Gloria Steinem, the iconic feminist activist, author and speaker, prefaced an evening literary talk Monday by rallying the Hillary Clinton faithful at an afternoon “Get Out the Vote” event organized by Idaho Democrats at Boise State University.
“This is an election like we’ve never seen before, right?” she told a crowd of about 60, mostly students and mostly women. “It actually isn't anymore about Republicans vs. Democrats. Those of us who are a little bit older here remember when the Republican party was the first to support the equal rights amendment, when Republicans like Rockefeller and the first Bush and Goldwater were pro-choice.”
Steinem said the Republican party’s capitulation to its extreme right wing gave rise to Donald Trump, a candidate “who came up through the media, not through the party at all.” Trump, she said, is a “reality show candidate” and “a con man, not a successful businessman.”
“The issues, the concerns, and even in this case the sanity is so clear,” she said. “I think this state can turn purple or blue, don't you?”
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Steinem added: “What we are asking is not whether you vote Republican or Democrat, but whether or not you vote out of self respect and what we need in our daily lives.”
Asked by an audience member what she would recommend to supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Clinton defeated for the Democratic presidential nomination, Steinem said: “If you support Bernie, do what Bernie suggests: Vote for Hillary.”
Steinem is in Boise to speak as part of the The Cabin’s “Readings & Conversations” series.