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Hillary, Hillary

You watch out for the kid in me

Done your share for the schools

That’s something that they forget of thee

Some of them are the ones who suffer from trickery

Of misinformation from sites screaming “click on me”

And you were Miss Information with rhetoric based on facts

Building Legos with logos and the utmost tact

Your claim to the name is forty years in the making

Cross both sides of the line of female expectations

The dualities for sure gained you the most distrust

That’s why “the bros” stating go Bernie or Bust

Combined w/ the fact that you seem so walled off

Intimidate to the point you make his wall look soft

But those of us who know you can say she listens

He say she fight, but he dis missus?

She’s fought these fights w/ reputation at stake

Reinvented the phrase to make it AND break

The glass ceiling done and sky is the limit

There was no doubt in our minds with the election she’d win it

But how’ve you got a candidate shrouded in lies

And when she don’t win it’s a big surprise

What you see is what you believe and what you choose to read is what you perceive

so a heart bleed is what you’ll receive

Here’s antithesis for ya

She was ready for a nation wasn’t ready for her

And for that reason, we could wind up poorer

But me? I can’t stand the horror

To see celebrity triumph over resume material

With a promise that it’s hearing you

But what will she deliver based on what she hears

When all I hear’s a ringing all up in my ears

Let it be clear this election about trust building

and Trump Towers, well that’s Trump Building

Built on trust, at least from his daddy

and this whole election, she wanted it badly

She put in the work ritually

I attribute success to her constituency.

 

~wordsofthewall, 2016

 

Throughout the semester, my colleagues and I have become well-versed on Hillary Clinton’s legacy. While I have written many a traditional academic paper and am growing into the habit of drafting lesson plans, I found it fitting to write a rap/poem as my final project for several reasons. One reason is that the medium of rap/poetry allows for more creative plays on language as opposed to simply writing in an academic format which does not. This allows the author to create lyrics that generate interest in ways that simple analysis does not (‘Legos with logos’ is just not something that would come up in conventional English discourse).

Additionally, the annotation format allows me to really hone in on the creative element behind each verse while relating them to course readings. In this way, I was able to synthesize information from throughout the course and engage in a continuous dialogue with classmates’ posts, assignments and comments made throughout  the semester.

One of the common threads of thought that I enjoyed engaging in pertained to our expectations for her winning the election. “There was no doubt in our minds” that Hillary has many achievements that make her qualified for the office. By losing, it gave me and classmates reason to explore what led to her losing the election. This stirred an unexpected feeling of frustration: “how’ve you got a candidate shrouded in lies?”

This was an election filled with tensions and it didn’t necessarily end how we all hoped. At the same time, it is important to find some kind of positive spin to put on the results hence why I capitalized on Rachel’s comment. By losing, Hillary’s call for America to stand stronger together has never been more powerful and to me, that unification behind a woman in power does constitute success as referenced in the last line.

In case you can’t read my annotations via Hypothes.is, I will post them in the order they appear in below

 

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Trip down Hillary Lane

The title was inspired by akreichman who compared my rap/poem to a tour guide throughout the legacy of Hillary Clinton as studied by our class this semester. The name ‘Trip down Hillary Lane’ is a slight modification to a popular underground hip-hop song by Nas, Memory Lane. Nas is a story-teller with mastery in contextual, subject-focused rap and this song is very much in the context around and subject of Clinton.

kid in me

Hillary is frequently credited with serving the best interests of middle class families. In the linked article, Hillary is credited with getting a universal health care bill enacted that has since enrolled 8.4 million children.

for the schools
The title of the hyperlinked article is “Clinton Calls for More Education for Women and Girls.” In the article, she is advocating for the benefits of education and speaking out against how other countries deny women access to education. A similar sentiment is shared in her speech in Beijing on “Women’s/Human’s Rights.

trickery Of misinformation

According to this article, Facebook propagates news feed that satisfies an algorithm based on engagement. This causes a greater visibility to articles that have attention-grabbing titles as opposed to ones that are grounded in facts.

Miss Information

A play on “misinformation” in the previous line and an analogy to the film “Miss Representation” which describes the paucity of female representatives in the political spectrum. In this case, Hillary’s title is fashioned in the same sense as her spoken rhetoric is; her speeches are based in information and fact.

Legos with logos

Logos is defined as any type of reasoning or logic based evidence meant to persuade an audience. As pmurphy54 aptly notes, Hillary constructed a logos during her campaign that stood in stark contrast to that of Donald Trump: “America is still a strong nation that is not being torn apart by fear and hatred, and that America (with Hillary at the helm) will become a success that rivals a bygone era of American success.”

forty years in the making

Although Hillary’s time in office and political seats is closer to thirty, I trace her qualifications for office back to her speech at Wellesley College where she confronts a political institution that does not serve the student body, an act of social activism and a “breakout moment” in her legacy.

dualities

Hillary Clinton is frequently interpollated as someone who panders to her audience in order to gain leverage with her audience. Onlookers frequently find these acts transparent and not genuine. The linked article discusses how the opposition charges her with being a “carpetbagger” and claiming loyalty to the Yankees when in New York despite being a lifelong Cubs fan.

Bernie or Bust

The linked article comes from Isaac Saul before he renounced his disapproval of Hillary Clinton. In the article, Saul mentions how Hillary has adopted Sander’s far left line of rhetoric after seeing how well it worked for him and the lack of consistency damages her credibility.

walled off

Hailing from the intimate Humans of New York database, this quote describes how Hillary has had to wall herself off in order to defend against misogyny and patriarchy. Despite this sound strategy, it creates an image for Hillary where she is unable to open herself up to Americans, a trait that has caused onlookers to approach her with suspicion.

Intimidate

A satirical piece that pokes fun at the image of Hillary as a stoic politician; in the clip, she shows up with bodyguards and responds to Zach’s humor by quickly shutting it down with sternly-spoken quips or silence.

she listens

This article details the consistency in responses from members of Clinton’s campaign trail about what they notice from Hillary: she listens. It’s an admirable trait and one that makes for a more open conversation but it’s disconcerting that her most likable trait is something that doesn’t come across while she is campaigning.

reputation at stake

As wife to Bill Clinton as candidate for Arkansas governor, Hillary had to modify how she presented herself in order to help him get elected. Making slight alterations without truly compromising her personality was the fight whilst the reputation of her husband and herself were on the line.

break The glass ceiling

The glass ceiling is defined as something of a barrier especially for women. To some extent, Hillary did not break the glass ceiling because she lost the election, however, she won the female vote as well as the popular vote. To this end, Hillary triumphed over a major political hurdle that has affected women in American politics since its inception.

no doubt in our minds with the election she’d win it

rgelmonser shares a common sentiment: “My intersectionality mixes well with a Clinton administration. That I assumed the same was true for all American women was, in retrospect, naive.” Not only did we expect Clinton to win, we thought there was no way she could lose and in reflection, perhaps her appeal simply wasn’t strong enough.

What you see is what you believe

juliacanzoneri makes a strong point in arguing that “social media has revolutionized political rhetoric and the way in which political analysis is conducted by journalists and constituents alike.” Because social media has become so prevalent, it’s the first form of news that many who are out of the political loop rely on (being a newspaper distributor in NYC has likely never been a more arduous task).

antithesis

Antithesis: Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure)

resume material

In his apology to Clinton, Saul hails Clinton as “the most qualified person to ever run for president.” Among the accolades he mentions as qualifications are her role as secretary of state, U.S. senator, first lady in the White House/Arkansas and a law professor.

hearing you

After winning the Democratic primary race, Hillary told her audience, “So many of you feel like you are out there on your own, like no-one has your back. Well I do. I hear you, I see you, and as your president, I will always have your back.” This is an important appeal to make given the timing as many Bernie supporters likely felt betrayed by her victory. Strategically, Hillary goes on to congratulate Sanders on his campaign for bringing common issues to the political forefront. By appealing to Sanders supporters, Hillary is attempting to reconcile differences within the party while also making herself seem more relatable.

all I hear’s a ringing

Ironically, in the same speech where Hillary says she “hears you,” the crowd is roaring a shrill cheer that Hillary fails to talk over. This has proved consistently problematic when trying to view her speeches at large venues as I end up having to sit through a lot of dead-time. Her failure at establishing her dominance over the crowd’s roars versus Trump or Palin who feed off of applause naturally without letting it interrupting them makes Hillary seem weak and ill-versed in public speaking by comparison.

trust building

Hillary concedes her difficulty at creating an identity for herself that voters can latch on to as there is hardly a precedent set for the type of behavior expected for female politicians much less those running for president.

she wanted it badly

In reflecting on her campaign in the concession speech, Hillary confesses, “This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I’m sorry that we did not win this election.” There is no mistake that Hillary put in work on multiple fronts not just at campaigning but also at fashioning an identity for how a female candidate for president of the United States should present herself and in many respects, she did so with candor and grace despite the limitation.

success

It’s easy to fall into the mindset of defeat, especially moments after the president was announced, but one of the most encouraging comments I heard this semester came from Rachel during our post-election seminar. Her comment in the open thread resembles what she said during the seminar and although this was not the outcome we expected, we can still fashion it as a teachable moment and an opportunity to embody Hillary’s campaign slogan and stand stronger together.

wordsofthewall

the wall is actually an abbreviated version of my full name but another fascinating subject of this election cycle was on “the wall.” Now I won’t be so pompous as to say that my posts this semester reflected some voicing back of Donald Trump’s hopefully hypothetical construction but I will say that a wall exists in this country that polarizes candidates, parties and voters and on both sides of this wall, we in the United States need to come together in order to ensure the prosperity of our nation and its people.

For more great Hillary Clinton themed music, be sure to check out my classmate petscort’s “Talking Hillary Blues” (The Basement Tapes).

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