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Sometimes we don’t have a choice about the people in our lives. Plenty of Americans know what it’s like to have a family member who is racist or sexist, and most of us don’t have the privilege of choosing who we work with or for. Still, who we choose to surround ourselves with matters. And for those with power, these personal and professional decisions hold even more weight.
Hillary Clinton chose to marry and remain married to Bill Clinton – a man accused of multiple sexual assaults and corruption. And she is counting on Robert Cialdini to help her with debate prep – a man accused of deploying the psychology of persuasion as a weapon to influence the election outcome.
These two men are among the advisers she picked after Wikileaks revealed she intended to use Bernie Sander’s Jewish heritage to question his loyalty to America and suitability for the Presidency. The Wikileaks scandal forced Debbie Wasserman to resign from the DNC, and Clinton promptly hired her, despite the clear evidence of bias and anti-Semitism. These choices tell us a clear story about who Clinton is and what she stands for.
The associations add disturbing detail to the picture we already have of Clinton – one she has painted herself, repeatedly, with disdainful comments about white men, native Americans, stay at home mothers, Christians and unborn babies. For the targets of Clinton’s ire, the bigotry is obvious: polls show white men, both with and without college degrees, evangelicals and a growing chunk of women, Latino and African American voters are overwhelmingly adverse to voting for Clinton, and that is not likely to change before the November election.
That’s why Clinton’s recent “outreach” to conservative voters – speeches about the altright community before mostly white audiences, defense of traditional conservatism which she previously referred to as ‘conspiracy’– is not really about rehabilitating her image with conservatives. It’s about pandering to #NeverTrump voters who want to believe they’re not idiots for supporting Clinton.
She’s hoping that moderate Republicans – those who may be disturbed by Clinton’s #BlackLivesMatter and female supremacist supporters and her invective against, well, everyone else – will see this as their opportunity to vote for Clinton without feeling guilty for supporting a corrupt woman who only achieved power by marrying, and staying married to a man accused of horrific crimes.
The tactic may work to assuage that guilt, but it doesn’t change reality: a vote for Clinton is a vote for racism, misandry and hate. It matters that female supremacists (who apparently prefer the softer term “feminist”) support Clinton, and that she is slow to disavow their endorsement. It matters that she consistently and repeatedly surrounds herself with man-haters and bigots. It matters that her policies and beliefs would irreparably harm American families.
Associating yourself with a terrible person – whether through work or through votes – reflects on who you are, whether you like it or not. Clinton cannot claim to support communities that she derides and expect us to believe it. She cannot surround herself with advisers who are hateful and then say with a straight face that she does not hate.
There is no get-out-of-sexism-against-men free card in this election. There is no papering over the misandry and racism that has infected this campaign. If you believe in equality, there is no voting for Clinton.
Lots of love,