Maligning Hillary Clinton From the Left Does the Work of the Far Right

Hillary Clinton has been the right’s chief target for more than three decades, their grand prize. They have worked tirelessly, viciously, to destroy her. Their sexist attacks, their “lock her up” chants, were a heinous spectacle during the 2016 campaign. Imagine their glee when she is vilified and maligned by people who are ostensibly on her side of the political divide?

There is a difference between maligning and criticizing: Disagreeing with policies is criticizing, calling someone corrupt is maligning.

Hillary Clinton is an honest, ethical, highly accomplished leader who made history in 2016. She was the first woman ever to become a major U.S. party nominee. And she won the popular vote by a comfortable margin, garnering more votes than anyone other than Barack Obama in 2008.

Stating that Hillary Clinton is honest and ethical sounds counterintuitive only because it has become so ingrained in the public to think the opposite. But how many people could withstand years of investigations without a shred of wrongdoing ever found?

The character assassination of Hillary Clinton, aided by a hostile foreign power, remains one of the greatest travesties of American politics. The myth that she was a flawed and unpopular candidate is pervasive, but still a myth. Look at this chart, which tells the entire story of 2016:

The ongoing effort to silence her is an embarrassment to anyone who participates. She has the right to tell her story without being told to go away. She has lessons to teach about fighting the far right. She has deeply-considered policy solutions. She has millions of dedicated and engaged supporters.

Hillary Clinton is at the heart and soul of the Democratic Party, someone who has always been the tip of the spear in the fight for women’s rights, health care, and other core progressive policies. She should be treated with the dignity and respect she has earned over the decades, not shunned or brushed away.

Any Democrat or progressive who echoed the GOP’s anti-Clinton talking points during the 2016 election helped Donald Trump. Anyone who continues to treat her like an outcast is siding with the far right, whose singular purpose was to take her down. Why give them that gift? Why validate their mission. Why hand them their target on a silver platter. Why be like them?

-Peter Daou

  1. So appreciate this article and all the responses to it. The level of vitriolic hatred spewed against Clinton over the years ramped up during the 2016 election. One thing to see Fox News, Republicans and Putin malign her character .. but the left and media also? I don’t know how she bears it all.

    I watched her professional demeanour for 11 hours at the Benghazi hearing and I read her book What Happened. She is more than her country deserves, and more than her own party deserves.
    Yet she continues, to this day, to support the grass roots ground swell of democracy and civic duty. This alone shows her character. I sincerely hope history will be kinder to this seasoned stateswoman.

    Watching from Canada in horror at how the Republican Party has slid into the ninth circle of hell and how the media has become part of the indecency. It’s a total sh*t show. There are still good public servants and politicians. And maybe the anarchy will stop. Bit right now it looks like the country is imploding into itself.

  2. What is even more troubling is that the right’s hate not only targets Hillary, but extends to every woman out there who dares to challenge the white male agenda. Look at the way their peers in Congress told Warren and Harris to sit down and shut up.

    1. She is her own woman certainly but also a symbol of us all. She really has taken so much grief in the name of progress. That’s one of the many reasons I count her among my personal sheroes.

    1. Hello Everyone, have only just found out about this site and am so pleased it has been created. I am not from the US but have close family there so have an interest in US politics and since I was 15 when Bill Clinton won in 92, I have been an admirer of Hillary. It saddens and maddens me how much baseless criticism, two-faced half truths and outright lies are hurled at this woman. I cannot think of any one other person that has been vilified this much. We do need to defend her and I am sure history will vindicate her.

  3. I am not am American but I am a huge admirer of Hillary Clinton. Always have been. I feel sick when I read about the bullying she has endured, the vicious smearing by the GOP, the lack of loyalty from some in her own party, the efforts by the opportunistic Bernie Sanders to undermine her then and now, etc. The US should be proud of having a woman so accomplished, so committed to public service, so generous and so strong as part of the country’s political story.

  4. Hillary is a force to be reckoned with, that’s why the abuse. Can’t stop a strong, smart lady so they threw everything they had at her, including the kitchen sink. Never EVER swayed me…never will. What I was banking on were the morals and values of people. If anybody asked me during the campaign if I lived in a society where those two attributes ruled, I would have responded with a resounding YES! Now it is clear, I do not live in such a society. Those things didn’t matter to many. They stood in line for hours, and voted for a a demagogue like Trump. Trump didn’t have any experience! what did they rely on, if not character?

    Trump could not have possibly won without a lot of help from Putin. He was way too confident too early in the game. My suspicions began then. To all my fellow Hillary supporters, do not be swayed by all the garbage you read and hear about Hillary. You get on Twitter, FB or wherever and blast the critics publicly. I do it everyday! You have a strong voice just like them, so get on twitter and blast away!

    To Hillary: You made me proud to be a woman and still do. I cannot pretend to know what the constant attacks feel like, but I suspect you ignore them anyway and keep moving forward. You are the strongest, most formidable female force I know and I will always be with you! Thank you for being such a great role model for so many around the world.

  5. The thing is, people keep dismissing the attacks on her and don’t want us to read her book because they want this to happen again. I am standing up for her, but I’m also going to pay attention to what she says so I can fight back when this happens again. Other women are running for office in 2018 and 2020. Think they’ll be treated better than a former Senator, Secretary of State, First Lady, and children/disability/women’s advocate? Then you aren’t thinking. We need to hone our fighting skills and deploy them for the women coming up in politics.

  6. Hillary – we are so proud of you, and so ashamed for what many Americans, and even many Bernie supporting “Democrats”, have said, and done. You have been a constant champion of all Americans, and particularly those who need a helping hand; those who have been discriminated against, and those who are working to improve the lives of all of us. Please don’t give up; don’t give in, and don’t listen to the uninformed, bigoted and sexist voices who would seek to tear you down and silence your voice. We need you now more than ever.

  7. Always have, and always will stand by Hillary. Even with today’s strange people in Congress, she still would have made a great president. In the meantime, I’ll never forget how generously the media treated Trump, falling for his every distraction, while screaming, “emails!” every 7 seconds.

  8. I’ll never forget when Hillary came on the scene, with her pants and her maiden name, and her jokes about cookies. She gave a girl like me hope that the restricted world of the Reagans didn’t have to be permanent, we could make progress to a time when all of us women would be really equal, not just on paper but in reality.

    I think every girl like me faced an echo of the misogyny Hillary faced. There were tons of Rush Limbaugh “Dittoheads” on my high school bus, and they’d shout “feminazi” at us unrepentant feminist girls. So much has changed, we came so close to cracking that final glass ceiling, and I’m not ready to give up and sit down, leave it for some other future generation to do. Let’s go onward.

  9. We need to remember that regardless of how women feel about her personally, she is now the poster child of feminism (until the next trailblazer, of course!). Her popularity will be measured against Bernie’s as a way to tell how “popular” women’s rights are within the Democratic party. That’s why the book tour is important – it’s a chance to show the party that women’s issues should not be sidelined just because of the electoral college.

  10. I am so proud to have voted for Hillary Clinton. I was totally embarrassed how she was treated. We r
    think we have come so far, but in so many was, no we have not!

  11. Thank you for this website. I have had a knife in my heart since watching the witch-burning that was the election (Trump’s outright misogny and Sanders “hold your nose and vote “support”) the post-mortem jackels capitalizing on her loss (mostly Sanders) while showing zero solidarity in the face of a foreign attack and unprecedented tenor. Cap that off with the ejection of her by the Women’s March by Sanders supporter founders, the accusations of co-opting after the whole March was the idea of a broken-hearted HRC supporter (who is co-opting who here), the blind insistence that neither the March or the campaign was impacted by the fact that this was the first female nominee, the narrative of “it’s not about gender” by the far left, the vicious hatred of her for writing a damn book, the complete dismissal of their base by the DNC who is scrambling belatedly after the Bernie base after navigating the split/conflict like complete amatuers, I’ve seriously never seen gale-force misogyny (mixed with racism in the patronizing treatment of her base) like this. The specter of Bernie acting like “the bigger person” after 9 months of trashing Dems (including Ossoff in yet ANOTHER close race) is more of his manipulation and brand-building. The silencing of the 65 million is astounding, and the way the DNC has picked sides (to be fair THROUGHOUT) is childish and just straight idiotic. They need to model conflict resolution by including all voices, not swinging wildly from one to the other, pissing off both. A 10 year old could guide us better. Like it or not Bernie is not viable in 2020. He will never be the one to “unite” us. The Dem base remembers, and his continued arrogance, criticism, and unbelievably patronizing behavior simply gets worse. Want to “move forward” Bernie? Take some ownership of your impact and apologize the way Clinton has. Model some adulting. Stop calling her supporters “silly” (or just come out and call them silly women like you mean). You are completely tone-deaf on what this election meant to millions of women. You are not the gate-keeper of progressivism. You are not the arbiter of when people get over things. And you’re not helping. Think Clinton should shut up so the wounds can heal? How about leading by example.

  12. The fringe left has always seen the Democratic party as it’s major enemy, rather than the right. Hillary is correct that Bernie ran with the purpose of weakening the Democrats, an effort he continues to this day. It’s about time somebody called him out on it. The media and Left will continue to vilify Hillary, which means that it’s the responsibility of Hillary’s supporters–us–to do it.

  13. So important to keep saying this over and over. Voters were taken in by the propaganda and the media’s role was absolutely complicit in that. We are just now finding out the extent of social media abuse that played into it. Additionally, sexism and misogyny are so ubiquitous in our society that we can start to normalize the abuse of strong women voices. Thank you for pulling together the resources for us to use to speak out.

  14. Agreed. What happened to Hillary is perhaps the most vicious case of bullying and cyberbullying ever. She fought like a lion. A competent, smart and compassionate candidate. She doesn’t have much to apologize for. I hope those who vilified her during one of the sleepless nights have a moment of clarity. May be they can see that they helped to deprive the country of potentially a very good president. May be they come to this site and apologize. A simple “sorry” would suffice.

  15. I agree 100%. Thank you for publishing this. I hate hearing people say that she should go away or she shouldn’t be paid to speak or she shouldn’t write a book. Good for her. She can now do anything she wants to do.

  16. This is a good piece. I was wondering however, is there a way to link up with other Clintonite democrats in my local area? Thanks.

  17. Thank you for articulating what I could not about Hillary R Clinton. She deserves our thanks not “shut up & go away”. Hillary is the most intelligent person the Democrats have ever had. I am and will always be with her. Thank you Hillary for your dedication to our Democratic values.

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“Decades of right-wing attacks turned a crusader of women's rights into a major target of hate.”

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