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What is Hillary Clinton’s Legacy to this Nation? Essay Example

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Certainly, historically politicians will be judged according to their contributions to the nation, that is to say, the initiatives and policies they proposed and advanced, as well as the ideological world-view that they perpetuated. Nevertheless, certain politicians, also carry a significance simply because they were successful in politics: this is because such politicians represent a minority in society and therefore their very appointments in politics becomes an event. Arguably, this is the legacy of Hillary Clinton in American politics: she can be considered to be the most influential and successful female politician in U.S. history.

Clinton’s legacy is therefore in breaking down some of the consistent “patriarchal” hierarchies in American politics. This began with her position as a traditional U.S. Presidential First Lady, with her activities in health care form; however, other First Ladies have been socially and politically engaged. In this regard, Clinton becomes significant in so far as she was not merely reduced to a patriarchal understanding of the position of First Lady: she used this platform to build up her own legitimacy, propelling herself into a legitimate Presidential Candidate in 2008 and then eventually becoming U.S. Secretary of State. Whereas she was ultimately unsuccessful in her presidential bid, her presence as a candidate for the Democratic party marked a radical shift in how gender was conceived in the realm of politics: arguably, that Clinton’s chief opponent in the Democratic primaries was Barrack Obama, himself a minority, showed that a shift had occurred in American political consciousness regarding political representation, a shift that itself reflects the diversity of American life.

Clinton’s decisions as a politician and first lady perhaps can come under fire, for example, the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya in 2011: nevertheless, all politicians have such controversial policy decisions. Rather, Clinton should be thought in more symbolic terms, representing a radical rupture in U.S. politics in terms of her contributions to help erode a stratified and patriarchal U.S. political system.

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