Hillary Clinton is back, and her remarks at the 2017 Women in the World Summit, the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and Wellesley’s commencement are powerful reminders of what intelligence, competence, knowledge, and compassion look like.
Clinton covered a range of topics in her interview with Nicholas Kristof, who wrote about it in his column here. When asked how she’s been faring since the election, she said, “I will put it this way. As a person I’m OK. As an American, I’m pretty worried.”
As reported by the Independent, Clinton “warned that the proposed 29 per cent cut – approximately $10 billion – to the State Department budget “would be a blow to women and children.”
Global progress depends on the progress of women. I know we’ve seen positive results of that theme being actually implemented ever since the U.N. Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995. But I’m here also to say we are seeing signals of a shift that should alarm us all. This administration’s proposed cuts to international health, development and diplomacy would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake for our country. Some of you may have seen the recent letter from more than 120 retired generals and admirals to Congress and the administration, urging the Congress and the White House not to retreat from these programs, which represent our values. These distinguished men and women who served in uniform recognize that turning our back on diplomacy won’t make our country safer. It will undermine our security and our standing in the world.
As always, Clinton had the goods to back it up, or, as she put it, to enormous cheers and applause: “Here I go again, talking about research, evidence, and facts.”
A full transcript of the speech, from which the above excerpts were taken, may be found here.
Watch the entire speech here:
Vox called Clinton’s commencement address “a scathing Trump roast.”
The Washington Post called it a “remarkably aggressive anti-Trump speech.”
The New York Times headline read: “At Wellesley, Hillary Clinton Criticizes Trump and Invokes Nixon Resignation.”
Here’s an excerpt from the address:
Now if any of you are nervous about what you’ll be walking into when you leave the campus, I know that feeling. I do remember my Commencement. I’d been asked by my classmates to speak. I stayed up all night with my friends, the third floor of Davis, writing and editing my speech. By the time we gathered in the Academic Quad, I was exhausted. My hair was a wreck. The mortarboard made it worse. But I was pretty oblivious to all of that, because what my friends had asked me to do was to talk about our worries, and about our ability and responsibility to do something about them.
We didn’t trust government, authority figures, or really anyone over 30, in large part thanks to years of heavy casualties and dishonest official statements about Vietnam, and deep differences over civil rights and poverty here at home. We were asking urgent questions about whether women, people of color, religious minorities, immigrants, would ever be treated with dignity and respect.
And by the way, we were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice after firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice.
But here’s what I want you to know. We got through that tumultuous time, and once again began to thrive as our society changed laws and opened the circle of opportunity and rights wider and wider for more Americans. We revved up the engines of innovation and imagination. We turned back a tide of intolerance and embraced inclusion. The “we” who did those things were more than those in power who wanted to change course. It was millions of ordinary citizens, especially young people, who voted, marched, and organized.