During the presidential campaign I heard the same thing. New York women, the kind who would normally have voted Democratic without hesitation, many of whom did vote for Hillary, expressed a profound hatred for her. Some of them hated Trump. None of them liked Trump. But a goodly number simply hated Hillary.
Thomas Frank saw the same thing while touring what he called Trumpland. One recalls that Frank became famous for writing a book explaining that he knew what was best for Kansas better than the people of Kansas did. He became a prominent intellectual and Kansas kept voting in ways that Frank did not understand.
Frank does not seem to know it, but I posted about this topic during the presidential campaign. With apologies to those who find this redundant… but apparently my first post went unnoticed in certain quarters.
Anyway, interviewed in the Nation, Frank makes a startling observation:
You want to know the biggest lesson I learned touring Trumpland? People hated Hillary Clinton. To a degree that even I, with my cynicism, did not understand. I did not hate Hillary Clinton. I voted for her, and I agreed with Obama that she was very qualified. She deserved to be president. I didn’t think she’d be a great president, but I thought she’d be OK—certainly better than Donald Trump. I knew how to hate Donald Trump. That’s easy. He boasts about groping women. He says these evil things about Mexicans, and mocks the handicapped. It’s unbelievable the stuff this guy did and said. Hating him was easy. What I did not understand was the degree to which people really hated Hillary Clinton. And that’s ultimately what this election was about: Which one do you hate more?
But why did they hate Hillary?
Frank agreed that she was very qualified. Could it be that women understood that for all her fancy job titles she had not accomplished much of anything? Did they understand that she was not qualified at all? Were they tired of being lied to… by men like Barack Obama and Thomas Frank?
Frank continues in a paean to Hillary:
She doesn’t say rude things. She tries so hard to not offend people. I think it’s the very things that you and I like about Hillary that were the problem: She is so professional, she is so polished, and she’s such a wonderful lawyer. She went to Yale law school, and was so brilliant, and was the best in her class. People hate this. They hate what she represents, this kind of scolding liberalism that’s better than you.
According to deep thinker Frank, women hate her because she is so wonderful, so great, so splendid. That is, no matter what these women feel about Hillary nothing can shake Frank's prejudice. Since when did women come to despise a successful brilliant woman, especially one who was so brilliant that she flunked the D. C. bar test? A woman who owed her career—whether in Little Rock or in Washington—to her husband?
Did the average woman know something that Thomas Frank didn’t? Namely that Hillary Clinton was basically an ill-tempered fraud, a woman who had been the chief enabler of a predatory male, who had sold herself and her intimacy for her career? Did the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and sexual predations and rape consider Hillary a polished professional who tries not to offend people? Perhaps they understood that it was all a show.
Perhaps women understood it better than men did. Perhaps women understood that Hillary Clinton was making them look bad. Perhaps they understood that she was a scheming, conniving witch who used people to get what she wanted. Perhaps they were right to hate her.