This is just anecdotal and observational, but I find it interesting.
We’re in a place as a nation where I think everyone can agree that the elites are out of touch and that regular people on the ground detest the Establishment. No one has ever really been able to wrap their arms around what that means, precisely, though. This discontent has been building for years and years and has mostly been ignored. It’s always felt a lot to me like the pre-Revolution period in France.
In college, I took a course on the French Revolution that is most memorable to me because the professor never actually spoke to us, apart from reading word for word from the text book. It was the last class he ever taught before he retired and I think he just always dreamed of doing this as a joke or something, but the man never even said hello. He never asked us questions. He’d just come in every day, put his briefcase down, open the text book, and would read for an hour. Then, he’d close the book, pick up his briefcase, and walk out. Everyone got As in the class. For being grown adults who were read to by another adult three times a week for a semester.
It was the most useful college class I ever took. I wish I still had that book, because a good portion of it dealt with the discontent and resentment that led up to the Revolution…and how the people living in Versailles were willfully blind to and delusional about what was happening all around them to the commoners. The Revolution could have been averted if that disquiet had been addressed at several key junctures (and France would have the tourist draw of a glamorous, chic king and queen to this day, eclipsing any tabloid interest the world would have in the Windsors in that alternate reality). But the Establishment knew better and felt it owned the people…or maybe the bubble at Versailles was just too all-encompassing and thick to see through, let alone pop.
In the future, if some professor walks into a classroom and reads from a book covering this election, I hope there’s a chapter on the disconnect that the elite have about how people really feel about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I’m in the very strange and surreal position of having a lot of friends who sacrificed so much to see her win the 2008 nomination…and some of them want to see her win the election now. I enjoy Hillary Clinton as a historical figure but I don’t admire her the way I used to. I never thought she was perfect, but I used to think she was smart and clever. I admired her resilience and ability to turn things around on her opponents. When she was at the top of her game, she was Evita-grade political entertainment unlike any female politician who’d ever come before her. I hope that even her biggest detractors can give her that: we were alive at a point in history where Hillary Clinton was this larger-than-life force to be reckoned with.
The enormity of that is lost on most people, I think because the 2008 election happened eight years ago and Hillary normalized the concept of a woman vying for the presidency. I know that people roll their eyes when her campaign says this is a “historic” race because we all have “historic” fatigue after hearing how “historic” Barack Obama’s presidency has been. Democrats really made a huge mistake in deciding to have “the historic and unprecedented first black president” come before the “historic and unprecedented first female president” because they could have had Hillary Clinton in 2008 and they’d be running Barack Obama now in 2016. So they could have had it both ways, knocking out two historic “firsts.” Obama’s to be credited for gaming the chessboard in a way that he seems to have been guaranteed to be president at some point, coming at just that moment where social pressures demand that “history-making” event (at a time when Republicans were still so stupid to not be setting up a black presidential candidate of their own, like an Allen West, who would have made an awesome president).
But, Hillary deserves credit for making it a ho-hum, boring-to-most-people, non-event that a woman is one of the two choices to be President of the United States. What she achieved is amazing, because she even seems to have made it a yawnfest that the United Kingdom now has its only-second female Prime Minister in history. You hardly hear anything about Theresa May and most people don’t even know her name. I don’t think that’s because Margaret Thatcher already existed. Absent Hillary, Theresa May would be on the cover of every magazine and in the headlines every day. But because of all the attention on Hillary, that’s just not the case.
I’ve always felt that Hillary Clinton has some strange curse upon her, where just about everyone either hates her or is at least upset with her about something. She had a line during the First Presidential Debate where she joked that Trump was going to blame her for everything that has ever happened. In that moment, the real Hillary came out…the one that people who worked on her 2008 campaign got to see. That’s the real her: funny, sarcastic, exasperated, but resilient. I like the woman on a personal level because growing up in Cleveland (a town constantly maligned and shafted in life) the best people I knew talked just like that. Hillary always reminded me of my favorite aunt growing up, my mom’s sister. My Aunt Blair was sarcastic and practical and was totally unflappable. She was quick with zingers and was a hard worker who never got a lot of respect and had a rough time with a bad ex-husband. She always had to hold everything together, no matter what rotten thing happened now…and she did it with a smile and a joke and an attitude of making it to the next day and waking up in the morning to do the best that she could. I really admired her…and I admired the part of Hillary that felt similar to Aunt Blair.
All of the weird lies, especially about her health, that Hillary has told in recent years really bother me though. And it bothers me that Huma Abedin was allowed to worm her way into a position of such huge influence over Hillary. I’m bothered by Cheryl Mills receiving an immunity deal and I’m disgusted by the way FBI Director Comey acquitted himself in the whole email server investigation (or “non-investigation,” seeing as how the outcome was predetermined politically). I am horrified by what the Clintons did with the Clinton Foundation and I am stumped whenever asked to think of any way to defend their actions.
When I was in college, I worked security in a hotel and one night while doing bag checks at the employee exit one of the concierges, Edita, was caught with some lobsters and raw steaks at the bottom of her bag. Edita was one of my favorite people in the whole building. I loved talking to her and looked forward to seeing her at work. I never would have thought she’d steal food and it was horrifying to be there as the lobsters and steaks were found in her bag. Her reason for stealing them was that she wanted to have an anniversary dinner with her husband. There was a moment where everyone in security felt pressure to look the other way and ignore what she’d done because everyone loved Edita so much…but our job was to look out for theft and even if the General Manager had food in his bag we’d have to bust him. She was caught red-handed and there was nothing that could be done because it was her own fault. It was a tragedy of her own making that she alone bears responsibility for.
This is exactly how I feel about Hillary Clinton right now. This is a woman who had everything going for her: the 2008 race positioned her uniquely to command grudging respect from Republicans for going toe-to-toe with the DNC’s favored candidate, Obama. I think she made a mistake becoming Secretary of State instead of just staying in the Senate, but clearly she wanted the Secretary of State honor to help bolster her foreign policy bona fides (and she surely wanted to avoid having to cast more votes in the Senate that could be used against her). I don’t think she had any accomplishments at State that she can brag about. The disasters in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere belong to the Obama presidency and its Obama Doctrine (of destabilizing secular Muslim countries so that Islamism can spread and Muslim colonists can more easily invade the West)…though I know people enjoy blaming them on Hillary. Her mistake there was not speaking out against the Obama Regime: that could have been a great move for her, holding a press conference and announcing her resignation by saying that the Regime was corrupt and crazy and was headed toward disasters. But, of course she didn’t do that because she lives in terror of alienating black voters (who adore Obama and always will).
I think Hillary Clinton has some of the stupidest people on earth surrounding her and advising her. She, herself, has definitively proven that she is not the manipulative, master-strategist that people on the Right claimed she was for all these years. While she’s adroit at delivering a zinger in the moment and reacting to something that’s happening to her today…she is not a strategic thinker and she’s not good at seeing the big picture. Her life’s ambition was to be the first woman to make it this far and the first woman to win the presidency, but I don’t think she has any vision or clue for what she would do in office.
From what I can see, Democrats all feel that it’s inevitable that Hillary will become president. That’s what pop culture has conditioned us to expect for all these years. I can’t even list all of the tee-vee shows and movies that portray the first female POTUS as Hillary-esque. That’s another major accomplishment for Hillary that she deserves credit for: through the sheer force of her own will, she altered reality to the point where anyone 35 or under was programmed to expect her rise to power. That is some impressive stage-crafting that I think her friends in Hollywood had a lot of help in orchestrating through the years. But, again, it was always about making people believe that the first female president would be Hillary…but never giving people an idea of WHY that should be the case or WHAT she would do as president.
I don’t believe she will win and in 40 days I think that we will go through a very strange period in our history where the concept of Hillary losing is a crushing reality-changer for many people. As a supporter of hers in 2008, one of the worst days of my adult life was the day she surrendered and conceded the race to Obama. After investing more than a year of my life on that campaign, her concession speech that June was a surreal moment, like something from Man in the High Castle where they’d show a newsreel of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on the deck of the Bismarck signing a surrender treaty to the Germans. This was not how things were supposed to happen and it felt like being tossed into an alternate universe. For many of us on that campaign, it was hard to function after her defeat and get back to our old lives before being on Team Hillary consumed us. The past eight years have in many ways been a torturous fog, because nothing since her surrender to Obama has ever felt like how things were supposed to be for America. Nothing that has happened to this country since 2008 feels like it’s what was supposed to befall us. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was supposed to be the 44th President of the United States and because that didn’t happen everything feels like the world went off its rails.
I’m really surprised, actually, by how many Obama voters now feel that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is supposed to be the 45th President of the United States and how they cannot imagine a reality where that won’t happen. I worry about how these people will handle her defeat…or, more accurately, Trump’s looming victory. I don’t think they will take it the way we Team Hillary loyalists did in June of 2008, where our reaction was severe and soul-crushing depression and a feeling of being lost in an alternate reality. I think Democrats will lose their minds and succumb to blind irrational rage and hatred. Because Democrats are ruled by emotions and have violent tantrums when they don’t get their way.
The reason I talk so much, still, about the 2008 election is because that was a turning point for the Democrat Party, where the radical Leftist elements all went towards Obama and the people who didn’t support him were the moderates in the party…people who love America and want it to prosper but never had any affinity for Republicans. My favorite memory of Hillary from 2008 was the night in Crowne Pointe, Indiana where she was pounding back boilermakers and laughing in a bar with regular people. This is not a woman who eats wagyu beef or drinks champagne every night like the Obamas (and the Cocktail Party Republican elite). Hillary is a woman who tells bawdy jokes and drinks chardonnay from a box but doesn’t want you to know it. At heart, that’s my Aunt Blair. And I love that.
I think we’re all in a political identity crisis that originated in 2008. I don’t know how things will ever shake out. But, I keep coming back to that French Revolution feeling. The Establishment really controls both of our political parties now, which is why people respond so much to Trump. Hillary Clinton — again, surrounded by idiots — made a choice long ago to brand herself as the Establishment’s candidate. The Clintons and the Bushes merged dynastic ambitions long ago. I’m really surprised, actually, that Chelsea was not married off to one of Jeb’s sons or some other Bush. The Clintons and the Bushes really have cemented themselves as royal families in an America that isn’t supposed to have royalty. But they filled the void left by the disappearance of the Rockefellars, Roosevelts, and Kennedys from the de facto royal court of American politics. Black people will have the Obamas as a black royal family forever, which is sad because I don’t think either of them deserve adulation. But I get why black people feel the way they do, since clearly people love royalty as much as everyone claims it’s an outdated concept.
But people are tribalist by nature. Humans gravitate towards tribes. It’s in our DNA. It’s how we survived life on the plains being hunted by sabertooths and terror birds and giant lizard monsters in prehistory. Each tribe looks for a chieftain and the chieftain(s) consolidate power and become royals. And tribalism commands loyalty to those royals.
Hillary’s problem has always been that all the people who loved Bill Clinton don’t necessarily see her as his heir, not with him still alive and walking around on the scene (getting up to whatever shameful thing he is getting up to). Hillary formed her own tribe of loyalists — of which I was once a member — but that tribe was always small. Few people ever loved Hillary. Those of us who did all had an Aunt Blair growing up and saw some sense of Aunt Blair in Hillary that we liked because we could see the real her. I don’t know why she refuses to show the real her, but — again — she is surrounded by idiots who give her bad branding and marketing advice.
Donald Trump is like a barbarian king who is seen as uncouth by everyone in gilded walls inside the Establishment’s Versailles. He is brash and odious to the elite. That’s why Hillary says something as strange as calling Trump’s supporters “a basket of deplorables.” That is such a weird phrase to use that I have been trying to figure out where she got it. Since her campaign manager Robby Mook is gay and is around my age, I can only guess that it came from him. Because “basket of deplorables” is a term I could have easily written myself when giving something a name. And a well-to-do gay man like Mook, living in a privileged bubble, could easily look down upon Americans who live outside of Versailles and view them snootily as a “basket of deplorables.”
The woman who was pounding back boilermakers (that’s a large beer with a shot of whiskey dropped into it, shot glass and all) and scarfing down cheap pizza in a Crowne Pointe, Indiana bar eight years ago is not someone who thinks Americans are deplorable…because she’s in that basket of deplorables herself, as Hillary knows full well that she is not a silver-spoon aristocrat like a Rockefeller, Roosevelt, or Kennedy. She’s still not even seen in the same sphere as the Obamas, who the Left declared royals immediately, despite neither of them growing up rich. The Clintons are from Arkansas, not Chicago (despite Hillary being born in Park Ridge, Illinois…a suburb of Chicago). The Clintons are still seen as white trash and always will be and I think both of them resent that. The fact that Bill can’t ever control himself and still embarrasses Hillary with his sexcapades must humiliate her…as it continues to make them laughingstocks in the circles in which they are so desperate to be revered as royals.
What makes me think back to sitting there in my collegiate French Revolution class and listening to that professor read to us is how angry people in France were at the denizens of Versailles and how the Establishment in all its forms worked so hard not to listen to any of it…and how they pretended things weren’t happening. The press lied and refused to report the truth about how bad things really were, but the truth spread anyway because people are not stupid, nor are they blind. Americans know they are suffering. No matter how much the Establishment insists that everything is great, people know that in the last eight years $20 has become a lot of money to most people.
It used to be that $100 was a lot of money, back when everyone was doing better. If you asked someone to do something — like going out for a night of drinks and dinner and maybe a movie or a play — you knew you’d spend about $100. Socially, if you were going out and were going to spend $100 that was something you had to think about doing and had to be aware if people could afford to blow that on a night out. That was the norm.
Here in 2016, you can mostly forget about asking a group if they want to go out for dinner and drinks and all that because few people can afford to spend that $100. Now, it’s just drinks…or maybe coffee. If you ask anyone to do anything that’s going to cost more than a $20, you are going to make people uncomfortable because many people don’t have that extra cash to spend.
Because of Obamacare, everyone I know who works in hourly positions has had their hours cut so that the companies don’t have to incur the costs of having them as full-time employees. Instead of working 40 hours a week like they used to before Obamacare, people now get only 29 hours a week (or whatever is just under the threshold). A lot of people had to take second jobs or add on part-time jobs onto whatever they were already working. People with Masters’ degrees are cleaning houses on the side or walking dogs to make some extra cash. This is the “progress” that Democrats have brought us in the last eight years.
Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Establishment can’t address any of this because none of them can admit that Obamacare was a huge, destructive, disastrous mistake. They can’t admit that anything in the last eight years was a mistake. Because black people won’t allow a negative word to be spoken about the black royal family that is the Obamas, reality has to be ignored completely.
That means this election will come down to something really simple in the end: is the Establishment right and everything’s great and what’s happening to America is wonderful and we need more of it…or are things really as terrible as most people I know think they are and the country is on the wrong track?
If you think everything is wonderful right now, you will be voting for Hillary.
If you are suffering and think America is on the wrong track and the Establishment is destroying our country, you will vote for Trump.
In 40 days we find out where the majority of Americans are in terms of these questions. I know how I am voting, which requires me to put aside a lot of personal feelings for someone who I will always like personally. But I just can’t afford to see America slip further down into third world dregs while the Establishment keeps pretending that a revolution isn’t brewing.
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