Did you feel it yesterday? The sudden gust of cool, refreshing air? The palpable enthusiasm? The excitement? The electricity? Oh yes, that's the Hillary Effect, my friends. Hillary Clinton, the pantsuited warrior, has finally announced she's running for president (again).
Of course she's running. She had to heed the call. Satiate the thirst. Answer the demand. Give the people what they want.
She knew that Americans have been crying out for her. She knew the time had come for a wealthy 67-year-old entrenched D.C. elitist with a long track record of political corruption who has been ensconced in the world of politics her whole life and who hasn't driven a car in two decades and who feels entitled to the presidency because her husband had it back in the 90's. Yes, that. That is what our country needs. What it craves, deep down.
... Or not.
I'm not a professional pundit or a seasoned political observer, so take this with the appropriate measure of salt, but I don't think President Hillary is quite as inevitable as many people seem to think she is, and certainly not as inevitable as she thinks she is. Obviously, one must never underestimate the foolishness of the American electorate, but one must also understand the nature of that foolishness.
Many Americans, especially nowadays, are easily duped if you can appeal to them on a very shallow level. Barack Obama succeeded at this, clearly. He relied on us to make stupid decisions on Election Day, but he knew he had to earn those stupid decisions. He had to construct this elaborately choreographed, slickly produced stage play about an exciting and ambitious young man who rose from the mean streets of Hawaii and stormed D.C. on a mission to bring hope and change and abortion to the world. His character was bold, new and hip. He was eloquent, visionary, and in touch with the people. He got it. He played basketball. He used Twitter. He listened to Lil Wayne. He was down, man. Totally down.
And that's where Hillary runs into trouble. She can't even play the character of someone fresh and exciting. She's Hillary. She's a tired, old, worn-out retread who makes even the most oblivious and susceptible among us chuckle when she tries to sound sincere. Hundreds of political strategists have spent thousands of hours trying to make her into someone even halfway appealing on even the most superficial of levels, and they've failed.
The best they could do this time around is have her stand in front of some suburban shrubbery and talk about how she plans to be a "champion for everyday Americans." Sure, "everyday Americans" who've lived in mansions since 1980, have never held a job besides lawyer or politician, and charge colleges a quarter of a million dollars to deliver speeches.
We Everyday Americans must look to a woman who hasn't bought her own groceries since the Carter administration to be our champion. Surely, our Great Hope is an insipid, corrupt, arrogant, pony who, like any Average Joe, gets involved in shady real estate deals, has people fired and investigated by the feds so that she can hire her cronies to cushy bureaucratic positions, accesses classified FBI documents to find dirt on her political adversaries, and pals around with notorious drug traffickers, among other scandals.
Yep. Good ol' Ordinary, Everyday Hillary.
I'm running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. –H https://t.co/w8Hoe1pbtC— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 12, 2015
It's so laughably inauthentic that I suffer from secondhand embarrassment just watching her put on this act. It's like Cruella De Vil applying for a job at the Humane Society or Aileen Wuornos running for president of the PTA. It's demented. Twisted. Entirely out of place.
I don't buy it. Few people do.
Hillary is Hillary, we all know that.
She has neither style nor substance. Neither integrity nor the capacity to convincingly fake it. Neither the resume nor the ability to make you forget about her resume.
She has nothing. Nothing. NOTHING.
Well, except for that one thing.
Indeed, if she wins the presidency it will be, literally, only, exclusively because she is a woman. Obama incorporated his blackness into the overall mythology of this bold, new, revolutionary figure. Hillary does not have that mythology. She only has her gender. There is nothing else. There is not a single other selling point, whether stylistically or substantively.
Will it be enough? Well, she and her supporters seem to think so. They both constantly remind us that "it's time for a woman president." The fact that the woman happens to be Hillary Clinton is supposed to be merely an unfortunate side note in all of this. In fact, Hillary isn't running at all -- A Woman is running.
First name "A," last name "Woman."
That's the way this will go. It will be the first time in history that a demographic group runs for president. Hillary is merely the vehicle for all womanhood, and, like we've established, it's time for A Woman. It's just time. Vote for Hillary because it's time, you sexist pigs. It's time.
At least when I didn't vote for Obama I was a racist and opposed to hope and change. When I don't vote for Hillary, I'll just be sexist because even her most ardent supporters can't put "change" and "Clinton" in the same sentence with a straight face.
Her logo is an arrow pointing presumably to her husband saying, "Hillary 2016: Just like Bill, but with less charm and more estrogen!"
Will this work? Will her uterus be enough to win the White House?
Maybe. God help us.
If you're of the mind to vote for a scandal-plagued snake in the grass just because of her anatomical features, there might not be much I can say to dissuade you. I'm a glutton for futility, though, so I'll give it a shot.
As far as I can tell, there are two main problems with voting for Hillary purely because she's A Woman and "it's time":
1) It isn't time for a woman to be president.
It's time, instead, for a competent and honest adult of either gender to be president.
See, the presidency is a job that requires action. When those actions are performed ineptly or dishonestly, bad things happen. The president is not a figurehead or a cheerleader. He (or she) has to do things. And now, after a long succession of presidents who immensely expanded the powers of the executive branch, it's also important for the president to know when not to do things.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
In the end, what matters is what has been done or not done, and for what reason those things were done or not done. If bad things were done for bad reasons, it's not going to matter, in any practical sense, whether they were done by a man, a woman, a transgender eunuch, a goat, a walnut, or a dyslexic alien from planet Xenu.
Barack Obama just illustrated this dynamic quite explicitly, which was very helpful of him.
We were told it was "time" for a black president, and many black people voted for him for that reason alone. But then their median household incomes dropped precipitously, their unemployment rate didn't, and their poverty rate went higher. I think they would agree that it isn't, in fact, a better sort of poverty or a more palatable sort of unemployment because it happened under the reign of a black man. It still sucks, frankly. Just like it did before, or worse.
As it turns out, we elect presidents to get results, not to be demographical mascots. And if they don't get results, or if the results are poor, their physical characteristics will not blunt the impact nor dull the sting of their monumental failures.
So, "time for a woman"? What does that mean? Would you apply it to any other area of your life? Do you have a checklist on your fridge of the races and genders of the plumbers, electricians, pediatricians, landscapers, and dermatologists you've used over the years, so that when you need one you can make a selection based on a rotation of sexual organs and pigment shades?
[sharequote align="center"]When your health, safety, and well being are concerned, you go for the best person to do the job.[/sharequote]
"Hmmm. Need someone to come install wiring in our new addition. Whose turn is it? Let's see, looks like it's time for a Chinese person with a penis."
Is that how you conduct yourself in your daily life? Of course not. You might want universities to admit people and countries to elect people based on affirmative action, but in your actual life, when push comes to shove, you always go with whoever you think will do the job and do it well, don't you?
In every area of your life where your health, safety, and well being are concerned, you put your feminist inclinations aside and hope for the best person to do the job. Sure, that makes you a bit of a hypocrite, but it's a smart time to be a hypocrite, and I would recommend you apply that hypocrisy when voting for the highest political office in the land.
2) Presidents are not symbols for their genders, but if they are, Hillary makes for a really, really bad symbol.
The funny thing is that if you agree with point one, you shouldn't vote for Hillary. But if you disagree, then you should be even less inclined to vote for her.
If a Clinton presidency would actually be symbolically significant for women, think about what the symbolism would say.
Hillary embodies just about every negative stereotype of female managers and CEOs. She's a cold, manipulative, conniving, thin-skinned, angry, distant, ruthless snob. She rode to power on the coattails of her husband. Everything she has achieved has been handed to her by men. First, Bill got her elected to the Senate, then Barack made her secretary of state.
It's not right that successful women in general should be saddled with these labels and assumptions, but the fact is that Hillary Clinton, individually, deserves them. She's earned them. She is them.
And this is the woman who is supposed to "break the glass ceiling"? If such a misogynistic conspiracy exists, all Clinton can do is reinforce it.
It would be like me voting for a hot tempered drunkard because I want him to be a symbol for all Irish people. The strategy doesn't make sense.
Another Clinton presidency will be bad for America, but if it has any special impact on women, I don't see how it could be a remotely positive one.
Hillary, herself, certainly doesn't care about helping women. After all, this is a person who not only aided her husband in covering up his numerous alleged rapes, affairs, and sexual assaults, but defamed and bullied his victims. Intimidating sexual assault victims seems to be her most well-honed skill, as she began doing it early in life, smearing a 12-year-old rape victim in order to get her attacker off with a light sentence.
Not content with merely facilitating the metaphorical stoning of innocent women, she also takes money from countries where women are routinely and literally stoned, raped, and abused in the most horrific ways imaginable.
And, again, you want this to be the first female president? A corrupt rape apologist who is hated by the people who work for her and is primarily famous for her lying, cheating, stealing, and cover ups?
She's the best woman for that honor?
I know that isn't true. I know it.
I could walk into a women's prison and find 100 more honest, ethical, likable, and competent females than her.
Amazingly, I could even walk onto Capitol Hill and find several (though fewer) higher caliber options.
Better yet, I could walk down the street and find a never ending supply of normal women who would be much more deserving of the "First Woman President" distinction than Hillary freaking Clinton.
Or better still, we could forget about gender altogether, either way, and start trying to find someone -- anyone -- who can do the job with a modicum of integrity and proficiency.
If that person is a woman, great. If it's a man, great. If it's a seahorse, great. We no longer have the luxury to worry about looks, skin color, gender, or species. We are at a crisis moment in our country. A moment that requires a leader who, at a minimum, isn't deeply depraved, profoundly self-obsessed, and chronically incompetent.
Hillary Clinton might be a woman, but she isn't that woman, I promise you.
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