Hillary Clinton while Arkansas's First Lady

My mother-in-law called yesterday to chat.  Sue will be 90 in about a month, and is blind, deaf and bedridden in a nursing home.  I overheard the conversation as my wife struggled to talk with her, having to repeat every sentence.  This is unfortunate because Sue is still “with it”.  She lives half a continent away where our niece visits her regularly and takes care of the day-to-day chores like washing her clothes.

Because of Sue’s sensory deprivations she misses most of what is going on.  She has a T.V. and to protect her roommate from a deafening television we got her hearing aids with Bluetooth capabilities and tuned her hearing aids to her television, but she can’t see the remote and doesn’t seem to want to “fool with all of that.”  Consequently, she lives mostly in her head, worrying about things that don’t need to be worried about, or for which there is no solution.

So, during the conversation she found that there had been a Democratic Convention.  Lynn told her that the convention was rated, even by conservatives and Republicans as one of the best in modern history.  And then Lynn dropped the bomb, “Hillary got the nomination for President.”  Sue was so excited.  Being an Arkansan she voted for Bill every time he ran; the six times he ran for governor (five times with success), and twice for President.

It may be hard to understand, but people in Arkansas have always referred to the Clinton’s as Bill and Hillary.  Those who like them think of them as friends.  They have never had any illusions about them.  They’ve always known about Bill’s indiscretions.  They have had an affection for him in the way you might love your funny, smart uncle who drinks too much.

Sue worked in a factory for years. She isn’t particularly political, but she is staunchly pro-labor and has always voted a progressive ticket.  She then wanted to know how she could vote.  “I’ve always voted, in every election since I was old enough, and I want to vote this time for Hillary.” There is probably no way, unless she can register and vote in absentia.

In the last election she was still taking care of herself, and got someone to take her to the polls, but she has a new address and can only get out of bed to a wheelchair.

The wheelchair belongs to the nursing home.  Personal belongings are very limited and you can’t have your own wheelchair.  Somehow, one of the footrests got lost from the one she uses and she has to prop one foot on the other to go to the facility’s beauty shop.  About six months ago her right foot fell off the left as the aide turned into the beauty shop and one of her toenails was torn partially off.  It is a credit to her determination that she still got her hair done.  A few days later the podiatrist came and removed her nail.

So, Sue and Lynn joked about the process of getting her registered, into a wheelchair and then into the polling booth as the aides tore her remaining toenails off. 

She was serious though.  She really likes Hillary, realizes the historical significance of having a woman nominee, and would like to see another Clinton in the White House. It will be the first election in which she has stayed at home, and she really wants to vote for her friend.

Views: 77

Comment by koshersalaami on July 30, 2016 at 8:04am
Arkansas doesn't have that many people, so much so that in the '92 election Ross Perot said Bill Clinton had never run anything big.
Comment by Rodney Roe on July 30, 2016 at 8:21am

That's true, and for the same reason most of us in Arkansas met one or both of the Clinton's while they were there.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 30, 2016 at 8:34am

Rodney, I'm not sure but the nursing home should have the paperwork so that their clients can register to vote and cast their vote by mail-in ballot.  If she needs assistance, affidavits may be required, but there's no reason that Sue should have to physically go to an office to change her registration (Registered voters can do that on line here in California.)  Certainly no reason for Sue to go to a polling place to cast her vote, unless, of course, she wants to.  I can see that.

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 30, 2016 at 8:53am

I'm not sure about the voting laws in Arkansas, but I think it is doable, as well.  She is going to talk to her charge nurse about it.

Comment by Zanelle on July 30, 2016 at 10:45am

As an activity director in a nursing home for many years I helped all kinds of people vote.  Its easy to do.  

This writing is soooooooo good.  I love her attitude about the Clintons.  My mother hated them.  She was from a small town in Indiana and wanted to get away from everything that represented.  The Clintons were corrupt as far as she was concerned.  It would have blown her mind to see Hillary elected.  Democrats spend too much money, she said.  

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 30, 2016 at 11:45am

Zanelle, my father was a Libertarian who voted Republican.  I'm one of the few liberals in the family.  He would be having a fit now.  He died i 1988 before Clinton ran for president, but I'm sure that he NEVER voted for Bill.  They had a different mindset, your mother and my father.  "Tax and spend liberals", they would say.

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 30, 2016 at 11:55am

And, Zanelle, thanks for your compliment and the information about getting her able to vote.


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