An Essay By Member William
This essay is not about Hillary Clinton’s consistently supportive positions on Israel, or about her strong support among Jewish voters. It is about scapegoating, something that they are both victims of; even though her history of being relentlessly scapegoated is of course a much smaller portion of time, and has had far less horrific effects.
I am not HIllary Clinton. I am not a woman. I do not really know what it feels like to be her, or of her gender; though I think that reasonable and intelligent people can empathize with other people who are not the same; and can to a meaningful degree understand the nature of someone else’s identity. Some might argue otherwise, but if it were impossible, then each of us would be an unfathomable island of one. In any case, I am Jewish, so I can at least presume to understand much of the essence of Jewish identity and history. And anyone who knows a little of it. will realize that the Jewish people have historically served as a convenient scapegoat for despots, demagogues, unhappy and bitter people of all races, and in all eras.
Ever since the earliest Christians, including of course the people who wrote the so-called Gospels about 90 years after the described events happened, were determined to proselytize people to join their new religion, and hence felt that they needed to demonize the Jews, this has gone on. In the Dark Ages, Jews were persecuted on the charge of having killed Jesus. In the Middle Ages, when the Bubonic Plague killed half the population of Europe, the Jewish people who were much less affected, almost certainly because of dietary laws, were said to be in league with Satan.
The Catholic Church hated the Jews, and Martin Luther hated the Jews; both for having a different religion, and for actually trying to think about philosophical matters, and not just be told what to think. In the 19th Century, the period of Nationalism, the Jews were accused of being unpatriotic; or as in the case of the wholly innocent Colonel Dreyfus, a traitor to their country. After WWI, the Jews were variously accused by Europeans of having been responsible for the war, or for any bad outcomes associated with it. After Hitler and his minions killed six million Jewish people in the worst event in the history of humanity, the world felt a little sorry for the Jews, so they let them have the state of Israel. But it didn’t take too long before Israel, which of course was an easy substitute for “the Jews,” was being blamed and demonized for trying to survive amid a few hundred millions Arabs who have vowed to destroy it ever since its inception. And of course the fashionable Left Wing of Europe, and even of this country, keeps declaring that it is not Jews that they hate and blame, it is “Zionists.”
What does this have to do with Hillary Clinton? Nothing, specifically. But scapegoating, which of course has its literal antecedents in so-called primitive times, is one of the most desperately held needs of humankind. Don’t blame yourself; don’t blame the complexity of the world; or your own biases; or what Freud called displacement, or reaction formation; blame someone else for your own unhappiness or failure. If you can get other people to join you in this, you can form your own self-sustaining company of scapegoaters. People are at their worst in this regard, when they can feel that they are part of such a group.
We have all heard the term “Clinton Derangement Sydrome.” It was first applied during the 1992 presidential election, and then the Clinton Administration. The hatred of Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary exceeded anything I had ever seen in politics, though I have read that the hatred of FDR was pretty virulent among certain people. It was not enough for people to blame Bill Clinton for economic views that one disagreed with, or his foreigh policy. He was described as the most awful and evil person in America by some of the right-wing devotees; a person who with his wife, ran cocaine up the border from Mexico; who killed seven or so people in Arkansas; who murdered his advisor Vince Foster, after which Hillary hid the body. As we all well recall, these were stories which got a lot of press, and which to this day, many people still believe.
And after Bill left politics, this has of course continued with Hillary Clinton. The hatred of Hillary has its own singular nature. Some of it of course has to do with her being a woman; but I believe it is more complex than that. It is part of the Clinton Derangement Syndrome. though it has a different coloration as applied to her. As with all scapegoating, it has no rational basis; it is a form of insanity. But of course masses of people can devotedly believe insane things, as history has too often shown us.
To say that Hillary is held to a double standard among political figures, is a major understatement. I have never seen anyone treated in this way by the media. Some would say “it is because she is the frontrunner,” as if this were somehow a viable rationale; as if the media’s goal is to make the race exciting for us folks, like a talent show. But I don’t think that is the reason. They really hate Hillary. I could not tell you why. I suppose for each of them it is a somewhat different reason. I know that their employers, the right-wing corporate media, doesn’t want Hillary to win, because they are inimical to her views. But the individual newspeople or interview show hosts seem to look for ways to spin every story in a way unfavorable to her, as if it is programmed in their brains, or some kind of weird religious ritual.
Isn’t it amazing that four years after the event, right before primary season, we see a host of ads for a movie all about Benghazi? “These men had the courage to do what was right,” the ad says. The implication is clearly that Hillary did not do what was right. Now, I have never seen a U.S. Secretary of State held responsible for an act of terror on foreign soil, but Hillary is. Despite the FBI investigation clearing her; despite ten or so hearings of the bogus Benghazi Commitee which found nothing, she is scapegoated for the tragedy.
Every utterance she has made in the last thirty years is pored over, to see if there are any inconsistencies. Every other candidate gets a pass on these; or if one is very rarely brought up, the candidate’s ignoring the question or passing it off, is seen as a fine answer. The unending pursuit of Hillary has taken on the aspect of a witch hunt, or another form of irrational superstition.
You know that if she is elected, the first day the stock market goes down, it is going to be blamed on her. Any negative occurrence, or even ambiguous one, is going to be her fault. It is going to be so bad, that I am just waiting for the faux-concerned article in Salon or Harper’s about how “maybe we shouldn’t elect Hillary, because she is just so polarizing that we cannot move ahead. It is a shame, but that’s how it is.” In sucn ways, Jewish people were kept out of fraternities, sororities, social organizations, because, “Well, it could cause a lot of tension, and some won’t like him/her, so maybe we should just not create the problem, and say no.” That is what the haters and fanatics want, of course. They create the polarization which is then used to rationalize exclusion or voting against.
The Jewish people have survived for many thousands of years, but they are of course still under siege. Hillary has survived. She is voted the most popular woman in the country, every year. But we need her to become President. And she’s got the Republican politicians against her; the billionaire owners of corporations; a great majority of the media, even the ones on the far Left. She’s got a cottage industry of people writing books full of lies about her, and desperately making movies to try to sway the public to turn against her. And it will without question get worse.
And does she gets accolades for standing up against all of this? Since everything she does is cast in a negative light, her standing brave is portrayed as “haughty,” or “indifferent,” or “stubborn.” Do you remember how in 2008, the Obama campaign and the DNC which was strongly on his side, kept urging Hillary to get out of the race; go away; give up; kneel at Sir Obama’s feet? She may have actually had more legitimate delegates then, but they weren’t going to let her have them. This time, if she is winning, do you think you will see any people urge Sanders to leave the race? The media will beg him to stay in, to run as a third party candidate.
The media hates Hillary so much, that they woluld rather see Trump, who scorns freedom of the press, win, and destroy the country, than see Hillary win. It is a madness, not that dissimilar in nature to the madness of anti-semitism which has infected the world for thousands of years. Looking for some shred of rationality behind it, is to give the insane and hate-filled far too much credit
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