Considering that we know that the more competent a woman is perceived, the less liked she is, should we really be surprised that a lot of Americans think Hillary Clinton is “dishonest?” I’m not. It’s better for a woman running for president to be seen as competent and unlikable rather than incompetent and likable.
Who’s voting to make Hillary Clinton his or her daughter, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, the Virgin Mary, Pope of Rome, or Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox church? I think she’s running for president. I’m not sure people’s suspicions about her honesty will make a difference. Do we want someone to be honest in her dealings with Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, or Mitch McConnell? Or do we want her to execute multiple mindfracks while playing twelve-dimensional chess in order to pursue the best interests of the United States?
(Have these people never watched House of Cards, in either of its 1980s or 2010s versions, or even the goody-goo-goo West Wing, sacre bleu?)
Hell, some conservative Republicans like neocon-friendly foreign policy expert Robert Kagan and John McCain’s former Chief of Staff and campaign advisor Mark Salter are vowing to vote for her instead of Donald Trump, if he becomes the Republican nominee! All of the counter-claims that Trump is Clinton’s worst nightmare, and that the Republicans are just dying to run against Clinton (instead of Bernie Sanders!) are just hilariously unbelievable. Like fun they believe that the 74 year-old Vermont Socialist with a flyaway combover is going to be a tougher candidate to beat in the general election.
(Not that I think the votes of a few writers and readers of the National Review and Foreign Policy are going to make a huge difference to the Clinton campaign. And I still think that they’ll vote for the candidate of the Green or Constitution parties before they’ll actually pull the lever for HRC. But still: it would be a neat trick for the old Goldwater Girl!)
Clinton would rather be feared than loved, and it’s very clear that a large number of Americans fear Clinton and everything she represents. (And that’s why I like her so much!) She’s the best next U.S. president to bet on to echo Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his second inaugural address:
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred.
I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.
Sure, she’ll undoubtedly go back on her promises, or be unable even to begin fulfilling them. She’ll be a disappointment, like every single one of the forty-four presidents who preceded her. But do you want to behold a screaming, five-foot wide decaying baloney face for the next five to nine years? His schtick is getting old already, and his sell-by date is approaching fast. Clinton has more stones than all of the men who ran or are running against Trump for the Republican nomination.
(But who knows? I’ve been wrong before.)
That said, the days of landslides like those of the 1960s-1980s are long gone. If the Republicans nominated Daffy Duck (and many Republicans prefer that cartoon character to baloney-face), it would still be a pretty close election because we are a deeply polarized nation.