This morning, I am seized with an image. It is of a cartoon version of Hillary Clinton, seated behind a desk with her feet up.
Something is wrong. She is not quite herself. You can see immediately that her features have been distorted to resemble Bill Clinton, as he looked in the 1990s, when he was fat and happy. She dominates the center of the scene, a Rabelaisian, cigar-chomping vision, with long hair and lipstick. Her cheeks are flushed, her eyes wide, her lips raised in a half-snarl, half-smile.
Behind her are two marble busts.
One is of Henry Kissinger, sublimely evil, with the Gothic script motto “I thought she would win” engraved below his leathery marble neck. The other is of Donald Trump, supremely smug, with “Agent Orange” in the same script engraved below him.
In a corner three witches stir a cauldron labelled “Special Hell for Uncooperative Women” in Gothic script. Two are only just recognizable as Donna Brazile and Debbie Wassermann Schultz, with the mantra DNC written in Nordic runes on their hats. The third is unmistakably Madeleine Albright, brandishing a shaker labelled Herbalife.
In the center of the scene, written in huge letters and placed to draw attention to itself, is a large sign in the middle of the desk reading:
THE BUCK STOPS WITH COMEY
This image is my farewell to Hillary Clinton, a horrible woman I have hated along with her husband for over two decades. My mind says it isn’t realistic, but my heart says, no matter what the price, everything is worth it never to have to see her smug face all over the news again.
It is, of course, irrational.
Hillary was a success for so long precisely because she was the two-faced, amoral, hypocritical witch who burbled about it taking a village to raise a child, at the same time her husband’s regime (with the more or less full support of the people and governments of North America and Europe) squeezed the twenty-six million people of Iraq with an unprecedented, unnecessary and (as only a small minority of thinking people realised then) counterproductive blockade: forcing Iraq to the brink of starvation and killing, in the end, millions of children from hunger and disease.
She succeeded because she pasted a fake smile on her face and peddled African proverbs like an aromatherapist selling Buddhism, while at the same time arguing for her husband’s laws, that exacerbated the existing biases of the American criminal and judicial system against Africans and destroyed tens of thousands of African-American lives.
Good people like Kathy Kelly do not become Secretary of State or run for President. Evil people like Hillary Clinton do. That is the way of the world; that is one of the many curses of being human.
If it were otherwise Sanders would have been the Democratic nominee. He may not have known much about the world outside America, but then what American really does? He may not have known much about the details of the banking industry, but he knew its excessive monopolization of society’s resources since the 1980s was a problem. He was a good man with his heart in the right place, and there are so few in striking distance of power anywhere.
The most startling thing, to my mind, about watching this American election from a distance, has been watching the Americans I know closely and care about, all to a man or woman good and kind people who would not knowingly injure an animal, let themselves be convinced that Donald Trump is a bad person (probably true) and Hillary Clinton a good one (demonstrably false).
They convinced themselves that for Hillary Clinton to be elected their President would be a victory for good over evil, that it would put the best impulses of America forward. This is so far from true that it boggles the mind. Even within America it was more the collective delusion of a certain class than a widespread opinion. And yet I find it hard to look many of them in the eye and remind them of that, because this mistaken opinion is so clearly personal and painful to them.
Clinton was the clearly identified candidate of bankers and war. She loved and adored America’s bankers to the end, at a time when it has become clear that their stranglehold on the American economy is tearing the country apart.
She was the establishment candidate, the woman who has throughout her career in public life sought to appease and protect the American postwar elite power structure and to construct her own views by careful triangulation of its instincts. She shared its strong belief that the peerless American military forces exist principally to crush any opponent (cf. Qaddafi) who tries to challenge American domination, and that this is justified because American domination is the domination of sweetness, light and freedom.
She idolized Madeleine “half a million dead children are worth it” Albright and Henry “bomb anything that moves” Kissinger.
Goodbye, Hillary Clinton. With this undrawn cartoon I thee exorcise.