Don’t Fuck This Up, Hillary
I’ve been fairly open in my support for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. I think she’s the most qualified candidate. I’m moved by her life story, and what I see as an honest to goodness desire to help people (we’ll talk about this one in a later piece, after Bernie’s officially dropped out).
My support for her, however, has been despite her propensity to say and do remarkably stupid shit. The Nancy Reagan debacle. The CP time joke. Taking $650,000 to speak for Goldman Sachs. The email mess (not criminal, but stupid). That time she whipped and nae nae-ed on Ellen (definitely criminal).
So now that we know for certain that her Republican opponent will be the Orange Badingus, it’s time that we level with our girl HillDawg as she prepares for what will continue to be a dark, dark year in America: Stop doing stupid shit.
This isn’t just about you anymore, Hill. A burnt cronut with a comb-over is aspiring to the highest office in the land, and he’s promising insanity. Or chaos. Or nihilism. Or the end of all things. However you want to phrase it.
The Republican base went and nominated the polar opposite of our current president. Barack Obama is an intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful, open-minded black man. The presumptive Republican nominee is none of those things. It’s almost a litany at this point: He’s racist. He’s sexist. He’s xenophobic. He has no idea what the fuck he’s talking about ever. His most relevant experience to date is as host of a reality television show. He’s a danger to the country (and may actually also be a danger to himself).
So that’s where we’re at Secretary Clinton. That’s the opponent. Numerous prognosticators are already forecasting the electoral curb stomping you will hand the Republican nominee in the fall. If the election were held today, yes, you would wipe the floor with that man and then hang his pelt on your wall as a trophy.
But the election is six months away. A lot can happen in six months. Many words will be coming out of your mouth between now and November 8th. This is not the time to coast. This is the time to hunker down, prepare thyself for the coming tempest, and do a job.
Thus far, you have tended to find yourself in a wash, rinse, spin cycle of handling some inane nonsense that has come out of your mouth (and your husband’s mouth, for that matter). It’s not that you sometimes give bad answers to hard questions, it’s that sometimes you give bad answers to questions that people weren’t even asking, and those answers can be alienating.
My greatest fear is that you’ll say or do something so colossally dumb in a crucial moment that it undermines your entire message and causes a statistically significant number of voters to either stay home or say fuck it and vote for the other guy. Based on recent history, I don’t think that fear is entirely unfounded. Improbable? Yeah, totally. Impossible? No. That’s why it needs to be said.
You owe this to us. You owe it to the country to do this well. Not only do you need to save us from He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, but we need to feel good about voting for you, not against our literal demise. The pitch for you can’t be, “Well, she’s there, and I don’t think she’s crazy.” It’s important that we want you to have this.
Because, in the end, whoever wins this election has to be our President for four years. They have to run the country and we have to see their face and listen to their voice all the time. Probably most of 2017 is going to be spent dealing with the hangover from the Trump campaign, and reconciling ourselves with the fact that something like that can still happen in this country in 2016. It’s going to involve a lot of introspection and self-reflection (hopefully). We need our leader to be somebody we feel like we chose, not somebody who was thrust upon us. The country can’t move forward otherwise.
If you keep doing and saying stupid shit, we aren’t going to feel that way. Will most of it be superficial? Probably. But that superficiality adds up. When you keep doing it over and over and over and over again, it starts to reveal a pattern. If you get your act together, put together a cogent, coherent argument for the next six months on why you should be the president, and why your vision for America will lead us down the path to more success (notice I said “more success”), you’ll be great.
There are those who will have fundamental policy differences with you. There are those who will look at your foreign policy record and blanche at the more, ahem, hawkish moments and will take a more “wait and see” approach to your candidacy. Let those people exist. Speak to their better angels. Engage in honest discussion. Don’t try to paper over any perceived failings in an attempt to be perfect or everything to everybody.
You don’t need to be that. You just need to be the best.