Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Why Do People "Hate" Hillary . . . Part 3

I remember reading this Florence King piece on Hillary Clinton during the week of my college graduation in 1992 and I remember being completely blown away by it. At the time, I thought it was one of the most devastating things I had ever read. King always wrote with sharp edges, so I wasn’t shocked by that. But I did think it was--despite (or because of?) its harsh tone-- shockingly clear and insightful. Re-reading it again, after all these years, I still do. I don’t think anyone has ever said it better. Hillary is that smarmy "great girl" and, whether it was in high school or in college we all knew someone like her and we didn’t like her.

If you didn’t know anyone like her . . . be warned. Perhaps you were her?

Discussions - 6 Comments

Yes I recall that emotion; it's the same one I had from 1993 to 2001. That's what Bill brought out in me. He reminded me of those boys in school who always did well, brown-nosed the teacher. He would do something wrong and then blame it on the rest of us. Usually he got away with it - which was why I was not surprised he got away with it again as President. College even had a few like him.

I guess it should not be a surprise that schools had girls like that. I wouldn't know; I am antediluvian enough to have gone to all boys' (mens' too) schools.

Full Disclosure: I don't Hate George Bush, I don't hate Bill Clinton, I don't hate Hillary Clinton, I don't hate Ruddy Guiliani. In fact I am more inclined towards hating those who hate these people. Now I can disagree with the policies these folk might believe in, but harboring a hate for someone I never met just seems like an attempt to blame someone else for my fate. In my opinion the blame and praise we would place upon our politicians is all out of wack. In point of fact I am much more irritated by the notion that Hillary Clinton seeming to be more feminine would count as an argument in her favor, than the fact that she isn't actually. Hillary becoming president doesn't scare me or trouble me half again as much as the propect that someone might be moved by a softer side...what are we talking about the presidency or a God D**** commercial for Sears?

Do I hate or fear or praise or blame our presidents? Not as much as is vogue that is for sure...presidents are rather constrained by facts that force them to act and react in ways that aren't extremely open to judgement...so much of what they are praised or blamed for is rather pre-ordained.

In any case why would I hate Hillary Clinton even if she was a smarmy "great girl"? Isn't it all rather like hating a potted plant for the limits of its roots? I am somewhat ammused, but in the scheme of things smarmy great girls are probably not the bane of existence nor even close to it.

In the end Politicians are like potted plants the substance of which is never far from its sustenance which is always limited by the pot. The pot being that which brings praise or blame.

I guess what I am saying is that I don't hate Hillary...I hate the pot. I don't hate great girls, I hate the standards by which people judged them to be great girls.

"She got her sobriquet because everybody kept saying what a great girl she was;" But if the standards by which she got her sobriquet were just then there would be no grounds to despise her!

But Florence King argument is too easy...almost everyone hates smarmy great girls/boys because they are jealous that the virtues they share in do not receive the same level of praise...but it does not follow that other character types would somehow be more objectively deserving. Why not the pimply but straight A biology student? Or the physics student who works at subway part-time? See how quickly this goes back to a question of standards, valuations and judgements?

Even the pot-head may wish to put foward a claim, and the C student can quote Mark Twain to the effect of not letting school get in the way of an education...But what if there is something to the claim that the smarmy great girl is a "natural leader"? What if her knock-knock jokes really were funny? What if a million what ifs...but essentially people followed her and she followed what they considered made her great. So what if she is leading where everyone else is already going? The question is why is everyone else already going there, as opposed to here...or here...or this other there?

In addition to this one could ask if we don't all follow great girls/boys who simply lead us to worship the calf we are inclined to bow before in the first place. Florence King is rather clever in saying this: "it's the same old Great Girl trick of "leading" where everybody else is already going." until you start to think about it... since when is it possible to lead a horse to drink if he isn't thirsty? That is to say that the standards by which we annoint our leaders/great girls almost require that they lead us where we are already going...otherwise we would never hold them to be great in the first place...Consider briefly Guiliani and Social Conservatives. Ultimately we call them great because we approve of them...and we all immagine that our standards of approval are grounded and just but that the popular perception is tyrannical and petty in its disagrements.

As a Republican or Democrat as the case may be we cannot entertain the idea that anothers thoughts or feelings are as deep as our own. Our Love is loftier, our pain more intense...the other is always a topiary or strawman led by shallow great girls or a bungling cowboy...or some such charicature upon whom hate can be brought to bear as iron to a magnet.

Hillary's hateful qualities go deeper than mere smarminess. The two that bother me most are that she yearns for power, and that she seems utterly insincere in her professed convictions. That combination could be genuinely dangerous.

Oh my - she yearns for power! That really sets her apart from all current and previous presidential candidates. Particularly Bush and Cheney, right? I mean, those guys, since taking office have actively worked to diminish their own power in office and share it with others in a truly divine fashion.

But that's not all! She also "seems utterly insincere in her professed convictions." So true! I mean, have you ever looked at her when she's giving one of those absolutely, terrifyingly evil glares to, for example, a child who is standing between her and some more sweet power? Then she really seems almost like an actual demon who has risen up from the depths of Hell! It really seems that way, no, and anyone who watches her should be able to see her unholy lust for power and know what she's thinking when she is laying in bed at night, thinking to herself about her various sinister goals. You bet she's dangerous; she might even have some "666" scar hidden under her hairline!

There's good reason to hate Hillary!

A devastating rebuttal. I now see the error of my ways and take it all back: I love Hillary!


Craig Scanlon emotes: Oh my - she yearns for power! That really sets her apart from all current and previous presidential candidates. Particularly Bush and Cheney, right? I mean, those guys, since taking office have actively worked to diminish their own power in office and share it with others in a truly divine fashion.


But that's not all! She also "seems utterly insincere in her professed convictions." So true! I mean, have you ever looked at her when she's giving one of those absolutely, terrifyingly evil glares to, for example, a child who is standing between her and some more sweet power? Then she really seems almost like an actual demon who has risen up from the depths of Hell! It really seems that way, no, and anyone who watches her should be able to see her unholy lust for power and know what she's thinking when she is laying in bed at night, thinking to herself about her various sinister goals. You bet she's dangerous; she might even have some "666" scar hidden under her hairline!


There's good reason to hate Hillary!

I don't fault people for professing their disappointment in the character, motivations and personality of any of our politicians (sort of an obvious statement). I just think that we ought to be honest about our own bias when making the very common visceral statements about Hilary Clinton. What motivates my own negative sentiments about George W. Bush? I am truly acting that question. Do I have deeply rooted bias that helps to explain why I distrust and dislike him so much? There are many concrete reasons we could argue about "til the cows come home," but I'm particularly interested in what inside me causes me to scoff at him so much and what inside of those who feel that way about Hillary, causes them to react that way. I think we spend too much time trying to ignore our own bigotry in order to maintain a comfortable opinion of ourselves. But the truth is that we all grow up with a certain perspective which favors some people and not others. (I'm sure there's a more eloquent way to say that.)

And I honestly am having a hard time doing my own self analysis to determine what my own bias is with regard to my George Bush opinions – fear of men who enjoy power, an ongoing drive to defy my parents (which I should have outgrown by now), an embarrassing stereotype of the “dumb southerner,” …? (It’s much easier to identify someone else’s bias than one’s own.)

So here goes on the Clinton bias: many of us are guided by a collective unconscious that is dominated by the puritan ideals of the first Americans. If you subscribe to this (Jungian?) concept, we are invisibly goaded to detest a woman whose life defies the old paradigm where woman are to be self-critical, obedient, and modest. Strong women, outside the home, behaving “like men,” turn our (old) societal workings upside down. I believe many of us are still in limbo (myself included) – part of us wants to have our societal roles as one sex or the other, defined. The other part wants to be the “enlightened” and “modern” American that, obviously, sees men and women as equal. But there’s that unconscious “conventional” little black hat-wearing puritan that lives way deep down in our heads and hearts, and he jumps up and down screaming, “that’s just not right!”

I don’t want to talk about Hillary’s record, character or motivations – one could reasonably sit on either side of this debate. What I would like (again on both sides) is to try to identify when we make statements that are motivated by personal partiality. Anything less leads the debate downward and away from any progress it might have the potential of making.

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