Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president on April 12, 2015, a mind-numbing 1 year, 6 months, and 26 days ago. The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election has been one of the longest, most polarized and grueling election cycles ever, culminating in a melodramatic spectacle between neoliberal establishment candidate Hillary Clinton and the sexist, racist, nativist faux populist Donald Trump—whose popularity coincides with the rise of the far right in Western Europe.
The election cycle has not been without hope, nor followed the script of typical US elections. Political polarization in the U.S. has resurrected the specter of dissent and left-wing insurgence, giving power to underdog candidates like Bernie Sanders, a self-defined democratic socialist who is currently the most popular politician in the U.S, and third-party candidate Jill Stein.
2016 has been a notable year for struggle and organizing within social movements, from the continued power of Black Lives Matter organizing and the Movement for Black Lives platform, to the successful Verizon strike, the Fight for 15 movement, the nationwide Prison Strike, and the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests. We will need to continue all of this organizing to fight the incoming President, no matter who he or she is.
Here we collect the past year and a half of blog posts relating to the election.
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Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom were competing to be the next Conservative leader, and the second female prime minister in British history. As news breaks that Leadsom has now dropped out of the race, Ellie Mae O'Hagan shows that their track records on issues that disproportionately affect women and marginalised people rubbish the idea that the Tory party will become more feminist under either of their leaderships. Feminism, she argues, must go hand-in-hand with material policies that focus on collectivism.
Ellie is writer for the Guardian mostly on trade unions, activism, feminism and Latin America. She works with the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, a thinktank focusing on working rights and inequality. She tweets @MissEllieMae
During the contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the nomination for Democratic candidate, MSCNBC journalist Irin Carmon wrote, “The conventional wisdom in 2008 was that Clinton ceded the history-making argument to Obama and should have made more of her gender.” The Clinton campaign more than compensated for this in 2015, almost going so far as to suggest that Democrat voters should make their decision solely on the basis of gender. When asked how she would be different from President Obama, Clinton replied: “Well, I think that’s pretty obvious. Being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we’ve had, including President Obama.”
The belief that to have a woman in the White House, at any cost, should be a primary aim of today’s feminist agenda, has been promulgated by many voices on the feminist left, from Gloria Steinem to Eileen Myles. Over the course of the Clinton campaign, these opinions have been thrown into sharp relief, not only by grassroots movements in opposition to the political legacy of Bill, Hillary, and “the New Democrats,” but a growing chorus of left feminists.