by Judy Ferro

We’ve suffered our sixth mass murder since January 2009. I can’t say much about that. Dylann Roof would have passed a background check; there’s no indication that he’d been bullied at school, beaten a partner, joined a hate group, or purchased piles of weaponry. He didn’t even have a semi-automatic; he stopped to reload.

Nor is there much to say about the latest revelations of the ineptness of Idaho leaders. They apparently knew our remodeled statehouse would have sidewalks too steep and access too difficult for handicapped persons, but didn’t think the rules applied to us.

And, while 46 states are working to comply with Federal guidelines for preventing prison rape, our leaders again are ignoring the rules—similar to the state’s refusal to update Idaho drivers’ licenses to federal standards.

What is there to say, though, when Idahoans have already accepted our leadership’s abject incompetence in overseeing state contracts for school broadband and prison management?

One thing I don’t think got enough news coverage this week was the content of Hillary Clinton’s kickoff speech. Commentators have mentioned the attendance (5,500 compared to “several hundred” for Trump); the designer of her pantsuit; and her humor (“I’ll be the youngest first woman president”). Clinton’s effort to boil Democratic principles down to four “fights,” however, has been largely ignored.

The first fight, to “make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top,” is, indeed, the cornerstone Democratic issue. Clinton proposed such standard items as investing in roads and bridges, making college affordable for all, and reducing the red tape faced by small business owners. Included was support for education at all levels, including preschool. Lacking, however, was any mention of minimum wage or workers’ rights to organize.

Clinton did include several proposals that have received little attention, like rewarding “businesses who invest in the long term rather than the quick buck” and ones that “give their employees a fair share of the profits their hard work earns.” How big a nudge would it take for other businesses to adopt strategies successful for Winco and Costco?

Clinton’s second fight is to “strengthen America’s families.” Employees should have insurance that will be there for them, “earn paid sick days,” and receive their “work schedule with enough notice to arrange childcare…” She also supported LGBT families and a path to citizenship for hardworking immigrants, issues that were not widely accepted by Democrats just eight years ago.

The third fight Clinton mentioned is to “harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.” She mentioned both maintaining a strong defense and working other nations and their people. She also supported seeing that veterans get the healthcare and educational benefits that Republicans have recently rejected.

Clinton’s fourth fight would be to reform our government and revitalize our democracy. Ending “the endless flow of secret unaccountable money that is distorting our elections” is a major Democratic issue today. Making registration universal and automatic has received little attention until now.

Many sources I found on-line dissed Clinton for past mistakes. Counting her time as first lady, Clinton has 25 years in the national government. So, yes, she’s made mistakes. She has also made enemies on the right and the far left willing to work overtime to magnify the negatives.

Yet, Clinton’s experience and knowledge make her a leading spokesperson for Democrats–and, increasingly, for the middle class.


Published by Judy Ferro

Judy Ferro is communication director for the 2C Dems and a columnist for the Idaho Press.

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