This morning in the New York Times, David Brooks writes that, “Hillary Clinton has experience, but does not seem to have been transformed by it. Amid the email scandal she is repeating the same mistakes she made during the Rose Law firm scandal two decades ago. Her posture is still brittle, stonewalling and dissembling.”
Many of us who are Clinton supporters would also wish for more transparency and vulnerability on the part of our candidate. But David Brooks’ opening statement is entirely backwards. Hillary Clinton has experience and she HAS been transformed by it! Sadly, not for the better.
Brooks goes on to say, “If you interpret your life as a battlefield, then you will want to maintain control at all times. You will hoard access. You will refuse to have press conferences, You will close yourself off from those who can help.”
“If you treat the world as a friendly and hopeful place, as a web of relationships, you’ll look for the good news in people and not the bad. You’ll be willing to relinquish control, and in surrender you’ll actually gain more strength as people trust in your candor and come alongside.”
Well, my guess is that — as a young woman — Hillary Clinton did indeed treat the world as a friendly and hopeful place and perhaps even tended to look for the good news in people and not the bad. But after at least three decades of being accused of things by her enemies and a biased press hungry for ratings for things which proved, in the long run, to have no basis in fact, she has been changed. Transformed, to use Brooks’ phrase.
She has been changed into a somewhat paranoid (and, as they say, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you!) person who can indeed be “brittle” and “dissembling.” Perhaps if the press would become less like sharks in bloody water, hungry to go after any and all accusations made with little or no substance, Hillary Clinton might again be able to “see the world as a friendly and hopeful place” and begin to respond accordingly.
I do not have much confidence in that happening. Having recently given up entirely on MSNBC news and the Chuck Todds and Andrea Mitchells one might suppose would be her supporters in opposition to a repulsive Donald Trump, I have found my blood pressure to be much more within the normal range.
It is the “vast right wing conspiracy” (which, dear friends, does indeed exist) and the so-called “liberal” (but actually “ratings-hungry”) press who have created the sad aspect of Hillary Clinton’s character which sometimes make her look like an abused animal who can be self-protective and even vicious because of being hurt so many times by those who might have been expected to know better.
So, I am willing to cut Hillary some slack on this. And hope that, after she devastates Donald Trump in the national election and is given the opportunity to lead this nation as arguably the most qualified candidate ever to run, perhaps she (and all of us) will once again be able to view “the world as a friendly and hopeful place.”
It is clearly not that kind of place right now.