Politics & Policy

Are You There, Hillary? It’s Me, a Middle-Class Millennial Female

I have some questions.

First off, I know your name is “Hillary Clinton,” so please excuse my blatant sexism in calling you by only your first name. You may call me Katherine or even Kat if you want.

As someone who has had her own appearance scrutinized on the Internet, I must say that I find the “hair icon” and “pantsuit aficionado” descriptions in your Twitter bio to be very funny and smart, and whoever it is on your branding/social-media team that came up with those deserves a lot of credit. Women are certainly treated very differently in a lot of ways that aren’t fair, and that’s an important issue to discuss — but not so important that it should be used as a way to avoid discussing anything else.

For example: I cannot help but notice that you seem to be trying to paint yourself as a champion of criminal-justice reform. In a speech last week at Columbia University, you announced that it’s “time to end the era of mass incarceration.”

You basically said that it sucks that so many people are in prison — away from their mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and children and all of the plans that they may have had for their own lives — because “keeping them behind bars does little to reduce crime. But it does a lot to tear apart families and communities.”

You made sure everyone knew that this “tough on crime” approach wasn’t just your husband’s — it was yours, too.

Now, I do agree with that statement — and I don’t mean to be all judgies or whatever — but I gotta say I was pretty surprised to hear it coming from you. After all, your record seems to suggest that you do think that locking people up is the answer. During your time as First Lady, while Bill was enacting policies that provided funding to build more prisons and pushed states to adopt harsher sentencing laws, you cheered him on.

You made sure everyone knew that this “tough on crime” approach wasn’t just your husband’s — it was yours, too. During a speech in 1994, you said we need “more prisons” (why would you want more if you thought they did “little to reduce crime”?) and “more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders” (people like Freddie Gray, whose plight you now suddenly seem to sympathize with).

#related#You also decried the fact that our legal system is “stacked against those who have the least power.” I thought this was interesting. After all, you’ve faced plenty of accusations of criminal activity yourself. Are you offering up the team that helped you through Benghazi and E-mailgate to help the next young black man who gets the book thrown at him for a drug offense in Baltimore? Or are you offering to face your next scandal with a public defender? What would make it fair? What do you propose?

Oh, one more thing. You also talked about wanting body cameras for police to record their every move, for the sake of “transparency and accountability.” I love this idea. Imagine being able to watch every single move that these officers make just to make sure that the people we trust with so much are serving us the way that they promised they would. Honestly, transparency sounds wonderful to me and to so many in my generation who are fed up with finding out that politician after politician has been lying to us and keeping secrets. I have to ask, though, if you want cops to turn over camera footage of every single moment of their shifts, why did you turn over only some of your e-mails from your time as secretary of state? What is the difference? After all, there must be one — I know how strong of an advocate you are for people just like me.

In Middle-Class Womanhood,

Katherine Timpf

Brooklyn, N.Y.

P.S. You said in your announcement video that “everyday Americans need a champion” and that you “want to be that champion.” So, can I borrow $20? I went over on my data plan this month. Of course, I do remember that you said you and Bill were “dead broke” after he left the White House so if you don’t have any extra, I totally understand.


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