Decades in the glare of the global spotlight, mountains of ink spilled, millions of words written, flooded with love, hate, admiration, ridicule, envy, respect, anger, fear, loyalty. And in the end, the final question about Hillary, the question that gets to the root of it all: Does she want a better future for her family, friends, and country? EVERYTHING flows from there.
It’s really very simple: if you think Hillary Clinton wants a better future for her daughter and grandchildren, if you think she cares about her country, then the 2016 election is about whether she is the best candidate to get America there. You believe in Good Hillary.
If you think she is a malevolent, scheming, heartless individual who doesn’t care what happens to her friends, family and country, then you will spend your days filled with hate for her, the disdain will drip from your tongue, the rage will rattle your soul. You believe in Evil Hillary.
It’s really that stark. Good Hillary versus Evil Hillary.
I’ve spent a decade of my life contending with this dichotomy, living both sides of it.
For me, as for so many others who know her, the answer is glaringly obvious. Hillary has a good heart. She is a good person who wants what’s best for America and has spent her life trying to improve the lives of those around her. She has consistently championed the cause of women and children, going back to her early days at the Children’s Defense Fund.
Those who see Good Hillary know she is flawed. She makes mistakes. She’s made bad choices. But those human foibles seen through the lens of Good Hillary are acceptable and necessary parts of her humanity. People who see Good Hillary may disagree with her policies and positions. They may dislike her. They may be Bernie Sanders supporters. But they still acknowledge that she shares their desire for a better future.
Those who see Evil Hillary believe with deep conviction that she is out for herself alone, that she has no human emotions, that she is soulless. They attribute anything and everything she does to crude ambition and raw calculation. They assume her words and deeds are intended purely for manipulation. They look at a woman who was once a girl and see a monster.
I feel sad for them. That kind of rage eats you up from the inside. For those who see Evil Hillary, even violent criminals elicit less rage. They could watch a news report about someone who committed a terrible crime and feel sympathy for the victims and anger at the perpetrator. But if Hillary’s face appeared on the screen a moment later, their blood pressure would rise, the resentment would intensify, the antagonism would surge.
Seeing Evil Hillary is like hallucinating during a fever. She keeps you up at night. She infects your thoughts. The very sound of her voice grates on your being. She is “Shillery.” She is the “Witch.”
It is like having an illness.
Thankfully, America has millions more people who see Good Hillary than Evil Hillary.
The Atlantic explains why:
For decades, Clinton has prioritized bills and policies promoting reproductive rights, equal pay, and family leave. Clinton’s leadership and active advocacy for women’s issues … is a common thread that is present throughout her time in public life. Her efforts to support women’s rights domestically and globally are no ancillary concern: They are intrinsically tied to the core of the work she does.
The real Hillary is Good Hillary. An imperfect (like all of us) and brilliant human being who has worked harder, taken more heat, and done more for the world than most of us ever will.
There’s even a picture of her: