For the month of June, we asked all of our writers to include a video in their post.
Many claims have been made about why Hillary Clinton is unsuited for the presidency. Those on the right call her a communist, and those on the left call her a Republican who is bought and paid for by Wall Street. She has been accused of being too rigid and too compromising, has been called a criminal while never having broken the law, of being too tough and not being tough enough.
The one which seems to resonate the most with both sides, however, is that Clinton is a pathological liar—the video linked above is one of several which supposedly chronicles her decades of bald-faced lies. In a March Washington Post poll, 57 percent of those surveyed thought that she was untrustworthy. I have been assured by a voter undecided between Trump and Hillary that Clinton’s list of iniquities goes well beyond just the email “scandal.”
Let’s get his out of the way first: Hillary Clinton is certainly not less trustworthy than the average politician, and is in fact more trustworthy than most. Politifact ranks her as the most honest of all primary candidates in either party in the 2016 election. Despite decades in the center of the politics, she has never been found guilty of corruption or lawbreaking. Jill Abramson, former Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Post who investigated the Clintons during Whitewater and spend decades as a Washington-based investigative reporter, has called her “fundamentally honest and trustworthy.”
So why, then, is she thought of as a congenital liar? Marco Rubio supported immigration and then voted against his own bill, yet no one calls him dishonest. Bill Clinton lied repeatedly and directly to the nation about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, yet somehow is still not regarded as dishonest. George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney lied about there being WMDs in Iraq, and yet there are no artfully crafted Youtube videos of them contradicted themselves. President Obama said, “if you like your health care, you can keep it,” which was proven untrue. So what is the difference between these men and Hillary?
One of the many lessons on modern day American which this presidential campaign has provided is that sexism, which conservatives dismiss as liberal propaganda and liberals regard as Their-Problem-Not-Ours, is very much alive and well in public discourse. Much has been made of Hillary’s “screaming” during speeches—Bob Woodward, on liberal bastion MSNBC nonetheless, said that she should “get off this screaming stuff.” This while Bernie Sanders (and by the way, can you imagine if Hillary showed up with an ill-fitting suit and uncombed hair?), is bellowing at the top of his lungs about how big banks are ruining our nation’s infrastructure and also somehow everything else too.
Hillary has been the target of thousands of sexist attacks on Twitter, including some in which she is blamed for her husband’s affair. Call me crazy, but I find it difficult to imagine a male politician getting blamed for his wife’s improprieties. She has been warned that her ambitions for the Presidency will destroy the Democratic Party. I’m having difficulty recalling a time when a male even close to as qualified as Hillary was called “too ambitious.” Frankly, the idea that a former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State can be publicly called too ambitious for the Presidency would be laughable if it weren’t such a fucking outrage.
In his excellent article examining how people respond to Hillary, David Arnovitz of Medium compares the treatment of (white)(male) Gen. David Petraeus’s scandal to Clinton’s. Unlike Hillary, who to date has not been found to have committed any crime (Politico and the Washington Post have been said that it is highly unlikely that she will be indicted), Petraeus gave a writer, who was also his mistress, books containing details on everything from identities of spies to military strategy to conversations with the National Security Council, then lied about it to the Department of Justice. And while Hillary is accused of lying and hauled before multiple congregational committees, Petraeus is forgiven, patted on the back and called to run for President himself.
Those who claim that it doesn’t matter that Hillary is a woman are wrong. It matters because her campaign highlights the still-rampant sexism of our society (if you hesitate to agree, please consider how a man with her credentials would be viewed in this race) and because, by electing her, we can help young women realize that there need be no limit to their ambition—that the hatred of an ignorant and jealous minority are no match for intelligence, toughness, compassion, and a lifelong desire to serve the public good.
To hell with the ignorant and the jealous. Let’s elect the President we need.
I’m with her.
After working in Washington, D.C., for two years, Andrew Orlebeke (’10) is in graduate school in Seattle, Washington, studying public policy. In addition to public service, he has a passion for traveling and an abiding love of sports.