It does not seem like former presidential candidate and second-place finisher, Hillary Clinton, will be leaving the stage any time soon.
Since her loss to Donald Trump in November 2016 (and after a brief period of private mourning), Mrs. Clinton has been in the public square talking about her defeat and finding ways to explain what happened.
Hillary and her supporters weren’t expecting defeat. After all, she had waited her turn in line behind Barack Obama. As the first female presidential candidate for a major political party, it was supposed to be her time. It turned out that it wasn’t.
While in India in March, Clinton expressed her frustration at “married white women” who supposedly destroyed her chance at becoming president because they “voted the way their husbands did.”
Maybe these “married white women”, these bringers of electoral doom, just didn’t like you and your policies? Maybe they were familiar with your long background in politics and actively reject everything that you stand for? Amazing, that.
On Thursday, Hillary Clinton was in Australia and again tried to explain her loss as only someone looking to cope with utter defeat continues to do.
…the twice-defeated presidential candidate sat with Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female prime minister, and spoke about sexism in politics. Clinton had a lot to say.
“There is still a very large proportion of the population that is uneasy with women in positions of leadership,” Clinton said, “and so the easiest way to kind of avoid having to look at someone on her merits is to dismiss her on her looks.”
“There is this fear, there is this anger, even rage about women seeking power, women exercising power and people fall back on these attacks like you’re a witch or you should go to prison,” Clinton continued. “It’s not a majority, thank goodness, it’s not, but it’s a very vocal minority at least in my country.
(I’m confused at how it’s “a very large proportion of the population” while also being a “not a majority” and a “very vocal minority.” You’ll need to more accurately describe all that misogyny, Hillary.)
As a female who is immersed in politics, I have yet to actually see what Mrs. Clinton describes: rage about women seeking/exercising power or unease at females in leadership. Sure, I can imagine that there are a few people who feel this way, but those individuals are such a minuscule portion of the voting public. Their impact is neither felt nor rarely seen.
But sure; that’s somehow a major reason for Hillary’s defeat.
Ask Republicans about Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She was (and remains) a popular figure on the Right. She has experience and confidence, and her body parts/biology don’t affect her ability to do her job. She is exceptional as a representative for the United States. Furthermore, her name comes up quite often as someone who Republicans would be happy to vote for as president in the future. There is no rage. There is no unease. She has proven herself time and again. And her example is not the only one.
So, maybe it’s the policies and personal history that turned voters, both male and female, away from supporting Clinton?
I do believe that it is too easy to dismiss people, politicians or not, based on physical appearance. This is not only a feature of the public or political landscape. Even in everyday life, we judge others based on how they look. As I’ve said time and again, ridiculing someone based on this very superficial quality only tells me that the speaker lacks an actual, substantive argument. This goes for males, females, politicians or not, regardless of party affiliation or worldview. I don’t appreciate nor do I respect this behavior no matter who it comes from.
If you don’t like Rachel Maddow, explain it with substance. If Nancy Pelosi infuriates you, tell me why by countering her political stances with better ones of your own. If Hillary Clinton was not your choice for office, don’t reduce yourself to describing her physical features. You’re better than that. At least, I hope so.
Perhaps one day Hillary Rodham Clinton will conclude her national and international nagging tour and quietly retreat to a more private life. That seems to be a long way in the future, though.
Regardless, I believe she will always attempt to find some sort of connection to sexism in an effort to explain her defeat.
To her, that sort of truth is better than the real one; a reality where she was not and never going to be chosen for president despite spending her whole life in that pursuit.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Kimberly Ross on Twitter: @southernkeeks.