Madam President…Why Hilary Clinton Lost And What She Could Learn From Amma, Didi And Behenji

Posted: November 28, 2016

Hilary Clinton should have been a shoo-in for President. The polls predicted it, the media fawned over her, SNL gave her a thumbs up and she got plenty of help from Trump himself. Why Hilary Clinton lost is still baffling.

A few weeks back I found myself in the US of A watching in utter disbelief as the map of  America turned red. I blushed for Hilary; although with my brown skin it’s a tad difficult, but I blushed just the same. How could this have happened? Was it a gender thing, was it the “vote for anything other than a woman” logic? Did she not appear presidential enough in her pantsuits? Was she smiling too much? Has her husband’s past caused irreparable damage?

I stopped and took my mind out of the gutter. None of my questions actually revolved round her ability to do the job or her experience or the portfolio she handled or even her recent email scandal. Instead, I had automatically zeroed in on many of the parameters society takes into account when calculating a woman’s net worth, namely looks, marital stability and affability. Strangely, President Trump ticks none of these boxes but he still won the race.

Maybe the best candidate won or maybe America got the President she deserved. But still, one cannot help but wonder that if Hilary could not win against Trump, who else could she have won against? Trump was the easiest opponent to tackle; this should have a been a walk in the park, a dance in the rain, a song in the shower etc, etc. Instead, the most experienced presidential candidate got trumped by a rich tycoon with zero experience.

Did people just vote for change or did the thought of a woman heading the ‘most powerful’ nation on earth drive the results? The real mystery here is the backing that Trump got from women despite his many indiscretions and sexist remarks. Of course, a post mortem has been conducted which says that mostly, women without an education voted for Trump since these women are of the opinion that “Others think but Trump lays it all out” and “it’s better to vote for a known devil than an unknown angel”. Whatever be the reason, history will always remember that she was the first woman presidential nominee who lost out to a candidate with less political experience than her little finger.

Closer home, when I look at Amma, Mamata and Mayawati, I noticed some differences with respect to Hilary. None of these women wear pantsuits , smile a lot or have husbands. Most importantly, they never take their opposition for granted and are careful to maintain their larger than life image among their fanatical followers. Hilary could have possibly benefited from some advice from her three Indian sisters – never rest on your brand name or your years of experience nor develop a sense of complacency even when faced with the weakest of adversaries.
You are only as good as your last success!

Roopa Prabhakar describes herself as a mother, a working woman, a closet feminist and writer.

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