They say you should never count your chickens before they hatch, but I think the next hatchling to rise squalling and hungry from the detritus of the US presidential campaign will be a bottle-blonde sexagenarian in a power-suit and Miu Miu black suede sling-backs. Now that I re-read that last sentence, I admit it’s not as clear as it could be. I mean Mrs Clinton, of course! The Donald is more of a pumps man. Pumps for Trump! I digress… the only thing that would upset this prediction, of course, is if enough Americans disagree with me. Putting such unimaginable contingencies aside (because it would make my April 2017 NYC visit a nightmare of epic proportions), I’ve been pondering a question that’s now being seriously debated outside the US. What would a Hillary Clinton presidency look like?
Assuming there are more similarities between Americans and Australians than our waistlines, a useful template for President Clinton’s tenure might be the experience of our first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Maybe because the comparison is so obvious, Julia Gillard herself has already beaten me to the punch. In her 26 July NY Times article, Gillard wrote:
To my dismay, some of the young women who chat with me are not asking for political insights. Instead, they tell me that, having seen how I was treated, they have decided politics is too punishing for them. I always try to talk them out of this position. Sometimes I succeed. In 2016, I hope there are many brave voices naming and shaming any sexism in the presidential contest. The next generation of potential female leaders is watching.
Well said, if somewhat ominous. The traits which people find desirable in male politicians invariably attract condemnation if exhibited in female politicians. It’s because we are conditioned to believe that men and women are more different than perhaps they are. Call it chauvinism, sexism and/or misogyny, as Gillard did while in term, men and women in Anglo-Saxon cultures think women are inherently nicer, gentler, weaker, less ambitious, and less capable of the ‘necessary’ arrogance, cruelty and callous disregard for their fellow humans that their be-penised counterparts are applauded for. But, oh how wrong that is.
In a scathingly insightful opinion piece, Dr Lissa Johnson reveals the muddied underdrawers of Mrs Clinton and the deeply problematic $$$ ties between the Clinton Foundation and the human-rights violating Saudi regime, to the degree that Hillary herself appears complicit in the atrocities. Anyone disagreeing with Johnson’s analysis really needs to read one of those emails Clinton was so desperate to hide. Love him or loathe him, Julian Assange is a fuc*ing demigod for bringing the filthy machinations of modern politics out into the light of day. He has ten-million (and counting) reasons to be paranoid, given Hillary has already threatened to ‘drone him’ yet he’s somehow still alive, and even manages to feel pity for Hillary, seeing her as but a ‘centralising cog’ in the bigger, scarier machine –what her US detractors call ‘the establishment’. This interview between John Pilger and Assange should be watched by everyone in the world.
Maybe Gillard was being carefully modest, creating distance, when pointing out in her NYT article that Hillary Clinton probably wouldn’t find any value in the advice Gillard might presume to give. On face value, this is a small-beans former leader simpering humbly to the future most-powerful leader in the world. But Gillard is a savvy and fiercely intelligent woman who, despite her enemies’ strenuous efforts, emerged from sustained political and legal challenges unblemished. Clinton is a different fish. She absolutely reeks of cronyism and corruption. Perhaps that’s why Dr Lissa Johnson (and many others) have referred tellingly to Hillary Clinton’s imminent ascendance as ‘lesser evilism’.
Better the devil you know is okay, if you’re happy consorting with a devil. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Being asked to choose between Trump and Clinton is like the option of receiving a punch in the face, or a kick in the balls. But maybe you get what you deserve, America. Unfortunately, like passive smoking, if you guys fuc* this up tomorrow, everybody suffers. I used to be a firm Clinton supporter, but then I satrted reading stuff for myself, and now I am totally at a loss. Thank jebus I don’t get a vote in this. The finger of blame will never point at me. Whatever you do, PLEASE don’t let fuc*ing Beyonce or Mike Tyson decide for you.
When it all boils down to it, as is happening right now, supporting Trump lowers you, but supporting Clinton is not exactly elevating. There are eleventh-hour articles suggesting that, despite everything, Trump might somehow galvanise the support of disaffected Americans and blunder over the line. How this would happen when Trump has spent so much time monstering those disaffected Americans, I don’t know. Hillary Clinton owes a lot of people favours, the Saudis that have poured millions into her pocket, the big banks, the FBI and CIA, the mainstream media, etc etc. But the person she owes the biggest debt of gratitude to is The Donald himself. If it had been anyone — anyone — else, she would have been investigated more rigorously, and might well be testing whether or not orange really is the new black.