Yesterday, Hillary Clinton addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She wanted them to accept her as the prospective commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military.
Good luck with that.
To do so, Hillary recalled that her father had fought in World War II. She might have said that the man she married had dodged the draft, but she forgot.
She also did not mention how she failed the American ambassador in Benghazi. Nor did she tout her Pyrrhic victory over Col. Qaddhafi in Libya.
Whatever Clinton could or could not have done to save the Americans who were attacked in Benghazi, she was responsible for their safety. The security of ambassadors is part of her job description. If she did not know about Ambassador Stevens’ 600 or so requests for better security, people that she hired and entrusted with the job did. That makes her an incompetent manager. No matter what happened, the fault was hers.
And she knew it. Otherwise why did she blame it on a video? By shifting the blame to an obscure filmmaker Clinton showed that she did not have the honor or the decency to take responsibility. And you want to make her commander in chief?
As for the Libya invasion Hillary boasted about having gotten Qaddhafi killed. And yet, when you read the story of the invasion, as told by the New York Times, you see that she was doing it to establish her bona fides as a tough guy, someone who was not afraid to use force.
Unfortunately, that is not the issue. Any fool can use force. The question is whether or not she understands situations well enough, whether she can use force when need be and otherwise to refrain.
Clinton’s misguided efforts in Libya turned that nation into a haven for terrorists. About that she has nothing to say.
In the course of human history no great army has been led by a woman. Some nations have. Some states have. But only men lead great armies. Most nations take war seriously. They do not risk their existence on a social experiment.
Democrats are proudly declaring that Hillary will be a great role model for women. She will be showing that a woman can do anything that a man can. Of course, this is an illusion. There are things that a man can do that a woman cannot do, surely not as well. And there are things that a woman can do that a man cannot do, surely not as well.
Besides, if Hillary is the ultimate role model for young women, ask yourself how many of them would sell out their dignity as women for political power. How many women would want to lead armies into battle if they had to pay for it by being married to a man who is a chronic philanderer? Bill Clinton’s behavior is not a vote of confidence in Hillary’s femininity. Again, how many women would exchange their femininity for power?
Being a bad role model for young women is not the same as being commander in chief, thus, being a bad role model for soldiers. Leadership matters. Soldiers are motivated to fight harder if they have leaders they respect and admire, leaders they want to emulate. How many soldiers will want to emulate a woman? How many of them will aspire to become like Hillary?
She did not work her way up the ranks. She rode her husband’s coattails. Why does that make her a great role model for the troops? Will she be more concerned about winning wars or more concerned with transgendered restrooms and putting women into combat?
In a world where we are not allowed to say that gender matters and that some careers and jobs are best performed by people one or the other gender, a Hillary presidency would certainly put those dogmas to the test.
And, one must add that when nations have been led by women, these leaders have not provoked fear and trembling from their adversaries. Their presence seems to have incited their opponents to attack them. Argentina’s generals attacked the British Falklands when Margaret Thatcher was president. When the state of Israel was led by Golda Meir it fought the Yom Kippur War.
In both cases these nations prevailed against aggression. The question is: would the attacks have happened if adversaries had thought that the leaders were strong and resolute, capable of deploying military force.
True enough, the same calculus applies when nations are led by weak and decadent males. Today, Europe is led by women and by men perceived to be weak. It is suffering a series of terrorist attacks, and as violent crimes by refugees increase who can doubt that Europeans are weak and ineffectual.
Many commentators have been saying that Hillary Clinton needs to sell herself as a potential commander in chief. And that means a commander in chief who will strike fear in our enemies. A woman who married a draft dodge and who has been incapable, throughout her married life, of standing up to her husband will now, we are being asked to believe, stand up to Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.
How did that Russian reset work out?
And, how many of America’s traditional allies will happily follow the lead of Hillary Clinton? If they do, they might look weak at home. And this might tell them that defying President Hillary would be their best political course.
In her speech to the VFW Clinton proclaimed that she wanted to help the nation’s veterans. Considering that a Democratic administration has been in charge of the VA for the past eight years, the claim was more smoke than substance.
Her message fell flat.
David Leonhardt wrote yesterday on the New York Times blog that Clinton needed to create an emotional case for her being president and commander in chief. Yesterday’s convention, however, was all girl talk, all talk about helping the unfortunate, the poor, the disadvantaged, the aggrieved. Can you imagine an Obamified Democratic Party talking about winning wars... or better, about winning anything.
But, her opponent, who has less experience with military matters than she does, has lit on a clever persuasive trick. He has shown himself to be a counterpuncher, a tough guy, a brawler, a bully… someone who would rather flail than back down.
If the election is being decided by visceral emotions, we are being asked to choose between a seasoned, but weak and incompetent political leader or a nasty brute, a counterpuncher who will strike fear in the heart of the opposition. Undoubtedly, Trump is more bluster than achievement. Many world leaders will try to elevate themselves by facing him down. But, they will surely feel stronger facing down and humiliating a Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton has done it over and over again. Why shouldn’t world leaders do the same, in slightly different ways?
This being the case, many Americans are willing to gamble on Trump. They are listening to emotion more than to reason. They see a choice between two bad options and they might well gamble that Trump is the better bet.