Speak (Freely) Hillary!

I think that Hillary Clinton was a good Secretary of State. Bill Clinton was a good president. Although, I had my ups and downs with him when his judgment complicated administering the nation’s business. Hillary might be a good president, but I have no idea of what she wants to accomplish, if elected.

Clearly, nostalgia for the good times we experienced during her husband’s presidency constitutes part of the support Hillary retains in seeking the presidency. It will take more than that to win. Goodwill has limits. With 16 years transpiring—from the end of the Bill Clinton presidency until the next president takes office—as well as a continuous war, massive surveillance of us all, the imprisonment of journalists reporting to us about government transgressions, an economic collapse and ever-widening wealth disparities, Americans want a LEADER who will address matters like these and the best interests of the mass of voters, not only rich people.

Increasing numbers of us are saying “Hillary, we want to hear your vision, clearly and directly,” certainly as clearly as we hear it from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Leadership means presenting a vision of what you will do, not avoiding questions as you campaign. At some point, if Hillary continues to avoid declaring any commitments, she will slip away—and should.

The Clintons know how to speak. Last year they took home about $30 million for speaking 100 times between them. The problem is that those paid speeches were mostly off the record to private audiences. Moreover, the largest fee—$700,000 for one speech by Bill—obviously was not paid only because he is a good speaker. I imagine even the Rolling Stones would be thrilled to receive $700,000 for a 20-minute gig, as Bill did.

By most accounts, Hillary is a rather wooden speaker. Yet even she regularly asked for and received $300,000 per speech. It is an open secret that the money is paid because of who they are, not because of what they say or how they deliver what they say. Thus, it is fair to expect Hillary to explain her plans if elected, in some specificity. It continues to gnaw at many of us, that the Clinton empire seems more focused on enhancing their vast fortune, with the help of rich people—who a new president should challenge on our behalf.

I have no problem per se with private citizen Clinton getting rich through speaking. But if she wants our votes, she should speak to us freely, as well.

Now is the time to tell us all what she thinks. Hillary, do it because you are driven to do good things and you know that your words will garner support. We know Hillary can speak when paid lots of money. Now is the time to speak freely. If she remains silent, unless paid, we will be forced to seek out louder voices that respect our right to freely know what we are committing our votes to.