The divide between left and right in the political landscape is dangerously wide. A proxy battle rages between the voices that shout loudest and meanest, and not the voices that reflect the average individual. It’s the alt-right and the now alt-left. The race inspired clash in Charlottesville, Virginia this summer and the Antifa rallies on U.S. campuses weeks later don’t begin to illustrate the atmosphere. It doesn’t begin to summarize the vitriol.
It’s been 10 months since the United States federal election and it’s no coincidence ABC started a new version of The Gong Show this summer to level out the news coming from the White House. So in these tumultuous times, nothing would help guide the collective consciousness to reason more than a level-headed voice. Someone to bridge the gap between the radicals on both right and left. However, that voice isn’t Hillary Clinton’s.
Clinton’s book What Happened hit shelves last Tuesday to lukewarm coverage. Although I haven’t read it, nor want to, What Happened has been called everything from a ‘hubristic memoir’ to ‘cautiously diaristic’ in The Guardian
and The Atlantic. The book appears to be ground zero for Clinton’s post-election crusade alleging that she was robbed of the presidency. It was her presidency and it was taken from her.
Hillary has made it quite clear who’s to blame. Donald Trump, James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Wikileaks, the electoral system, Bernie Sanders, the right-wing media, mainstream media, the Democratic Party, Facebook, women, twitterbots, Netflix and her plain old honesty. This isn’t a joke. The Daily Wire collected many of these quotes back in June laying out the near 40 scapegoats Clinton has used since November. Her book touches on many of these conspirators, including many statements about how fellow progressive Bernie Sanders hurt her campaign by lumping her in with the Wall Street politicians. It’s almost like Sanders was running against her or something.
Comedy aside, someone as smart as Hillary Clinton should be, should recognize that maybe the reason she didn’t win the presidency was because she isn’t very likeable or trustworthy. It’s a similar problem she had in 2008 during the Democratic primary and one that’s grown since her time as First Lady. Clinton was not an unknown person before the election. Norm MacDonald was doing jokes about her character and habitual lying on Weekend Update back in the ’90s. The public has known her for two decades and probably didn’t want to do deal with her anymore.
Not surprisingly, Trump hasn’t been a good president. However, Clinton is not the voice Americans or those emotionally invested in Canada need to hear. That’s
the problem: the Democratic Party is not resonating with many people. Clinton points to this during an interview on CBS This Morning two weeks ago. She feels it was a mistake not playing to the anger and emotions of supposedly pissed off white people, which may be true to some extent. Maybe she should’ve appealed to the “White Anger” as it’s been called if she just wanted to win. But what many people are finding caustic about Trump is the constant blame he passes out for errors – a clear sign of poor leadership. Why his base tolerates it and even enjoys it is because many on the left are doing the same – blaming people for other people’s problems. That blame game is too popular and stops positive growth.
Those in the middle trying to make sense of the political mess have nowhere to pivot when Clinton makes these statements in the same vein as Trump. This type of scapegoating is what turns many people away from liberals when looking to escape Trump hysteria. It’s an us versus them mentality at all costs. Nowhere is it worse than in Clinton’s criticism of white women for not standing in solidarity like they did in the women’s marches. The assumption seems that because Clinton is a woman she should’ve cleaned up the female vote. Truthfully, people act as individuals more than they act as part of a collective identity.
I’m not suggesting, like others are, that Hillary should go off quietly into the night but taking responsibility for one’s actions and reconciling with them is the only way out of this mess. In the grand scheme, Clinton’s book and publicity is self-serving and nothing more. Worse, it’s the type of rhetoric Americans are sick of hearing and could help Trump become re-elected in 2020.
The cycle of spite grows deeper and deeper. The only way out now is truth and responsibility, otherwise the left and right will pull farther and farther apart.
– Michael Menzies, Senior Editor