Seeing the Round Corners

July 24, 2017


This writer must admit to fearing the day would never arrive when supporters and those voting for Hillary Clinton for President would admit their true feelings about the person they know her to be and the values she espouses.

This writer is downright paranoid about the credibility of the polls, but  must admit to relinquishing that paranoia to the latest Bloomberg National Poll. The problem with widespread reliance on polls is the simple way in which the sampling field can be controlled or arranged. After all, those relying on polls in the 2016 Presidential election, even my fellow journalists, had Hillary Clinton “cake walking” into office, and some are still in disbelief what happened could happen.

Now to the Bloomberg National Poll – its revelations are a lesson for all journalists, party strategists and the ordinary citizen of these United States. Here are the high points gleaned from the poll telling of why Hillary Clinton is so remiss in blaming Donald J. Trump for her not being President:

  • Hillary is now viewed favorably just 39 percent by Americans;
  • Always viewed as polarizing, she’s lost popularity among those who voted for her in November;
  • More than a fifth of Clinton voters said they had an unfavorable view of her, compared to 8 percent in the Bloomberg poll just before the election (only 6 percent of Trump voters view him unfavorably);
  • Discontent with Hillary Clinton continues to grow though she has stayed out of the spotlight;
  • The discontent does not transfer to all Democrats as numbers for other Democrats are good;
  • Clinton voters “denied that their negative feelings about her had anything to do with her losing the election, and, therefore, helping Trump move into the White House;”
  • Many Clinton voters voiced the wish that Senator Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic nominee, with a much better story to tell voters;
  • An independent voter (leaning Democratic) found Sanders more likeable, but believed Clinton was only one of a lot of factors that fed into Trump becoming President;
  • Many Clinton voters said they never liked Clinton and only voted for her because she was the lesser of two bad choices;
  • One twenty-nine year old California voter did not feel Hillary Clinton was authentic or genuine, and she was hard to like; and
  • Clinton suffers from gender and racial gaps.

   For those folks who love the numbers:  The Bloomberg National Poll tallied 35 percent of men hold a favorable view of her compared to 43 percent of women; 32 percent of whites like her while 51 percent of non-whites do.

Hillary Clinton has shown her real character (or lack of) since the election in the vast number of people she blames for her loss, from staff, supporters, donors – anyone seemed to be in for a dose of blame. Does it need to be pointed out, in view of what the Bloomberg National Poll revealed from those who voted for Clinton? Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be totally clueless in knowing her own self, and is just another one of those who believes she was entitled to the office, regardless.

The column from the writer’s archives referenced in last week’s column follows. 

October 5, 2015


It is a safe “bet” that all those reading this edition would assess Hollywood as a place of make believe. The fact is, it is responsible for far too much of the ordinary American's beliefs about a whole host of ideas – the macho man, women of faint resolve, the American Indian chiefs and warriors, the American Indian medicine man (in reality, the majority of the medicine/healers were women).

Reams could be written about the miss-impressions and downright erroneous impressions Hollywood has created and left in place for so long as to be on the books as the truth.

Last week's edition introduced an organization, Women Waging Peace. The mission for the organization is based on this premise:  “Sustainable peace requires the full participation of women at all stages of the conflict transformation process – yet they have been largely excluded from efforts to develop or implement fresh, workable solutions to seemingly intractable struggle.” [Note, all information in today's edition was provided by the Women Waging Peace organization.]

As Women Waging Peace has gained strength and recognition, goals from its founding days have been fine tuned and grown decidedly more focused:

  • identify examples of women peace builders around the globe;
  • support the work of those women through a web-based network, connecting them to a wide universe of resources, including each other's strategic expertise;
  • produce a substantial and analytical body of information about women's contributions to peace processes that makes a more compelling case for the inclusion of women and gender perspectives in peace processes; and
  • use the resulting body of research to encourage policy makers to redesign the public policy paradigm and support the innovative efforts of women promoting regional stability.

   What is overlooked in the decades-long mentality that the military and war is always the only answer is that “women bring a unique perspective to formal and informal peace processes.”

Women Waging Peace had identified a number of reasons why the involvements of women in “conflict prevention, stopping war and the stabilization of regions impacted by warfare are essential for these reasons”:

  • Women are adept at bridging ethnic, religious, political and cultural divides;
  • Women have their fingers on the pulse of the community;
  • Women are community leaders with and without formal authority;
  • Women are highly invested in preventing, stopping and recovering from conflict;

Why women are adept at bridging ethnic, religious, political and cultural divides:

  • Social science research supports the impression of women as generally more collaborative than men and thus more inclined toward consensus and compromise.
  • Women often use their role as mothers to cut across international borders and internal divides.
  • Every effort to bridge divides, even if initially unsuccessful, has value both in lessons learned and establishment of connections to be built on later.
  • “Women focused on mutual concerns and shared vision enabled the dialogue to continue and trust to be rekindled” during Northern Ireland talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement when male negotiators walked but women stayed.
  • Two women's organizations – Israeli Bat Shalom and Palestinian Jerusalem Center for Women “work together from both sides of the conflict to affect public opinion and convey a joint vision for a just peace.”
  • Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan voiced his recognition for the role women have played:  “For generations, women have served as peace educators, both in their families and in their societies. They have proved instrumental in building bridges rather than walls.”

Why women have their fingers on the pulse of the community:

  • Living and working close to the roots of conflict, they are well positioned to provide essential information about activities leading up to armed conflict and to record events during war, including gathering evidence at scenes of atrocities.
  • Women also play a critical role in mobilizing their communities to begin the process or reconciliation and rebuilding once hostilities end.
  • Sudanese women were successful in organizing a summit between the Dinka and Neur peoples, resulting in a covenant between the tribes on key points of disagreement whereby the tribes “agreed to share rights to water, fishing and grazing land.”
  • Women in Kosovo have been recognized for collecting evidence at sites of massacres and atrocities. Vjosa Dobruna, because of her work in the horrendous events, was targeted by the Serb special police. Dobruna was later one of three women appointed to the United Nations' Joint Interim Administrative Structure of Kosovo as minister for democracy building and civil society.
  • Helen Jackson, Labor Minister from Sheffield, England, stated, “The official political echelons seem to get bogged down in the old historical issues. The women in the community feel that their housing, education and childcare are the important things.”

Why women are community leaders, with and without formal authority:

  • Women have a right and a responsibility to be an integral part of the peace process.
  • Women frequently outnumber men, particularly after a conflict.
  • Women often drive the on-the-ground implementation of any peace agreement.
  • Women are often at the center of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), popular protests, electoral referendums and other citizen-empowering movements whose influence has grown with the global spread of democracy.
  • Marta Segura, Executive Director of the Colombian Confederation of Non-Governmental Organizations, has represented the NGO community in peace talks, most significantly as a promoter of the Programmatic Agreement for Peace, signed by the 1200 members of the Confederation, international agencies and the government.
  • Nanda Pok is leading efforts to promote women's participation in the political process as Cambodia recovers from the killing fields of Pol Pot. Her organization, Women for Prosperity, has trained over 5 ,000 women to hold political office, including 64 percent of the women elected to local Commune Councils in February 2002.

Why women are highly invested in preventing, stopping and recovering from conflict:

  • Women are  motivated to protect their children and ensure security for their families.
  • Women watch as their sons and husbands are taken as combatants or prisoners of war, many not returning.
  • War leaves women to care for the remaining children and elderly population.
  • Women are often targeted as when rape is used as a tactic of war to humiliate the enemy and terrorize the population.
  • Women generally refuse to give up the pursuit of peace despite or because of the harsh experiences of so many who survive violent conflict.
  • Former Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic opined that “if we'd had women around the table, there would have been no war; women think long and hard before they send their children out to kill other people's children.”
  • Sri Lankan women founded Parents of Servicemen Missing-in-Action in Sri Lanka in effort to gain freedom of suspected LTTE soldiers and civilians. The LTTE was the most notorious terrorist organization during the Sri Lanka Civil War (1983-2009), and was responsible for the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (1992) and Sri Lankan President Ranasingh Premadasa (1993).

   As the reader may have realized, the American media provides virtually none of these peacebuilding efforts by women around the world.

Far too many Americans accept the image of and way of life of the American Indians as portrayed by Hollywood, but Hollywood has never gotten around to portrayal of the women's importance in tribal decisions involving birth, life and death, or the matriarchal tendencies that most tribes trace lineage through the mother and not the father.

Women are responsible for all the movement of the tribe from summer to winter grounds and winter to summer grounds. The old way was for children to be with their mother for the first six years of their life, teaching the young Indian child everything they should know to start walking, talking and teaching of the tribe's language. Then training was turned over to uncles for training, but never to the father because that was too personal.

Women were also responsible for passing down certain instructions and teachings necessary for the survival of children and to protect their inheritance for generations to come.

For all these reasons, does there need to be any further explanation as to why the white man's forced removal of young Indian children to boarding schools hundreds or thousands of miles away from the tribes was the most destructive event in destroying the American Indian way of life?

What would it mean to have a “Madam President?” No doubt, America's military would find itself with a new focus once the Commander-in-Chief is a woman. A college dean once told me, “women don't have the skills and discipline men learn in the military.”

No doubt there would be no chance of another Vietnam, a war that to this day, no one can give a lucid reason for, but where an estimated 40,934 U. S. soldiers were killed in action, and there were another 18,220 casualties who were maimed and mutilated, are now homeless and unemployed, and receive no or deplorable level of care from the U.S. Veterans Administration.

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at