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What Happened- My Book Review

What Happened

 

 

“When the votes were counted, we hoped the symbolic glass ceiling would be shattered forever. I had been thinking about what I wanted to say for a few weeks. My speechwriters Dan Schwerin and Megan Rooney had been working with Jake Sullivan and Jennifer Palmieri on a draft. I knew they also had a draft concession speech under way as well, but I preferred not to think much about that.”- What Happened – Hillary Rodham Clinton

 

 

 

 

 

It was the world’s most watched election and possibly everyone stood breathless when the glass ceiling remained high up and he came from down under and scooped the victory.

What Happened is the story of the aftermath of the 2016 American Election and how Hillary lost. She writes in the Author’s Note: “This is my story of what happened. It’s the story of what I saw, felt, and thought during the two of the most intense years I’ve ever experienced.”

I will not review this book from the perspective of the election but request you to take it up as an example of what happens when you lose a fight you fought for so hard and no matter what happened, you did not win.

Hillary is frank and lays her entire journey from start to end and the aftermath. Sometimes in life we invest so much in our projects, work, marriages, families or friends that if we had a chance to take a bird’s eye view this is maybe how it would look like, “What Happened”.

We rally a team of supporters in our lives. Whether it is our family, friends, workers or loved ones. They put in their hours and you work on a common goal. But what if you do not achieve it? This book is an excellent guide of how your choices can lead you somewhere and then everywhere and finally nowhere. She was vying for the top most job in the world, but put yourself in her shoes and you will also see, as she writes “too often we fail to think big enough or act fast enough and let opportunities for change slip away. Or we don’t have the patience to see things through.”

It takes a lot of self awareness to share so openly. In the chapter titled “Trolls, Bots, Fake News and Real Russians”, she writes “I know some will dismiss everything in this chapter as me trying to shift blame for my loss in 2016. That’s wrong. This is about the future.”

What kind of today are you living in? Which yesterday were you struggling in? What will you make future like?

As a woman, I remain inspired by her story and yes sometimes it does not work out but one must always try, you never know.

My favourite part is the concession speech in the Chapter “On Being a Woman in Politics”, she writes:

“Early on the morning of November 9, when it came to decide on what I’d say in my concession speech, I remembered those words. Inspired by them, I wrote these: ‘To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your dreams.’

A definitely good read, check it out: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/What-Happened/Hillary-Rodham-Clinton/9781501175565

 

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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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The Wise Words of Pushy Politicians, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 14th July 2017

Political Manifesto

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.”

US President ABRAHAM LINCOLN, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

The United States Declaration of Independence is one of the most cited manifestos in the world. The word manifesto comes from the Latin word manifestum, meaning clear or conspicuous. Thus, political manifesto therefore becomes the views and intentions of what the Government will do and its people are expected to follow. It is done within the political party framework, for example the Tory party in the UK or the Republican party in the US. In the case of Kenya, recently the Jubilee Manifesto was released with much pomp and fare. It is made up of Three Pillars: Transforming Lives, Transforming Society and Transforming Nation.

The manifesto aims to capture the transformation and pledges the political party is making in terms of education, security, infrastructure, economy and culture.

For example in the ruling party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) of India, their Election 2014 manifesto including a reform in the Police force, where it stated, modernize the Police force and give special emphasis on the working conditions and welfare of police personnel. Recently last year the Mein Kampf was republished since 1945 and this was Adolf Hitler’s collection of the policies he wanted for Germany. Libya’s former ruler Muammar Gaddafi also wrote one, called The Green Book.

The oldest manifesto known is that of Baghdad Manifesto of 1011 where it states that majority of Arabs and Muslims do not view the Fatimids as their legitimate descendants from Ali.

Thus, a manifesto can be a declaration of a belief that needs to run far in the country or faith.

The best example of how a manifesto can literally change an election, is the concluded US General Election. When the presidential candidate adorned caps with the slogan “Make America Great Again” he was creating history. The message from his opposition candidate Hillary Clinton of “Stronger Together” did not hold any power in the end and break the glass ceiling. This election campaign was also an excellent example of how the slogans, marketing gimmicks and the political debates took away the attention from the intricacies of the party manifestos. If the party is weak and falling apart even its own manifesto can not support the candidate. It is easy to write promises but difficult to fulfill them. There then needs to be a section of corporate like responsibility on productivity and efficiency. The most important being transparency, for example the government can put the live BOQ (Bill of Quantities) on their site for all to monitor cost and items used to build a railway. It may sound extreme but there can be several other measures to put in the place to check the accountability of these pledges, just like the sales teams get KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Instead of politicians lashing out in the parliament or senate and having a blame game match, it is time for some more sophistication of saying what work needs to be done and getting it done and checking how it was done.

According to the World Bank Governance indicators, they check out:

Voice and Accountability

Political Stability and Absence of Violence

Government Effectiveness

Regulatory Quality

Rule of Law

Control of Corruption

An example from the World Bank Governance and The Law Report of 2017 says:

“The past 20 years have seen enormous progress around the world in socioeconomic indicators. The rapid diffusion of technology and greater access to capital and world markets have enabled economic growth rates that were previously unfathomable, and they have helped lift over 1 billion people out of poverty. And yet increased flows have also led to rising inequality, both within and across borders, and to greater vulnerability to global economic trends and cycles. Indeed, although the global spread of capital, technology, ideas, and people has helped many countries and people move forward, other regions and populations appear to have been left behind, and they are still facing violence, slow growth, and limited opportunities for advancement.”

Ultimately the power of the constitution still matters but it can fail if the judicial process is not allowed to function to its proper level of authority and transparency. Then, a large manifesto will remain nothing but a marketing campaign for the political party.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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