|Courtesy of Peter Daou.com.|
Over the years, the chasm between the real Hillary Clinton and the unseemly caricature portrayed during two decades of personal attacks has been all too familiar to those who know her. Distinct from legitimate policy criticisms, these attacks have served as lazy shortcuts to undermine one of the most accomplished women of our lifetime.
Now, as the floodgates open on 2016 speculation, and despite her high standing in public polls, commentary about Hillary Clinton is following predictable patterns. Several pervasive anti-Hillary themes are being dusted off for yet another political cycle; these are carefully-crafted and patently false talking points designed to dehumanize and demean her. Many of the themes are rooted in the sexism that permeates our culture.
During the 2008 campaign, under withering fire for allegedly being, among other things, too ambitious, too polarizing, and willing to “say or do anything to win,” Hillary refused to play into stereotypes. She told her staff, “I don’t want to succeed because I’m a woman, I want to succeed because I’m the best at what I do.” Whatever she chooses to do in the future, as a former advisor and current supporter, I sincerely hope she is judged based on her actions, not on other people’s inventions. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of anti-Hillary themes so that readers, viewers and listeners recognize them for what they are.