Setting the Record Straight

June 3, 2008

Why the HillaryHate?

 This is a Family Value?

          Barack Obama will be just beginning to suffer the kind of hate-filled attacks that have beleagured Hillary Clinton for the past 16 years.
          Racism and sexism have been with us since the dawn of man, but one could more easily understand racism because it stems from xenophobia and almost always is directed at the local minority, whether it is African-Americans in the South, native-Americans in Minnesota or Mexican immigrants in the Southwest. Sexism is harder to understand since its roots cannot be traced to xenophobia.
          Stranger still is the hatred directed specifically at Clinton. It became vehement when she led the doomed fight to create national health insurance, a logical goal for the only country in the developed world without such a policy. But it has dogged her since and grew back to a vehement level in the current campaign, a vehemence that goes beyond the right-wing hatred of both Clintons. 
          We saw the ultimate use of this hatred of the Clinton family in the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, but it continues in the hate e-mail flying around and blogs posted here and there without anyone stepping in to set the record straight.
          Early on, e-mails and blogs lifted selective quotes, labeled as “Marxist,” that she cited in speeches and writings. They are simply presented out of context to make it look as though they expressed her beliefs. Fortunately there is
Snopes and let us plug ourselves, StraightRecord.

          So what is behind this hate spread by people who identify with the party of “family values” and others?
          One explanation could be that both Clintons are highly intelligent and well-read people, whether you agree with their opinions or not. The anti-Hillary e-mails and blogs that go round and round with little correction are spread by far less-learned people and perhaps that is why they generally support someone of the opposite mien, i.e., the current President Bush.
          Even though women appear to be as well-represented among the Hillaryhaters as men, it could be they view a woman who appears to have a real shot at the presidency as “uppity,” that her place is in the kitchen. And many of the Hillaryhaters appear to harbor racist ideas as well, meaning that here in the 21st century they have not evolved along with most of the rest of the country.
          Or their problem could be something else entirely. It is a puzzle. Until they are able to explain it themselves in a literate manner and without relying on cliches, Fox-channel screaming and other unresearched statements passed around, how can we know.
          People of this persuasion form the basis of the idea Clinton is a divisive candidate and might be least likely among the Democratic candi- dates to draw the votes of the undecided needed to win the election, a feeling that probably ended up denying her the nomination.
          Clinton is vulnerable for her stances on many issues, to a lesser extent because of her iceberg personality and lack of hands-on experience, but she should not be vulnerable to attacks based solely on deep-seated hatred practiced by these strange and miserable people.



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