It’s Ridiculous to Try to Silence Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton’s out with a new book, “What Happened,” and, unsurprisingly, she’s received immediate backlash for daring to put pen to paper. Many simply want the former presidential candidate who lost a shocking and disappointing race to Donald Trump to simply go away, fade into the night. That’s utterly ridiculous and hypocritical. Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee for a major party, is a Democratic leader and has every right and reason to speak bluntly and openly — an honesty that many thought she lacked during the primary, but now want her to shove that honesty up her…wherever — about the campaign and politics in America.
A former presidential nominee who won more votes than any white man in United States history, the first woman to nearly become president, a Secretary of State, U.S. senator, and First Lady has every right to speak about politics. Full stop. Losing should not muzzle an individual, especially one who has committed her life to public service and helping others. No one asked John Kerry to fade into obscurity after his 2004 loss; Al Gore continued to be a loud liberal voice following his defeat; Harry Truman opted to avoid defeat in 1952 by not running, but remained a steady Democratic force (the 1952 lose, Adlai Stevenson, ran again in 1956 and 1960). Many rightfully idolize Clinton. She’s a role model to women everywhere — her actions have inspired countless to pursue public office. There’s absolutely no reason to shut up a party leader and hero.
Clinton’s book shows humility and, above all, honesty, a trait which many claimed she lacked, leading to countless vicious character assaults. Yet when Clinton opens up and shares her true thoughts — thoughts or reasons with which any reader may disagree, but honest ones nonetheless — critics hypocritically turn Clinton’s honesty against her. At what point does incessant character nagging become obsessive? Deride her proclaimed lack of honesty; harangue her clear honesty because suddenly it has no place in public discourse as it may sow discontents within the party.
While it’s true that Clinton’s book may rehash or reopen some party wounds from the 2016 election, right now is the perfect time to have a dialogue about the direction of the Democratic Party and how it can better handle nominating affairs and unity thereafter. The midterms are 14 months away’ the 2020 presidential election, 38. Who do we harm by debating whether Bernie Sanders hurt Hillary Clinton? When the party’s grappling with a strong centrist block and a insurgent (far) leftist movement, oughtn’t we at least consider how the appeals play or open divides within the party that could hamper general election chances? And, if we agree we need those conversations, shouldn’t we do so now rather than in the months leading up to a general election against a bigot like Donald Trump?
Critics arguing Hillary Clinton should simply go away employ little logic — they disparage the honesty presented by a long-time party often mocked for privacy and overly scripted behavior while accusing her of weakening the very party they sought to overhaul and tear apart as it became overwhelmingly apparent their favored candidate would not emerge from the primaries victorious. Clinton should not shut up. She should not go away. She, and every Democrat, should continue to speak as she feels fit, helping the party come to grips with the election, understand its mistakes, resist Donald Trump, and, ultimately, strengthen itself for the tasks the lie ahead.