Hillary and the Rumpelstiltskin Effect

I would like to think that most people know the tale of Rumpelstiltskin – the little elf who was able to spin straw into gold – and used that skill to gain further riches.

On her book tour/exploratory campaign Mrs. Clinton appears to be channeling her “inner Rumplestiltskin.”

I had the displeasure today of reading and listening to her accounts of how she and the former president left the White House “broke”.

Sweetie – many Americans have been broke and you have no idea what broke looks like.

Broke is having to choose between a mammogram and rent.

Broke is realizing that your family cannot afford the medications than an elderly parent requires.

Broke is having to choose between tuition and groceries.

Broke is paying the electric bill one month, and the gas bill the other, in hopes that both don’t get shut off.

Broke is working nights as a nanny, and days cleaning houses, and still raising your own kids.

Broke is waking up at 2 AM night after night wondering how you will keep the house of cards balanced, buy your children clothes, and whether you can sweet talk the landlord into another week.

Hillary, like Rumplestiltskin, was armed with the knowledge that she could spin straw into gold. That she could make $10 million dollars through a lecture circuit, and millions from a book. While I am sure it was quite unpleasant to have $4 million in legal bills, that is quite different than not knowing if you could EVER get out of the debt hole – NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU WORK. American salaries are flat, and the cost of living is outpacing salary growth for all but the rich. I am not convinced she or any American politician has a handle on the psychology of helplessness, of hopelessness, of uncertainty, and of the myth of meritocracy that has thrown American families under the bus with the falsehood that hard work can allow a family to sustain (forget about flourish). 24/7 of not knowing where the money is going to come from can take years off of your life.

Mrs. Clinton insulted working families, middle class families who can’t afford to purchase one home, let alone multiple homes. Who are one divorce, one layoff, one illness from ruin. Who, even in the midst of ACA, can’t afford healthcare. Couldn’t fathom affording college for a child. Most of us don’t get to go to bed at night knowing that we can do a day’s work and make a hundred grand. Most of us are not confident that we can fix our financial crises. Really being broke means NOT knowing, and the not knowing is what breaks us. Most of us cannot spin straw into gold. Most of us, frankly, are simply running out of straw.

I believe that most Americans now realize that their elected leaders are wealthy 1%ers, who MAYBE once upon a time MAY have come from hardscrabble origins, but who by and large lost touch with the rest of us long ago. It costs too much to get elected, ergo the Faustian bargains with Hollywood rich folk, special interests, and big donors of all stripes. No candidate can afford to fight for the middle class and the working poor. They would piss off too many big donors who find poverty to be a troubling artifact of our sociopathic economy. So perhaps the best we can hope for is a candidate who will get into bed with FEWER special interests and big donors, leaving a little hope for the rest of us.

Ironically, at the end, Rumpelstiltskin overspun, went to the well too many times, and when he asked for the ultimate prize for all his gold spinning, he ended being destroyed. She should heed the cautionary tale.

I respect Mrs. Clinton and believe she would make a terrific president, but girlfriend needs a reality check. I would personally be more likely to ask her for advice on how to deal with a cheating boyfriend than on how to make ends meet. As a woman, I am glad to see how far she went, as a struggling college professor, I don’t want her to pretend to understand my struggle or the struggles of those with far less than me. It trivializes the struggles of real people.
Keep it real – it’s crowded here at the bottom, don’t join us, just fix it.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 at 2:22 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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