Hillary van Winkle

Remember Rip van Winkle? He was the American of Dutch origin who fell asleep for twenty years only to awaken to an utterly changed country. He slept through two decades that included the American revolution. Millenia before Washington Irving wrote this story, ancient Jewish wisdom records the tale of Choni Ha’Meagel, who fell asleep for seventy years. While the morals of the two stories are different, all of us are subject to finding that the world has changed even if we are awake through those changes. A refrain I, not infrequently, hear from my own children is, “Mom, this isn’t the (1800s) (1950s) (2000s).”

This brings me to Hillary Clinton’s new book, The Fall of Roe: The Rise of a New America. I haven’t read the book, nor do I have any intention of doing so. However, I was intrigued by a quote from a promotional interview she did, wherein she blamed her loss to Donald Trump in 2016 on women voters. Women voters, she alleged, did not reject her because they made intelligent and reasoned decisions. No, they did not vote for her, “…because they just couldn’t take a risk on me, because as a woman, I’m supposed to be perfect…”

Talk of being stuck in a different decade! I have two confessions to make. One, I am not perfect. Neither are any of the women I know, though some come closer than others. Two, I did not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. I reviewed her actions in Arkansas, what she did as First Lady including Whitewater and on health care, and her positions on issues that matter to me. While Donald Trump was far from a perfect human being as well as being a political unknown, I knew for sure that a Clinton victory would not bode well for the women and men I most care about. While there may have been some voters who judged Hillary more harshly as a woman, there were probably many more who voted for her only on that basis. Since the founding of the United States, voters have opted against candidates for being too short or too heavy, having facial hair or a certain accent. Welcome to the real world filled with real people.


Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously told a crowd at a campaign speech for Ms. Clinton, that “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” She may object to my view that helping women (and men) of the country I love meant voting for Donald Trump, but that was my calculation. When Hillary Clinton blames her failed campaign on a failure of women to support her because of a foolish, emotional, and flighty reason, she upholds many female stereotypes she refused to accept in her earlier years. Like Rip van Winkle and Choni Ha’Meagel, she is stuck in the past. Unlike them, she is not open to learning new ideas.

This Musing is dedicated in memory of Linor Keinan, age 23. Linor was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, while she fled the attack on the Supernova music festival. A business consultant, one of Linor’s friends, wrote, “She always lent a listening ear and knew how to uplift you no matter what you were going through.”

And with prayers for the safe return of the remaining hostages, and among them we hope will be Ziv Berman, age 26. Ziv and his twin brother, Gali, were abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Aza by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. More than 60 of the 400 residents of the kibbutz were murdered and 18 were taken hostage.


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The Book of Ruth: Chorus of Connection

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