Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hillary Clinton Is No Margaret Thatcher

I look at Hillary Clinton and something about her face reminds me of my mother. They're nothing alike really. It's suggested in her careworn features. The picture of a middle-aged woman. She appeals to my heart, like my mother does.

And then she opens her mouth and I cringe in shame. I think about what she's doing and I'm embarrassed. The contradiction. The complete rejection of who she is as a woman. The power couple, Bill and Hillary. Where is their daughter?

It's sad to me that Hillary has put herself out there to be hated. I guess I'm just a traditionalist. Women should be protected. They're the heart of the home. I'm fiercely protective of MY mother, if anyone even comes close to slighting her in any way, the hackles rise up on the back of my neck. I would take them down. I see Hillary and I instinctively want to save her from this, but she's a sad moron and has brought it on herself.

She was a senator, fine. She was mainly beyond the scrutiny of the entire country. But now she's out there, in the midst of wolves. I don't want her to be president. She tries to convince us that she loves this country, that she's doing this because she has a dream and is following her heart, she's doing it for the children. To me that rings of hypocrisy. Her own daughter has seemed neglected at the expense of her career. It's a terrible thing to say, but was Chelsea simply a token?

I know it takes all kinds, we're a diverse bunch. Not all women want to have children, not all men want to be fathers. But when that's the story, I wonder what happened in a person's past to make him or her feel that way. Our biological instinct is to propagate. We naturally fear being forgotten, being left behind, being wiped out. So I think it is against our nature to not want to have children of our own. I think the absence of that desire is a result of an environment. An upbringing. An incident in one's past.

Hillary embarrasses me. I believe a woman could be president, yes. Hell yeah. But I also think a woman should conduct herself with grace and class. She should be above reproach.

My parents and I discussed this. They feel what I feel, that there's something missing about Hillary. Something distinctly unwomanly. Unmotherly. They brought up Margaret Thatcher. I'm too young to remember her, but my parents LOVED her. They said she was brilliant and good and smart and feminine and she conducted herself with dignity.

It strikes me that Hillary thinks being motherly, womanly, is to suggest that government should solve all our problems. Socialized healthcare, socialized higher education, socialized everything. A good mother understands that her children cannot be given everything or else they never learn to do anything for themselves. Remember the story of the kid with the butterfly chrysalis? You can't help the butterfly out or it won't have the strength to fly.

It's not necessarily that Hillary is a Democrat. It's that she violates everything I believe a woman should be. Mothers know better. That's what was great about Margaret Thatcher. She had real strength while demonstrating that she understood humanity:

"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first."*

*Interview for Woman's Own ("no such thing as society") with journalist Douglas Keay (September 23, 1987), "Aids, education and the year 2000!", Margaret Thatcher Foundation.


Jodie K said...

Her own daughter has seemed neglected at the expense of her career.

Goodness, I couldn't disagree more. Chelsea Clinton (by all accounts) appears to be a well-rounded and grounded young woman. She turned down Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to attend Stanford. She earned a Master’s at Oxford. She’s not been to rehab (no,no,no), flashing her bits or behaving badly in public. Strong young women are (often, though not always) the product of strong Mothers. Hilary showed Chelsea the way of the modern Mom. Mine didn’t have the tools to show by example how to be strong, independent, spirited and authentic. Those traits were self-taught, a reaction to my Mom’s abilities, or lack thereof.

Aries327 said...

A token child can still be well- rounded and grounded. By token child I mean that the parents saw that it would be politically to their advantage to appear to be a family, to have a child, to look like an American family. It would be more difficult to appeal to voting parents without at least one child.

They're lucky, I think, that Chelsea has absorbed their lifestyle in a constructive way. I could have gone to Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, as well, if I'd had powerful parents. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure Chelsea has been a good student, but good students get rejected from Ivy League schools to make way for the mediocre children of the powerful and the rich.

In fact, I'm sure that doors have been opened for her just because of her name.

And in any case, it would be hard for a child to turn out bad who was surrounded by affluence and governesses and/or nannies and personal tutors.