The female voice I think Democrats most need to hear

I’ve been thinking that there’s one woman’s voice the Democratic party needs to heed, and it’s not Hillary Clinton. It’s not national party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the NBC News - YouTube Democratic presidential candidates debate in Charleston, South Carolina January 17, 2016. (Randall Hill  | Reuters)

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the NBC News – YouTube Democratic presidential candidates debate in Charleston, South Carolina January 17, 2016. (Randall Hill | Reuters)

The must-hear voice is that of Leslie Shook who recently retired from Boeing.

For years Shook recorded the voice commands heard by F-18 fighter jet pilots. These commands, called “Betty calls,” cover routine aspects of flight as well as more dire, urgent commands intended to help pilots avert disaster.

And, so help me goodness, as the Democratic party moves steadily toward nominating Clinton to run against Donald Trump, all I can hear is Shook’s voice commanding:  “Pull up!  Pull up!”

Maybe someone could hire Shook to record a robot call for Democratic super delegates and voters in states like California who have yet to vote. It could go something like:  Pull up! Pull up! Pull up and please reconsider your choice before the national convention. We’re not talking about crashing one single plane here — we’re talking about the best interests of the entire free world!

Sure, Clinton might and probably should win against Trump in a general election, whether I like her as a candidate or not. I’m not at all confident she can win, though. As “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams observed, Trump is a master of persuasion, and Clinton is anything but. If Clinton were a master of persuasion, she’d be president by now.

Regardless of Trump’s outrageousness, he knows how to fight in ways that are way outside the political norm; and frankly, even within the political norm, Clinton is a weak fighter.

She was unable to decisively eliminate President Obama in 2008. This time the Clinton camp started with 1/5 of the delegates needed to secure the candidacy before the race began; and yet she has been unable to stop the Bernie train in any significant way. Clinton’s lead is by no means decisive, and it’s utter lack of decisiveness — as well as her utter lack of persuasiveness — should give the Democratic party pause.

So far, weak fighters — the Republican field was full of them — haven’t done so well against Trump. (Pull up!  Pull up!)

Trump turned the Republican nomination process into a one man sideshow, and he’s about to try to do the same to the general election and the Democratic party. Trump’s style is fast-paced, ever-changing, and totally random — a seemingly irrational style for a presidential candidate. It is, however, an utterly brilliant, albeit manipulative way to tap in the psyche of some disgruntled voters. Were it a wager situation involving a head to head match up based on fighting style alone — taking politics completely out of it, which Trump has — there’s no way I’d bet on Clinton.

She’s too stilted, too scripted, too status quo, and frankly, too dirty. I dread living through months of Trump regurgitating every political and personal and financial indiscretion of the Clintons. Not that he has any moral ground from which to throw stones, but if stones get thrown and they already are, Trump’s going to be better at it.

Unless he were up against Sanders. How many stones could Trump throw at him? Probably not too many.  Last I knew, they are both for universal, single-payer health care, and the gun owners in Vermont aren’t exactly complaining about Sanders’ representation in the Senate.

As for personal, political, and financial indiscretions, not too many tales of woe seem to be bubbling up around Sanders. Besides offering fewer weak spots for Trump attacks, Sanders’ lack of a murky background might serve to spare us all from what could be a fairly repulsive election cycle. The Republican nomination race got pretty ugly, and there wasn’t even a Clinton involved.

Personally, I’m worried about how Trump will conduct himself when he has two Clintons in his sights on a national stage for months on end. It’s a reality TV star’s dream that will probably be a nightmare for the rest of us and may leave us longing for comparatively mild rhetoric about hand size.

And — I can’t imagine what the rest of the world will be thinking as it unfolds, if it unfolds. (Pull up! Pull up!)

Clinton may get status quo politics, but her strength is now her primary weakness. Trump is tapping into the psyches of voters who are sick of the status quo on the right; the same can be said for Sanders’ relationship with his supporters on the left.

Clinton is tapping into the clout and money that are holding up the status quo, not psyches. If I were Wasserman Schultz, I’d be concerned Clinton’s strength is exactly what significant numbers of voters have been rejecting so far. I’d be concerned that Trump and Sanders have been the ones to change the name of the game Clinton built her strength around, making her the weakest player still standing.

With a possible Trump presidency hanging in the balance, this is no time to crash the Democratic plane in a vain attempt to maintain the status quo. The command should be coming through loud and clear:

Pull Up!


Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.