC lost. But then again, I’m doubtful since I have already begun to observe the Democratic Party projecting through their propaganda machine that if she does not win, then it is we the voters–particularly Bernie and Progressives who are to blame, rather than the candidate and her policies, or lack thereof (this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a political party stooping to blame the American People for forcing an un-populist candidate onto us). That level of propaganda is just as disturbing to me, don’t get me wrong! But, we need to hold HRC’s feet to the fire, now; not after she is elected when we have lost what leverage we once had. I am seeing people extol that we must give her a congress and senate that will work with her, but that didn’t avail Obama when he tried to pass Universal Healthcare–he had to fight his own party, which instead gave us a Republican monstrosity! He is having to fight his own party for even so much as a Public Option since te Insurance Agencies are backing out and not making enough money! Our concerns and values are, largely, not those of the Democratic Establishment. if they haven’t learned that lesson now, they probably never will. I fear that they have lost my support for the remainder of my life, and they have only themselves to blame as I am feeling defeated.

    • Hi MacMorrighan,
      Thanks for your long and thoughtful reply. I appreciate it, although I don’t agree with it. But because it is representative of what a lot of people think, I want to weigh in a bit.

      Of course Clinton is not the candidate we’d ideally like to vote for. I too supported Sanders and wish he were running instead–and I also firmly believe that if he were, Trump would not be even within spitting distance of the presidency. But Sanders is not running. All you arguments are great ones for supporting Sanders, or someone like him, in the primaries. But right now, the choice is betweeen Clinton and Trump–between a Democrat who is sane, experienced, responsible, far more centrist and hawkish than I would like, but very good on domestic issues, and a Republican who is so extreme, offensive, bigoted, narcissistic and irresponsible that even his own party doesn’t like him. Someone who would roll back every protection for civil rights, every small economic gain that low-income and middle class people might have made, and unleash untold violence against people of color in this country. Let alone what he might do on the world stage.

      A politician’s job is not to be authentic. A politician’s job is to to be responsive to the will of the people they represent. Yes, Clinton has a record–that’s a good thing. She’s actually been in the political system and had to work within its constraints. Yes, she’s changed her position on many things over time–that’s also a good thing! She’s responsive to the opinions and pressure from her constituents. Yes, we have to hold her feet to the fire–but we can only do that if she gets elected. If Trump gets elected, we may well be burning at the stake ourselves.

      And no–his election would not be the bitter pill we need. Nor would it teach the Democrats the lesson we’d like them to learn. We’ve been through this before. I knew Socialists who voted for Nixon in ’68, believing the people would revolt and the revolution would come. I’ve heard the same argument in every election campaign since. It never works that way. If Trump gets elected by some evil mischance, the Democrats and Republicans both will take it as a mandate for bigotry, misogyny and hatred, and a message that the way to win is to swing very, very far right. If Clinton wins, progressive are in a very good position to push her on keeping her promises and moving us in the direction we want to go–although neither I nor anyone else expects her or any politician to get us there. That’s the work we need to do–and I’d rather do it with Clinton as president than with a wannabe Hitler mashed up with Caligula. I’m sure you’ve been working your whole life for a much deeper transformation of society than any election represents–so have I. Clinton’s election would create conditions where we can move that work forward–Trump would set us back to 1930s Germany.

      And when Germany went fascist, ultimately the US was there to step in and finally win the war. If the US goes fascist–what power is there that can stop that decline?

  • Michael deAnguera

    Starhawk, I’ve always loved your writings and your activism, particularly your work in Gaza. I understand your feelings about Hillary. No matter whom you vote for I will always respect and love you as a friend for your work. You will help to ensure that our people will have a future.

    However I believe that things are not what they seem. You might want to check out the Syria Solidarity Movement site. There is also an excellent article in the Boston Globe February 18th, 2016 by Stephen Kinzer telling the truth about Syria and what our government is doing to destroy that country. A major part of our government’s strategy is a massive propaganda war being waged on our minds. All our news media is in on it from the New York Times to the BBC.

    Our governemt has financed and created a terrorist army of over 300,000 jihadists that are killing thousands of Syrians. We are trying everything in our power to topple the government of President Assad, the legitimate government of Syria. Russia, China, and Iran are defending the Syrian government.

    Hillary’s first order of business is to topple President Assad. The stories of him being a butcher are not true.

    Wikileaks has shown that very likely the whole presidential campaign was staged with the objective of installing Hillary into power. All the media is pro Hillary and can bring anyone onto front stage just by giving them coverage.

    Of course Donald Trump is obnoxious. That’s the way he’s suppose to be. I understand he and Hillary are good friends. There is a video on You Tube of Trump in 2012 saying Hillary would make a good president.

    The media can lie. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. NBC recently cast Russia as the villain in breaking into the DNC files. There is no proof of this. It is just an allegation being made with no evidence. It is being presented as fact.

    We are being deliberately mislead and turned against each other. That’s ugly. Therefore no matter how my friends vote they will always be my friends. My good opinion of you will never change.

  • Michael deAnguera

    Starhawk, Good news!

    Regardless of who gets elected President, the U.S. is no longer considering regime change in Syria. The US military has simply refused to go along with the plan because it would be too costly. The Russian defenses there are too sophisticated. When Russia and Syria issued their ultimatum to the US the US backed down. That was very humiliating to Washington who of course made many angry statements about Russia.

    Whew! For a moment I thought we were on the verge of nuclear war. Thank Goddess a way was found.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Thank you so much, Starhawk. The outrageous misogyny toward Hillary, an industry unto itself for 30 years, is heartbreaking, and one thing I’ve noticed lately is that words and terms like “misogyny,” “sexual assault,” “Black Lives Matter,” etc. are regular staples in the news media (not enough as they should be, but before this election, I never saw “misogyny” hardly ever in articles). Trump is unfortunately, and perhaps fortunately (because of how his racism, sexism, gay-bashing, and the list goes on for pages) propelling such obvious injustices to the surface. I pray with all my soul he doesn’t win, and we move toward a way of finding greater unity, but I’m heartened by all the people encouraged enough to speak out from their power.

  • Bob sekula

    I’ll vote Hillary to keep fascism at bay with some space for fomenting real, creative change.

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