How to Talk About Hillary Clinton Without Sounding Like a Jerk
Maybe you love Hillary. Maybe you can’t stand her. Maybe you want to stick a series of tiny pins into her effigy until you feel sweet, sweet release.
It doesn’t really matter. After comfortably winning Saturday’s Nevada caucus, it looks like she’s sticking around, and if you’re the type who talks politics, you’ll be talking about Hillary for the foreseeable future.
And that, well, that’s a bit of a problem. Because even though Hillary has been running for political office for 16 years now, we have no idea how to talk about her. From Team Trump to the Bernie Bros, from 2008 to 2016, the misogyny buffet that’s being served up is impressive: Blatant. Grossly blatant. Yawn. Is it or isn’t it? Girl on girl. This guy. NOPE. Good Christ, really?
Ideally, you want to speak about Hillary respectfully because she’s a human being. But it also pays to remember that every time you say something sexist about Hillary, a feminist HuffPost writer gets her wings and pens a new column about how the patriarchy is holding down her cat.
Do you want more cat lady columns? Of course you don’t. With that in mind, here’s what not to say over the next few months.
“I just don’t trust her.”
There are a million reasons not to trust Hillary Clinton — an embarrassment of riches, really, just like any politician. So say one. Just one will do it, one solid, concrete reason why you question her integrity. But this murky, unsupported distrust? That’s the same type of insecure crap that got women burned at the stake in this very country, and it’s not a good look.
“She’s not inspiring.”
I get it — Bernie Sanders is exciting to watch. As someone who has one eye on my 2-year-old niece and one on the polar ice cap slushie, I hope to vote for him come November. But Hillary Clinton is running for president in a country where, less than 100 years ago, women didn’t have the right to vote. How does that not meet the definition of “inspiring”?
“She’s too polished.”
She is extremely polished. When Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Clinton who she was rooting for in the Super Bowl earlier this month, her eyes sparkled and narrowed ever so slightly as she explained that she was more worried about the children in Flint than a football game. Sanders followed with a much more natural sounding endorsement for the Broncos, but that was a privilege. His whole rambling interview — from his rumpled suit to his folksy accent — was a privilege afforded to men who no longer have to prove why they’re worth listening to. If Hillary Clinton presented herself the same way Bernie Sanders does, she wouldn’t be able to land a volunteer job at the library, let alone the Democratic nomination. So yes, she’s damn polished — and she’s paying for it.
“[Anything about her husband’s affairs]”
As it is 2016, Hillary Clinton is her own person, not Bill’s property, and not responsible for his mistakes. If you simply think having a cheating partner makes you less of a person, maybe try syncing up your family’s iPhones and iPads before casting any stones.
“This is a victory for women, and women should support her.”
Ladies, our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers didn’t fight for our right to vote for women. They fought for our right to vote, whether that be for Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz or Grumpy Cat, and insinuating that we can’t care about other issues is insulting, not to mention a little misogynistic. You’re better than that.
“What is going on with that hair?”
Actually, considering Donald Trump is still in this race, we’re going to have to allow any and all hair commentary in the name of the greater good. Sorry, Hill — another few months can’t hurt.
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