Before you all go, “Who is Sean and why is he rambling?” let me preface by saying, I know Sean personally from back in high school, I think. I’m not sure when I met him but he’s one of Hubby’s friends from way back and he’s in our rotisserie baseball league. Sean, like everyone who engages in aerobic respiration, has a blog. I really like his blog, mostly because I know him personally but had NO idea all these thoughts were going on in his head. Sean’s blog, it is some funny shit.
Sean asks a pertinent question, and garners an answer from Robert Bluey, author of the Bluey Blog and “director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, a think tank whose mission is ‘to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.’”
Why do people hate Hillary Clinton?
Bluey’s answer, from Sean’s site:
Americans began to dislike Hillary during the 1992 campaign and only grew more hostile throughout her husband’s eight years in the White House. I think part of the problem stems from the fact she had no intention of following the typical role of first lady, preferring instead to be a political bulldog. This partisanship alienated a large number of Americans who won’t soon forget the Hillary of old no matter how hard she tries to remake herself.
Keep in mind that during Bill Clinton’s eight years as president, America became a country deeply divided along partisan lines, leading to the contentious 2000 election. This wasn’t entirely Clinton’s fault, but because Hillary was so closely identified with his political and policy objectives—beginning with her failed health care plan—Americans were left with a bad taste.
Now that it is officially 2008, and the election year, it’s time to pay attention to the candidates running for president. I’ve been ignoring them until now because it was too damn early for half of them to start campaigning in my never-humble opinion. Hubby is a political junkie, and considers following politics like following baseball or football. It might be his favorite sport (though he won his fantasy football league this year so maybe politics is #2 in light of his win). I personally try to avoid paying too much attention to any political ads, because they are so nasty I feel unwashed when I’m done watching even a 10 second spot.
I’m also completely turned off by American politics on the whole, because somehow there’s this bizarre expectation or demand that one candidate is supposed to satisfy every ideal I possess, and so the candidates are trying to appeal to a slate of requirements, regardless of their actual preference or voting history. Candidates cease being “real people” and start molding themselves into electable models – because it’s more important to get elected rather than doing the job you’re ‘hired’ by the voting public to do.
But the question of Hillary is fascinating to me because I realized I was dreading her run for president not because I had anything against her as a candidate, but because I was dreading the negative and horrifically awful attacks that would be leveled against her. There’s this virulent hatred of all things Clinton but especially things Hillary that makes people absolutely batshit insane about her, even if they know jack crap about her voting record as a senator. I’ve heard it from radio personalities, random people in conversations, even people whom I suspect make decisions about candidates based on facts and information. Hillary Clinton provokes a knee-jerk gut-level abhorrence that I do not understand, and to which I so do not want to bear witness during this year’s onslaught of political ads.
But why is there that knee-jerk rejection of all concepts Hillary?
The one line of Bluey’s response says it all:
“I think part of the problem stems from the fact she had no intention of following the typical role of first lady, preferring instead to be a political bulldog.”
So the explanation is: people hate Hillary because she didn’t embrace the traditional role of a First Lady by serving as quiet fashionable hostess in the White House and instead carved out a new role for herself as First Lady/political playah. She was aggressive (or assertive, depending on who you ask) and wasn’t content with a traditional gender role, so she’s therefore evil.
This isn’t news. I am betting that the democratic nomination will be based on the question of whether the US is more racist or more sexist, but still. I didn’t expect the reason for the hysteria against Clinton to be spelled out like it was political wisdom: “She’s not demure. She’s a bitch. Therefore we hate her. Pass me some steaming American family values, please.”
Here at Smart Bitches, we’ve only endorsed one candidate who was running against Bill Napoli, and sadly, she didn’t win. It’s not like we’re in the business of endorsing presidential candidates, but any candidate who is called a bitch as often as Hillary Clinton is obviously going to catch my attention. Personally speaking, I think she’s just fine as a senator and would likely be an exceptional president – except that the knee-jerk revulsion she inspires would get in her way at every moment and she’d have a hell of a time getting anything done.
In my mind, just for the sheer comic value of watching people trip over themselves to throw battery-stuffed snowballs of hate, the most ideal ticket for people’s heads exploding would be a Hillary Clinton/Martha Stewart political ticket. I would throw a ticker tape parade made of the shredded remains of traditional gender expectations, to be sure.
But Sean says it right: “‘Because she is a bitch’ is not an acceptable answer.” In the microcosm of the online romance community, some folks hate Candy and me because we don’t play nice, we don’t give buttery soft and friendly reviews of romance novels we hated, and because we aren’t going to shy away from naming names and titles and saying, “This blew savage donkey cock.” The play-nice expectation of the romance world means we Bitches are a special kind of naughty evil because saying, “I didn’t like this romance novel” is somehow a rather explosive statement. But even that’s a viable reason for disliking us: we aren’t always kind when we say we don’t like something. We named ourselves Bitches because that’s what we are. But in the grand scheme, is what we do important on a world stage? Not hardly.
However, if you’re talking about running a country of over 300 million people, a country currently engaged in at least two active military conflicts with a growing national debt and a few significant problems in the way of poverty, human rights, and a growing housing crisis, wouldn’t having a bitch on board be a good thing? Don’t you want an aggressive person in the White House? If people dislike Hillary because she’s a bitch… my question is, so what’s wrong with being a Bitch?