zondag 30 oktober 2016

Russell Baker on Hillary Clinton

Russell Baker, de Amerikaanse voormalige correspondent van The New York Times schrijft in The Election Issue van The New York Review of Books ondermeer het volgende:
Hillary Clinton is the reverse of a popular politician—she is more like an ideally dutiful chair of a committee—and it has been an odd feature of the campaign to advertise her as “the most qualified person ever to run for president.”
What have qualifications, in this CV-building sense, to do with the traits we look for in a president? If the sane and sensible are bound to vote for Clinton as probably the less dangerous bet, still her errors of judgment as secretary of state remain a disturbing fact. In brutal vulgarity of sentiment, her statement on the mutilation and murder of Muammar Qaddafi, “We came, we saw, he died,” and the cackle that followed the proclamation are barely matched by Trump’s saying of his failure to pay taxes: “That makes me smart.”
The disaster of Clinton’s policy of regime change in Libya and her desire to repeat the experiment in Syria are the most vulnerable points in her candidacy. But they won’t be a major issue in November, because Republicans have cared only about a fraction of the catastrophe, the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. A larger and more elusive weakness is that she exudes entitlement, of a meritocratic sort, and seems to lack a shred of feeling for people who played by the rules and haven’t been crowned with success.
The exceptions are the needy and minorities; but that only reinforces the sense that Democrats treat with contempt those whom they cannot patronize. How many non-elite white voters can now be drawn by Trump to vote with their resentment of the selective compassion of liberals? Trump, of all people, with his trademark saying “You’re fired,” has turned into the candidate of people who feel they have lost out but don’t know why—the people Nathanael West called “the cheated.”
The domestic state of the nation is so unpropitious in October 2016 that one may pity the winner of this election as much as the loser. We are living in a country under recurrent siege by the actions of crowds. There is the Tea Party crowd with their belief that global climate disruption is a scientific hoax; there is the Black Lives Matter crowd with their ambiguous slogan “No Justice, No Peace”; and there are more ominous developments, such as the acts of serial defiance of the federal government by the Bundy family in Nevada and Oregon. Whoever comes next will have the task of restoring respect for the law and a common adherence to the Constitution—the heaviest of burdens, even for a candidate prepared by training and disposition to carry it.

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