Tuesday, March 1, 2016

     A friend mentioned recently hearing otherwise progressive and sensible people expressing doubts about Hillary because she isn't 'likable'. My response to that kind of observation is basically as follows: 
         The question of Hillary’s ‘likability’ is irrelevant in terms of the 2016 presidential campaign. Someone will be sworn in as president in January of 2017 and that someone will make 1 to 3 nominations to a Supreme Court that will make decisions about reproductive rights, voting rights, the rights of labor, the legitimacy of environmental regulations, and other crucial issues. Who would you rather have making those nominations---Hillary Clinton or one of the clowns on the republican side?
2.       The chatter about her ‘likability’ reminds me of the blather during the Bush-Gore campaign in 2000 about Al Gore being too stiff and distant whereas George Bush was ‘the kindda guy you could have a beer with.’ You see where that kind of thinking got the country.
3.       And yes, there is a double or even triple standard at play in popular discourse about Hillary, a standard applied to her that is not applied to the men running for president. A petulant punk like Marco Rubio gets taken seriously as a candidate, and a sputtering bully like Chris Christie is considered ‘tough’, whereas a woman engaging in the same kind of ungrammatical rants would be lambasted as hysterical.
4.       The most subtle success of the powerful interests running the country lies in their colonization of the minds of those they want to control, getting them to obsess about things that ultimately contribute to keeping them down.  That women should be at all concerned with whether Hillary is sufficiently ‘likable’ represents the successful colonization of their minds by people with no interest in addressing the real issues facing women.   
5.       The Supreme Court is generally assigned blame for George Bush becoming president in 2000 by deciding the election in his favor. In truth however, part of the blame should also be put on those who voted for Ralph Nader, asserting that Gore was not ‘pure’ enough for them ideologically. We do not want people who should be voting with us repeating that error based on irrelevant concerns, such as Hillary’s ‘likability’.
    There are real issues at stake in this election. Real people will be seriously damaged by the wrong outcome. Our collective interest in moving toward a fairer society and a sustainable environment will be negatively impacted.  Let’s not have synthetic ‘issues’ generated by a mindless media and those who do not have our interests at heart distract us from getting out and doing the hard work necessary to achieve victory for Hillary and for ourselves in 2016.  You can be certain that those who mean us no good will be hard at it. 
                                                                                                                                            John Howard


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