If It Is Indeed Clinton vs Trump, Hillary’s Win Would Reshape America for a Generation

by DarthAnakin –

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tightening their grips on the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

A sweeping statement perhaps. But, if anything, I feel like I am understating the case. While most of the political class and the media is engaged with dissecting Trump’s chances in the General Election and our side covers the full spectrum from unabashed jubilation (she has this!), to full-blown alarm (we are in for a surprise because everyone has underestimated Trump at their peril), it would seem to me, not enough is being said about the underlying significance of this election.

I will make the case briefly.

Trump, far from an exception to the rule, represents the culmination of several aspects (trends) in American politics. Aspects that we, as Democrats would love to get rid of.

First, he is the quintessence of the anti-intellectual tradition that has gripped the GOP for a generation. Used to be a person could be proud of their intellectual and educational accomplishments. But today’s GOP, in continuing denial about climate change, up in arms against the Theory of Evolution and generally of anti-scientific collective mind, makes the likes of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump their champions. Trump is the ultimate bloviator — has an opinion on everything without any actual knowledge or experience, pulls facts out of his… you know what, and is adamant that he is basically an expert on everything. This is a person who is intellectually incurious (George W anyone?) and temperamentally hostile to people with knowledge.

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT to defeat him with our champion, Hillary Clinton, whose educational and intellectual accomplishments make her uniquely qualified for the presidency? By all accounts, she absorbs knowledge like a sponge and studies all sides of every issue so she is familiar with the nuances and the fine print. It will be enormously satisfying to do that. (Nerds vs Jocks lol). Nerds win in the end.

Secondly, Trump represents the culmination of the not-too-subtle racism and xenophobia of the Republican party. Where the GOP used to dog-whistle and code-speak, he is shouting it from the rooftops. “Let’s make America great again,” as in “Let’s make America white again.” Honestly, I am not old enough to remember the “idyllic” panorama of white America. But I can read history… It was, first of all, never all-white. And America’s idyllic whiteness (mostly mythological) of the past, hides the extermination of Native Americans and the brutalization of other races both through slavery and later, through all forms of discrimination. I do not sit in judgment. The past is the past and we can learn from it and make the present different, better. Trump and his ilk are trying to stop the demographic clock that is about to strike the hour of their doom. Trump and his ilk are doing nothing less than trying to re-fight the Civil Rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s, trying to make the “other” in the face of immigrants and, especially Muslims, evil and unacceptable.

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT to see him defeated by Hillary Clinton, whose very first job for the Children’s Defense Fund was about investigating the incarceration of African-American teenagers in South Carolina as adults. Hillary Clinton — who, as an intern, was part of the House investigation that brought Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon, precipitating his resignation. That same Nixon, who in the wake of the Civil Rights breakthrough pioneered the GOP dog-whistling and code-speaking. Wouldn’t it be great to see Trump defeated by Clinton, who in her electoral coalition epitomizes the diversity that is the real, flesh-and-blood America of today? The Clinton whose door to the presidency was, ironically, opened wider by the man who preceded her and showed all of us that in that real, flesh-and-blood diverse America of today, anything is possible. I know that such a defeat of Trump would be more than joyous (although it would be that, a million times), it will be more than symbolic (though history would see it as such), it would be a cataclysmic political event. For, in the wake of such a defeat, that racist and xenophobic platform will no longer be something acceptable in the mainstream of American politics… For no future Republican will want to ever, even remotely, be threatened by the horror of being dubbed Trump-like.

But finally, Trump, in his ugliest aspect, is the fruition of the GOP view of women — lesser creatures who have no real place anywhere significant. Women, whose only acceptable or praiseworthy attributes are their beauty and meekness. Trump ruffled a lot of feathers even within the GOP with his atrocious comments about both Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina … he caused a lot of people to quietly vomit when he could not stop talking about how he would date his 15-yr old daughter. The epithets he has chosen for Hillary Clinton (weak), bespeak his attitude further. Even at his victory speech after winning 5 states this week, he could not hold back from bringing up Clinton’s gender and, again, trying to turn it into a weakness and presuming to speak for all American women by saying “women don’t like her.”

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT to defeat this misogynist with not merely a Democrat who supports and respects women, as our party has done, not merely a Democrat who would fight for women’s health and reproductive rights as most Democrats do, but with an actual WOMAN. A woman, moreover, whose experience and accomplishments dwarf his. A woman, who, both personally and professionally, has been to hell and back, only to emerge tougher, more determined, and more personable than ever. Wouldn’t it be great to defeat this overgrown bully with his worst nightmare — a competent, calm, professional woman. I don’t know about you, but that experience would be one of the highlights of my life (and, basing the extent of my life on average longevity of men in America, I still have a good 10 or 12 presidential elections to look forward to). The experience of seeing that unabashed, abusive misogynist defeated by a woman… THAT concession speech… That will be one for the ages.

But more important than my personal glee…  Such a defeat would represent, in the larger scheme of things, a vast normalization in America. I want to see our country as a place where women are valued as equal partners and evaluated (like men) on their knowledge and experience. I want to see us move forward and embrace the full potential that women bring to every aspect of life.

And so, for all these reasons, I look forward to that battle.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos