I Like Hillary The Person, But Not Hillary The Politician

Look, you’d have to be either deaf or complicit to deny that so much of Hillary-hatred is shaded with misogyny, with a deep discomfort from seeing a powerful woman on the path to getting more power. I love Hillary Clinton the PERSON for persevering constantly in the face of rabid & irrational right-wing hatred, for being a fucking G when her shit husband embarrassed the fuck out of her & their daughter, for being the inspiration she is for womyn–having to do everything a male politician does, except “backwards & in high heels” like Ginger Rogers.

So I can like Hillary the person… and I can hate Hillary the STATESperson. I hate the way the Clintons made the Democratic Party a centrist umbrella camp (effectively denying America’s left-wing a party to call home), I hate the Clintons’ 1994 mass-policing & mass-incarceration crime bill (effectively making them major “architects of Black terror” as Kiese Laymon wrote), I hate the Clintons’ dismantling of Glass-Steagall, I hate Hillary’s disingenuous pandering–the way she compares herself to your abuela, her hawkishness on the Middle East, her blind Zionism, her simultaneous entitlement to & gaslighting of PoC voters–even as she & her husband continue to dismiss brave #BlackLivesMatter protestors, even as they continue to demonstrate their utter tone-deafness about race, their refusal to take responsibility for the way they’ve played footsie with dangerous, racist stereotypes of Black people when it benefitted them, but now frame the narrative as if the House of Clinton is Black America’s only hope. I hate the Clintons’ shadiness, their hyper-corporatism, their dynasty vibes, their cooption of liberal values & dissolution thereof in the muddle of mainstream imperial neoliberalism–I hate it all, but Hillary Clinton the PERSON, inasmuch as it’s possible to divorce a person from her politics, deserves my respect for the impossible terrain she’s had to navigate to get here. All womyn do.

But none of that changes the fact that white feminism needs to check itself & listen to the voices of womyn of color, and it doesn’t change the fact that Bernie supporters–my fellow peeps–need to constantly check their criticisms of Hillary & make sure there’s no sexist drool on their chins, and it doesn’t mean Hillary deserves your vote because she’s a woman, and it doesn’t mean all Hillary-hate is misogynistic, and it definitely doesn’t mean that Sanders supporters are just naive manboys who won’t let Mama get to business–it just means that all this shit is complicated, that we can hold both admiration & contempt for the same person, and that we need to stop treating our politics as sport, or theatre, or show business, or one-ups-manship, because there are real lives–all over the world–at stake in our shitty little elections. That’s the burden of empire.

So don’t tell us Hillary is the “rational” Democrat’s choice when she’ll almost certainly order the destruction of more Brown & Black bodies abroad, and don’t tell us Sanders is a fantasist when he’s correctly predicted the catastrophes of Iraq, of the ’07-’08 financial collapse, and of the grotesque sums of money hidden offshore, and don’t tell us Sanders is unelectable when he fares better than Clinton against both Trump & Cruz in every general election match-up poll, and don’t tell us that Bernie is basically Jesus when he only woke up about race like 4 days ago & is still counting his subway tokens trying to play catch-up. It’s complicated. All these people are trying to get a job that by its very definition entails innumerable acts of crime against humanity. But if you’re going to notice the sexism in some supporters of Sanders, you ought also to notice the illiberal defeatism or else status-quo worship of some Hillary supporters as well.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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