Thinking About Hillary — A Follow-up
Michael Arnovitz
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After reading both of your articles I have to say, no one is talking about these issues with this degree of honesty and evidence. We need to address the many elephants in the room. The first being the relentless and incoherent propaganda against Hillary. On both fronts, left and right, they have decimated her life’s work, her dedication to incremental and social change and frankly, her integrity. I couldn’t agree with you more on the sexism issue. We would all like to pretend that sexism is a thing of the past, but in reality it is alive and well. We are seemingly just burying our heads in the sand, pretending that because a few (and I mean less that 2%) of women have made it to positions of power, it is all okay now. We ignore that more and more women these days are being pulled away from their careers to be good mothers. While politicians argue about paid maternity leave, companies continue to discriminate against mothers, offering less promotion and pay than their male counterparts. Who better to fight for these causes than a woman who’s been there and felt these immense pressures and double standards. Do we really want to fool ourselves into thinking that DT will? But, I digress.

Going back to your the follow up article, there are two points that I found especially striking. Our divisions and ideologies seem so intertwined that it appears that the “us vs. them” mentality is now a fixture in our political climate. This reminds me of the 2004 election, which I believe was a turning point in American politics for various reasons. Not only because it was a controversial election in terms of voting but because for the first time in my lifetime, I could sense the true red/blue state divide. I remember sitting in my intro to policy class in grad school discussing the merits of each candidate. The discussion quickly evolved into a shit show of what some might call my elitist colleagues, in an northern liberal public policy school, bashing all things red and republican. Growing up in the south my perception back then was that we (liberals) were no better than “them”. That many of my friends and friends parents were just different in mindset but not awful people. I had been witness to the cultural differences, where yes, southerners worship their football teams, Jesus and Ronald Reagan. While I agreed with my colleagues on many of the policy questions, I refused to go down that path of vilifying all republicans. Fast forward to this election, the contrast in ideology has now spiraled so out of control, that this divide is now an ocean. It has gone to place of such self- righteousness and hatred that it is beyond comprehension. From this “ideological purity” we now also have a false equivalency in our perception of the what it takes to be leader and sit in the oval office. On this point your argument on temperament and fitness for duty could not be more clear. It is astounding, almost verging on a sociological experiment gone nuts, that anyone could fathom that DT would be fit to fulfill the responsibilities of president. Again it goes back that chasm in thinking. We all would like to believe that the most powerful position in the land comes with many perks and benefits. That election in 2004 demonstrated this with re-election of George W. and I think that is what DT and his supporters believe. This notion that anyone (that is with their common beliefs) could simply transition and become a voice (dare I say advocate) for their segment of our population. It takes such simplistic and small minded mentality to fathom such a scenario yet, his supporters are certain and willing stake the nation on it. Your LBJ analogy hits that point on the head. He endured such rancor, while having to battle such ethical and moral imperatives, that yes, he too caved. We’re talking about a guy who up until signing the CRA was an open racist! The difference is that he, deep down inside, knew better. That cannot be said about DT. That cannot be said about the extremism on both ends of the spectrum. These two very distant points could not be more blinded by their own illusions and unrelenting fear of the middle ground.

And on that note, thank you for writing about Hillary so eloquently and thoughtfully. It’s about damn time someone did!

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