Hillary Clinton has been denied her place in the Oval Office so she's on the speaking circuit and we sure as hell need her.
At first I was reluctant to watch as it rips open the wounds of the last election - if we can call it that. Perhaps a soft coup is the proper phrase.
Today at the Pen America World Voices Festival in NYC she gave the Freedom To Write Arthur Miller Lecture. This speech is presidential.
She talked of our framers and their commitment to freedom of the press. (She clearly has learned a lot over the decades in public service.)
However, there was more to this speech than just the facts.
There was an undercurrent brewing and I liked it. Watch the speech and you will see what I mean.
She called out Trump, "Today we have a president who seems to reject the role of a free press in our democracy."
She called out the 2016 election, "It was a case study in the weaponization of false information and outright lies against our democracy."
At one point she called out Putin's fear of journalistic freedom and thus his authoritative regime in which he has journalists killed. These murders of reporters are facts and we have known of them for years, yet when Trump praised Putin during the campaign there were several pundits who kept clinging to Hillary's emails in hopes it would bring her down. It was a strange sight to behold.
Democracy is fragile.
Hillary succinctly summed up our current cultural atmosphere in the press by reminding us that we do have great journalists, but we also have a sea of pundits who enabled Trump's rise to the presidency.
They paved his way.
These days have been hard for me, as I am sure you feel the stress, too.
Although today I needed this particular speech. Just yesterday (or was it today) a friend on Facebook asked me who I thought should run for president in 2020.
I declined to answer and suggested a better question. I wrote "How do we, as citizens, get justice for 2016?"
Why that question? Hillary said it best "We are living through an all-out war on truth facts and reason."
This war brought down an American candidate for President.
The electoral college, the Trump campaign, James Comey, and numerous pundits failed America and left us with a charlatan, an authoritarian, a ridiculous man who rejects our values.
Justice for 2016.