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Y Not Like Hillary? (2)

November 1, 2016

OMG I think I finally get it. I hadn’t gone deep enough (and frankly that’s embarrassing, since I’ve been thinking—albeit as a layperson—about archetypes for about 40 years).

Because Hillary Clinton’s “unfavorable” #s have been so unreasonably low, with much “dislike” also being expressed, and because I’ve spotted that dislike inside my own self, for months I’ve been trying to reason with myself about what’s going on here. I took a stab at it, on Sept 25, and then another, just the other day. Meanwhile, I’ve had another, conventionally reasonable, page in draft stage, which I’ll paste below.

Susan Faludi’s essay on the history of hateful Republican propaganda explains a lot; but I prefer to think that that has not had much influence on me or my liberal friends.

Then last night daughter K prompted me to read this essay by Jeffrey C. Isaac in The Nation, about why people on the Left should vote for Hillary even if they don’t like her. It’s very well reasoned and I agree. But none of my thoughts seemed really to account for the public and Leftist phenomenon of hatred, or at least improportionate dislike. While typing a reply to K’s email, the thing finally smacked me in the face.

So I’m drafting a page about reasonable, improportionate emotional response, and one on what I think underlies the whole thing.

First, here’s some of the page that I planned to finish this week. I think it’s reasonable, as well as relatively superficial:

Wait, what difference does it make? I didn’t particularly like LBJ, but he did wonderful things for the country. At first I liked Bill Clinton well enough, and then less and less, but I still prefer him to any Republican.

A lot of people like Obama, but our affection for him hasn’t prevented Republicans from obstructing anything good that he has tried to do.

Liking our president is a feel-good thing, and is preferable to times with a president that we don’t like; but it doesn’t help humanity. And we don’t have to like a candidate in order to vote for her, if we think that she is the best option available, for humanity.

And yet I have liberal friends, who always vote Dem, who are having trouble with the thought of voting for Hillary, even when staring at the specter of Trump and the fascist (AS) Republican party. The antipathy runs that deep (not that they’ll won’t vote Trump; they’ll vote Hillary if they think T might carry their state).

Also there is a difference between the questions, Do you like Hillary? and Where would you place Hillary on a favorability scale? I think.

For instance, I personally place both of the Clintons, and the Clintonite Dem Party, down toward Unfavorable, somewhat separately from whether I find Hillary “likable.” I think.

But what worries me is that the combination of not viewing her political philosophy favorably, and not responding to her “person” positively, will prevent her from turning out the huge number of voters that we’ll need, in order to offset the Trump-inspired turnout, plus Republican suppression of the Dem vote. And this at a time when we need a landslide in order to put a halt to Republican congressional obstruction.

Hillary will not inspire that large of a turn out. The reasons are as Willy would put it, “she’s liked but she’s not well-liked,” she’s disliked, and she’s mal-disliked.

Why is that? As I wrote earlier, setting aside [and that’s the problem] the fact that she’s a woman, and furthermore a powerful woman, which is enough to inspire hatred or dislike, or at least discomfort, in many, conventionally insecure, men, we still have the dislike, or at best a bare tolerance of her, on the part of many voters who are liberal, and who think [at least] that they would welcome the opportunity to fall in love with a Democratic woman running for the presidency. Say, for instance, Elizabeth Warren. Why don’t they (don’t I) feel more positive about Hillary?

I’m thinking several negatives.

For me, the biggest is her oligarchic political philosophy and vision of the good life.

It’s just seems like the Clintons are in it for themselves—too much, even if also for other people, and of course for their family. Well, everybody should be in it for their family; but not when you’re an elected public servant and your self-service gets in the way of doing good for the public, or your doing good for the public significantly enhances your own material good. For instance, when Hillary declared for the presidency, the Clintons should have immediately separated themselves and their private interests from their eponymous Foundation, at least until such time as no one in the family could benefit politically from contacts with donors. Instead, it feels like they want it all, and believe that they deserve it all, great public status and the wealth that derives from it. And that’s not attractive. It’s as if they don’t really get who they are, as national and international figures. Although their philosophy of success seems to be one of oblesse oblige (itself not wholly attractive from the American democratic point of view), they won’t exactly do everything that their position obligates them to.

And it has seemed unseemly for the past and likely future Presidents Clinton to use their status as entrée into the world of international super-wealth, and to become wealthy themselves—even with a humanitarian purpose. Meanwhile we’ve had the contra-example of Jimmie and Rosalynn Carter, also traveling the world to help people, but not accumulating wealth.

Okay, unattractive, somewhat worthy of concern—but deep dislike? On the next page I’ll try to give a reason for reasonable, deep dislike. Then on a last page of this episode I’ll give what I think is the “real” (archetypal) reason.

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