Hillary Clinton received a medal from Harvard University on Friday and announced that we are experiencing a “crisis in our democracy.” The former First Lady and presidential candidate was given the Radcliffe Medal in recognition of her service to the country. The medal is awarded annually to those who Harvard decides have had a “transformative impact on society.”
A press release said that Harvard chose Clinton because she is “a human rights champion” and also a “skilled legislator and advocate of American leadership on the world stage.”
In her acceptance speech Clinton didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name did criticize what’s going on at the White House. She said that our current leaders seek to polarize the nation, delegitimize news outlets and spread fake news.
“Attempting to erase the line between fact and fiction, truth and reality is a core feature of authoritarianism,” Clinton said. “Right now we are living through a crisis in our democracy. There are certainly not tanks in the street but what is happening today goes to the heart of who we are as a nation.”
“I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election, but an American afraid of losing a country,” she added.
To fight what is happening, Clinton said we need “democratic resilience.” “It’s not easy to wade back into the fight, but that is what we must do,” she said.
She also called for empathy between people across political divides.
“I am optimistic about the future, because of how unbelievably tough we are proving to be,” Clinton said. She mentioned the Parkland, Florida students as an example of an activist movement that gave her hope as they have fought to take on the NRA and Fox News.
She also expressed her concerns that both Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting are now “delivering propaganda.” We need “more outlets for reliable information,” she said. “It’s not just Fox, it’s now Sinclair. They are essentially delivering propaganda. … We need more outlets for reliable information,” Clinton added.
“Waging a war on the rule of law and a free press, delegitimizing elections, perpetuating corruption, rejecting the idea that our leaders should be public servants, undermining our national unity, and attacking truth and reason — these should alarm us all, whether we’re Republicans, Democrats, independents, vegetarians, whoever we might be,” she said.
One thing that Clinton’s speech did was show the great contrast between her and the current occupant of the White House. Her loss to Donald Trump in 2016 was a tragedy for our country, and we can only hope that Americans now listen to what she is saying.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.