Hillary Clinton’s recent appearance in Silicon Valley highlighted the culture divide in today’s world. Clinton, as much as Barack Obama did in 2008, represents a culture change for our nation and the globe.
While many Republicans like to couch the terrorist threat in terms of religion, Muslim versus Christian, the real issue is the control of women. Making things more than a little uncomfortable, the two religions have this single issue in common. ISIS terrorists falsely proclaiming Islam as their own, creating a bastardized form of religion that has no relevance in the modern world. And yet they have recruited their 100 percent male membership by promising women, in life and in death, as a reward for service. Not only can these mercenaries rape captured infidels, they can buy, own and abuse “converted” wives, many under the age of 13 years of age.
While the Christian religion, based on biblical teachings, does not overtly support the stoning of women or their sale into bondage in the modern era, it is nonetheless codified in historical doctrines. Rightwing fundamentalists, who also falsely claim Christianity as their own, clearly seek laws that regulate women’s bodies and force them into subservient roles.
Both sides are very clear about their agendas and make no apologies for their beliefs.
But the world is changing, much to the disdain of extremists in both religions. In the United States, fundamentalists are being rejected by the vast majority, and all they have left thin power grabs through artificial democratic constructs. The vast majority of citizens live in urban areas, while more radicalized and narrow-minded minorities can be found seeking shelter in vast rural, gerrymandered areas of the country. It is generally in these places—often gerrymandered to create homogenous demographics—where charismatic religious leaders praise a 2000-year-old bible as the only source of truth in their lives.
The division of voting precincts, states and Constitutional provisions give the religious minority a disproportionate amount of power in our country. The presidency, fortunately, is the only office in the nation that truly reflects the national will of the people. But even that system is flawed as we saw in 2000. Al Gore won the popular vote, regardless of the vote stealing machinations that allowed the state of Florida to oversize its role and choose our national leader.
For ISIS, its structure is simple. Soldiers simply need to follow the orders of the Caliph, the representative of Muhammad on earth, who is currently Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. A godlike figure to his followers, he must live underground as U.S. intelligence and military agencies search for his whereabouts. He will eventually be eliminated, as was Osama Bin Laden and other terrorist leaders. But someone will always step up to take his place until everyone is killed or captured.
The Caliph and ISIS terrorists really aren’t all that upset with western values—except when it comes to the role of women in our society. They like our computers, they use modern vehicles and obviously our weapons—the only thing that really separates us is their savagery and view of women. A free, educated and empowered woman is what they fear most.
For this reason, Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of what the terrorists fear most in western culture. There’s no shortage of irony that most of the opposition to Clinton’s candidacy will come from rightwing Christian zealots who will try to portray her as weak on issues of war—mainly because she is a woman.
But this, in all probability, won’t stop Clinton from winning a national, non-gerrymandered election. The majority of this country—and the world—have moved into the 21st century.