Its's Not OK to Hate Hillary Clinton

Im not saying you have to like Hillary or vote for her for president. If you want to disagree with her policy positions or express concerns about her record and/or leadership style, I may not agree with you, but you have a right to your opinion.

But to hate her?

Hate is a singular sentiment. One that implies enmity or, as Freud put it, a “wish to destroy the source of unhappiness.” We’ve criminalized it. Religion calls it a sin. The Apostle John even went so far as to write that he “whoever hateth his brother is a murderer.”

Hate racism. Hate genocide. Hate people who kick puppies and scam seniors out of their life savings. But to hate a woman who has literally spent her life helping others… what’s wrong with you?

Seriously. We’re talking about a woman who personally went undercover to help prove racial discrimination… who graduated from Yale Law School and — instead of going to work for a high-priced law firm — took a job with the Children’s Defense Fund. Yeah, what a horrible, terrible person.

Today, we take it for granted that children with disabilities can go to public schools, but you know what? We get to take that for granted, in part, because Hillary Clinton spent a chunk of 1973 going door to door to learn exactly what was holding children with disabilities back.

Yeah, I know, you think she’s a power-hungry bitch… but, let’s talk about that for a second. As first lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton used her power to reform Arkansas schools. As first lady of the United States, she used her power to fight for foster kids and helped pass a law that — to this day — guarantees that millions of children can see doctors. As a U.S. senator, she used her power to stand up for first responders and extend veterans’ health benefits to members of the national guard and reserves. As secretary of state, she visited 112 countries, and she spent those visits, not just meeting with government officials, but also visiting schools and shelters and just plain looking for ways to empower women and other victims of oppression.

More than one activist has said they’re alive simply because Hillary Clinton took a picture with them. Yes, by doing something as simple as sharing her limelight, she made dissidents more difficult to silence.

Now, what exactly have you done?

No, I don’t know about you, but if that’s what Hillary Clinton does with power, then I’m glad she’s hungry for more. Hell, I want her to have more.

Oh, but… she’s a LIAR and a CRIMINAL!!

Seriously? Are you really that gullible? I mean, who told you that? One of her opponents? A surrogate for one of her opponents? A conservative media outlet that has spent decades supporting her opponents?

News flash: political opponents aren’t college professors. Contrary to popular belief, the veritable army of candidates and strategists, who’ve spent the last 30 years trying to “defeat” Hillary (from the right and — at times — the left) have never once asked themselves: “What’s the fairest criticism we can raise about Hillary Clinton?”

No, they ask themselves: “How can we convince people to hate Hillary Clinton?” And they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on consultants, focus groups, ads, mailings and the aforementioned surrogates to both figure out how to make you hate her and to convince you to hate her. Want to fix money in politics? Here’s an idea: STOP FALLING FOR THE STUFF THAT MONEY BUYS.

And that doesn’t include the countless hours and millions of taxpayer dollars Congressional Republicans have spent on investigations that have proved she did little to nothing wrong.

Yeah, I know, they discovered that she used one personal email account for all of her correspondence instead of using separate official and personal email accounts, that would have required her to carry two devices. Well… guess what?!! So did I.

That’s right, I believe Hillary when she says she wanted to consolidate her emails in order to use a single device, because when I worked for a U.S. senator, I eventually opted to forward my work emails to my gmail account, so I could carry a single device too. Why? Because it was easier… because I had a lot on my plate and was less likely to miss an important message if all of my messages were on the same device… but mostly because the people who make women’s professional clothing have for some reason decided that members of my gender don’t need pockets. Why? I don’t know, but try running from meeting to meeting carrying two smart phones — plus whatever you need for those meetings — without functional pockets, and I guarantee you’ll want to consolidate your emails on a single device too.

Yes, Hillary could have avoided this entire scandal had she used two separate devices, instant messenger or just picked up the phone. (If only she’d had Slack!!!) But do you really think that disqualifies her from being president?Because if adherence to vague email protocols is the quality you look for in deciding who will best run the country, I’m pretty sure Hillary Clinton will never not use two separate email accounts ever again.

Hillary’s opponents call her a liar, even though objective accounts have repeatedly shown her to be “fundamentally honest and trustworthy” if not one of the most honest politicians on the national stage. They blame her for Benghazi even though seven separate investigations have cleared her of wrongdoing. That’s right. Seven. They’ve accused her of murder without evidence. Rudy Giuliani even recently accused Hillary of lying about coming back to New York after 9/11, even though photographs show her standing next to him.

Hell, that veritable army of candidates, strategists and surrogates have even managed to convince you that the fact that her family runs a global charity that has given millions of people access to clean water, economic opportunities and life-saving medications is a reason to vote against her. You’re kidding me right?

Yes, I’m aware that said global charity has accepted donations from foreign countries, but are you aware that no one with the last name of Clinton has ever taken a salary from the foundation that bears their name? That means all of the money the Clintons have raised for their foundation has gone to help other people, not them. It also means that RNC Chair Reince Priebus lied to youwhen he said that the Clinton Foundation’s sole purpose is “lining the pockets of Bill and Hillary Clinton.” But, you think she’s the liar?

OK, so maybe the hundreds of millions of dollars spent to vilify Hillary isn’t what convinced you to hate her. No, you just hate her because… you know, she sounds like your mother, she chooses her words carefully and she’s — OMG the horror!! — a “career politician.”

Wow. And you think those are good reasons to hate someone?

More importantly, you do realize this isn’t a reality singing competition? We are actually deciding who should get control of our country’s nuclear codes, here.

Yes, I get that when we elect someone president, we’re signing on to listen to them for four years. But your viewing enjoyment is not the only thing at stake when we elect a president.

I mean, we all know that — as a U.S. senator — Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, but ask yourself this: Would we have gone to war in Iraq had Hillary been president in 2002 instead of George W. Bush? Would a Hillary Clinton administration have led a rush to judgment, tortured prisoners into giving bad intelligence and refused to listen to anyone who disagreed with her? You are welcome to disagree, but I’m pretty sure the answer is “no.”

Yes, who we elect as our president matters.

Don’t we want someone who’s careful with their words, who listens to outside opinions and isn’t too full of herself to change her mind? When we select athletes to represent our country at the Olympics, we not only measure their skill at their sport, we recognize that Michael Phelps’s skill as a swimmer actually has a lot to do with the many years he spent training.

And yet, in this race to decide who should be our nation’s chief negotiator, the person who decides if and when to send our troops into battle, the person who will lead the world’s most complex economy and diverse nation of people into the future… you think experience is a bad thing?

Or maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe you hate Hillary because it pains you to see a woman stand up and tell the world how awesome she is. It pains you because, what? Women are supposed to play small and diminish their accomplishments to make you feel better about yourself?

Well, if that’s the case, then all I can say is, your hate says a lot more about you, than it does about Hillary.

MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS

OH, BUT WAIT!

What about Libya??!!! Haiti and the fact that Hillary Clinton is a child murderer and every other vile accusation that’s been hurled at her?

Yes, that’s just a sampling of what I heard when I first published this piece. Apparently, the fact that I didn’t address every single accusation anyone has ever hurled at Hillary means I’m wrong to judge you for supplanting a rational debate about our nation’s domestic and foreign policies with childish screams of “BUT SHE”S A WARMONGER!!!” (and not that this piece is already 1,500+ words.)

But really? A warmonger? I guess that makes sense in a black and white world. But if you knew more than a sentence or two about how the world actually works, you’d know that choices are rarely ― if ever ― that simple, especially not when lives are at stake and sociopathic dictators are concerned. Did you know that Bill Clinton’s failure to send U.S. forces to stop the genocide in Rwanda remains one of the biggest criticisms of his presidency? And yet you want to label Hillary a war criminal for urging President Obama to join an international coalition to stop a terrorist leader from following through on his threats to slaughter his own people? (A coalition, btw, that began with the UK and France, not Hillary and the United States.)

Is it that simple? Of course not, and hindsight is always 20/20. But, if you honestly think you can thoughtfully assess the U.S.’s intervention in Libya or Hillary Clinton’s involvement with a single mean tweet, then I’m not going to waste my time discussing foreign policy with you.

And no, I’m not going to address Haiti, Sudan or even TPP. Not because I don’t have an answer and “you win!” but because I’m, again, not asking you to like Hillary, to vote for Hillary or to agree with her every position. I’m just suggesting you don’t have legitimate cause to hate a human being you, most likely, have never met.

Moreover, I don’t have the time or the space here to provide a point by point explanation of how your attack-line-knowledge of weighty world issues grossly skews and oversimplifies complex policy matters that involve real stakes for real people. And, you know, that’s the real problem with hate and cynicism. It takes no time, energy or knowledge to repeat a hateful line or express your cynical view that politicians suck and government never did anything for you, but it takes a lot of time, energy and research — not to mention a really strong stomach — to knock those assertions down. Which is why, the truth is, I wrote this article less to change your mind, than I did to empower others to stop letting you and your hate dominate the conversation.

So, if you want to be a hater — it’s a free country — hate away. But as I said, I think that says more about you, than it does about Hillary Clinton.


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