It's arrogant for opinion writers to argue that Clinton’s opinions don’t matter: Westwood
It doesn’t appear the appetite for unraveling 2016 has gone anywhere. It’s just a vocal many don’t want to hear it from Hillary Clinton, writes Rosemary Westwood.
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I’m a bit confused.
Why, again, should we ignore Hillary Clinton?
Why, as the Washington Post would have it, should she go gently and pass from public life like a mourning widow?
And beyond interviews with her — which are necessarily shallow to a degree — why should we especially cringe at What Happened, her book-length autopsy of one of the most important presidential races and a pivotal moment for gender and race?
Americans are gobbling up campaign memoirs (Katy Tur’s “Unbelievable”) and tell-alls (Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s “Shattered”). They’re mainlining books on Steve Bannon (Joshua Green’s “Devil’s Bargain”) and brushing up on philosophies of what reality even means (Brooke Gladstone’s “The Trouble with Reality”).
It doesn’t appear the appetite for unraveling 2016 has gone anywhere. It’s just — and this has been made surprisingly explicit — a vocal many don’t want to hear it from Clinton (to quote the Post, she’s the “wrong messenger”).
So. Analysis from a historic candidate for the U.S. presidency who lost in a historic election to another historic candidate is — let me get this right — not interesting.
Apparently, according to some, the only way for Clinton to righteously handle defeat is to assume all blame with zero thoughtfulness, and go mute. Any attempt at nuance is shifting the blame which, reminder, only she can carry. Any attempt to even talk about what happened is a money/publicity grab.
The lack of curiosity about Clinton is exhausting to watch. It appears to take great efforts of illogic on the part of reviewers across the political spectrum to argue for her meaninglessness, especially given the fact that the Democrats don’t have a forceful, unified anti-Trump plan, or 2018 plan, or 2020 plan exactly because so many of them are still trying to figure out what the hell happened and how to get white people to like them again, and others to even just vote.
It’s also arrogant for opinion writers to argue that Clinton’s opinions don’t matter. She won the popular vote, folks. I’d say a fair few million Americans want very much to hear what she’s got to say.
The real problem here isn’t Hillary Clinton’s obsession with her loss — it’s America’s obsession with hating Clinton.
Of course there is nothing wrong with criticizing her, or disagreeing with her views. But few critics seem to have learned anything from how the media covered her run, and the ensuing backlash against her loss. They continue to use the same old measuring stick to beat her with, the one that landed us with Donald Trump.
Are we really still berating her for speaking to bankers or running a charity when Donald Trump staffed his cabinet with Goldman Sachs, used charities as shells to enrich himself and is now raking in hotel profit for being president? Are we sneering at her anger at James Comey, when outlets like FiveThiryEight argue he essentially did lose her the election? When almost the entire country thought she would win, and then she lost, does it really make sense to lay all the blame at her feet, and not take some for ourselves?
Of course not.
There’s nothing more cliché than arguing Clinton’s public persona is some kind of cancer on the Democrats. It was the underlying tone of the entire campaign coverage.
What’s far more worrying than Clinton’s need to reckon with her past is how little — still — some want to listen to her.