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October 24, 2016     West Seattle Herald
Amanda's View: Champion
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October 24, 2016

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Amanda's View: Champion | West Seattle Herald / White Center News Skip to Main Content Area Monday, October 24, 2016 | Broken clouds, 53.6 °F search Letters Sign in Subscribe Contact Us Front Page News Features Sports Opinion Police Blotter SLIDESHOW: Fauntleroy Fall Festival 2016 was fun for all The 2016 Fauntleroy Fall Festival on Oct. 23 offered its usual ... Will we see homeless campers in our parks? Rancorous City Council meeting airs the issues By Shane Harms The issue of homelessness in Seattle has been ... Westside-O-Rama West Seattle Entertainment Guide Admiral Theater 2343 California Ave. S.W. 938-3456 Movie ... West Side Snow Report 10-16-16 By Greg Whittaker We live in a magical place to explore if you ... Police Blotter Week of 10-17-16 Road rage on 16 Ave SW Police struggled to find the victim of ... Opinion Amanda's View: Champion Amanda's View: Photo Sphere OP-ED: Time for some adult supervision at City Hall Amanda's View: Costumes Amanda's View: International Wrongful Conviction Day Amanda's View: Party Amanda's View: Ritual Amanda's View: At the intersection of normalcy and public-figure-hood Amanda's View: Renaissance Faire Amanda's View: And for my next tattoo… Amanda's View: Winning back Sylvia Amanda's View: Hurts to hear Amanda's View: Moving out, moving on Amanda's View: Are we leeches? Amanda's View: What was lost Amanda's View: Unity OP-ED: We must have a Police Observer's Bill of Rights Amanda's View: Doctor Who, paradox, and PTSD Amanda's View: Photographing Women: Waters, Reds, Writings, Wraps Amanda's View: Photographing Women: Taking the plunge Part 2 Amanda's View: The Stanford rape case: redirecting focus Amanda's View: Photographing Women: Breaking the Ice Amanda's View: Happy camper Amanda's View: Functional dysfunction Amanda's View: Taking notes on motherhood from the Crystal Gems of Steven Universe Amanda's View: Champion 10/24/2016 updated less than a minute ago By Amanda Knox   A world away, I still heard the stories. My friends wrote me letters. January to June, my childhood best friend was deep in Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign, extolling her virtues to folks who still owned a home phone. Other friends were all about Obama. After years of economic difficulty and military involvement abroad, Obama was a vision of hope and change, the vehicle for progressivism. Not to mention, Obama was also the most eloquent rhetorician and charismatic public speaker EVER, hadn’t a grey hair on his head, and upon earning the Democratic nomination, was the first black man to ever run for president. People were discussing politics over family dinners, in the hallways between class, over rounds of beer pong. They were going on marches and making art. On social media, they cried out “Yes We Can!” and on November 4th, 2008, my friends were dancing in the streets along with the rest of them.   Somehow, I don’t see that happening—especially the dancing in the streets—this November 8th. This presidential election cycle has felt less like a party, and more like a horror show that you can’t look away from. Hillary Clinton is struggling, as always, against the vague but prevailing perception that she offers nothing more than a reinforcement of the dysfunctional, uninspiring, and patronizing status quo. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has succeeded in coming a step away from the most powerful position in the world merely because he is a destabilizing agent. No matter that he is inexperienced, uninformed, and irresponsible (to say the very least). Both candidates seem disturbingly disconnected, in their own ways. Hillary Clinton from the people. Donald Trump from rationality.     I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around what I think about this election, about what it means to me. Unfortunately, the first thing that comes to mind is that this shouldn’t be my first big election. 2008 was exciting and momentous, but I missed out. I was wrongfully imprisoned in Italy. 2012 wasn’t a contest and doesn’t really count. 2016 has been characterized by exasperation and disgust. I feel cheated. In the lull between debates and voting day, I mope and worry, worry and mope.   Except, there’s one thing.   During the last debate, I was reminded of how I learned about abortions—partial birth abortions—in health class at my Catholic high school. We were shown a comic book-like diagram of a “baby” being twisted around in the womb by an “abortionist” who proceeded to “jam scissors into the baby’s skull” and “suck out its brains.” The lesson then concluded with an open discussion of whether or not this was ethical, which, horrified as we 14-year-olds were, wasn’t much of a discussion. Watching the third presidential debate, it was like Donald Trump had taken health class with me, and never looked further into the matter. He didn’t have to.   It’s not the same for women. As soon as we become sexually active, the stakes are real and life-altering. Ignorance about our reproductive health is not an option. Like every woman, I realized that abortion is not as simple as “ripping the baby out of the womb.” In Trump’s world, there is no consideration about the health of the fetus or the mother, or mention that the vast majority of abortions are medically induced before the 20-week-mark, or that surgical late-term abortions are expensive and invasive procedures that both women and medical professionals don’t take lightly. In Trump’s world there’s only black-and-white idealism and the sinister innuendo that anyone can and will get an abortion at any time by any means for any reason—which is simply not true.   In Hillary Clinton’s words, "The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. …I’ve been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear children, like they used to do in Romania. And I can tell you: The government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice." When she said these words in the third debate, Clinton became a champion in my eyes. She demonstrated that while she may not be the obvious and most relatable champion, she’s the champion of nuance, and complexity, and reality. If Obama’s song was a rousing anthem, Clinton’s is a subtle symphony. And Trump, a broken trumpet.   Chris put it another way. “It’s crazy,” he said. “It’ll be an historic moment when Hillary wins. But she doesn’t just have to defeat a man to become the first female President. She has to defeat the Worst Man, the most misogynistic man imaginable.”   I’m feeling less apathetic about this election. It’s not that Clinton has shown herself to be more than just the lesser of two evils. It’s that her impending victory represents the triumph of nuance and poise over prejudice and childishness. And that’s something I can get excited about. We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed. View the discussion thread. Please send us your news tips, photos or ideas of how we can better cover your neighborhood. 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