Hillary Clinton has announced that she is running to be the next President of the United States. What her likely nomination says about the Democratic party and tens of millions of Americans is depressing.
Other than Barack Obama — whose résumé consisted of being a charismatic black — it is hard to come up with a less accomplished individual who has run for president in our lifetime. And, unfortunately, that is saying something. Moreover, at least Barack Obama had the excuse of having been in public life for only a few years, as a state senator and then a two-year U.S. senator. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has been in public life most of her adult years, as a very politically active first lady, a U.S. senator, and secretary of state.
Yet she has accomplished nothing.
Here is a trick question to pose to her supporters: What she has accomplished?
So, why is her candidacy so depressing?
First, because much of her support emanates from her being female and potentially becoming the first woman president.
Is there anything more superficial as a criterion for becoming the leader of the most important country in the world? There was a time when most Americans voted for president out of the belief that the person would be best for the country. Now, at least for the American Left, it is primarily about being the “first” — the first black, the first woman, the first gay, the first Jew, the first Native American, the first transgender, the first atheist (so long, of course, as each is a Democrat). And once they are all elected, presumably it will be important to elect the first gay black female Jewish Native American transgendered atheist (again, so long as s/he is a Democrat). And until we do, the Left will continue to label America bigoted.
When Senator Joe Lieberman ran for vice president, many Jews who were not enamored of Al Gore voted for him because Senator Lieberman is a Jew. As a Jew who has been deeply involved in Jewish life all my life — and, I might add, who has been friends with Joe Lieberman for many years — I was delighted to see him nominated. But I voted for George W. Bush because I thought he would make the better president. Furthermore, I didn’t think having a Jewish vice president would in any way improve life for America’s Jews. American Jews have it great in America because it is the least bigoted country on earth and because Jews have worked hard.
This belief that elected leaders are good for the ethnic, gender, or racial group to which they belong is a left-wing myth. It is difficult to name almost any significant contributions that all the black mayors and congressmen — and for that matter a black president — have made to black America’s life. At the same time, it is next to impossible to name one disadvantage to Asian Americans because there are few Asian Americans in prominent political positions.
Nevertheless all we hear from the Left is how important it is to have a woman president of the United States.
Anyway, how exactly does Hillary Clinton exemplify female achievement? What she has achieved — all the fame, being elected a U.S. senator, and being named secretary of state — is due to the man she married. Isn’t that supposedly the antithesis of the message feminists want to convey to young women?
Compare Hillary Clinton to Carly Fiorina, a woman who went from small-town girl to CEO and board chairwoman of Hewlett-Packard, one of the world’s largest companies. The comparison should be embarrassing. Yet how many liberals who are preoccupied with having a woman president would vote for Carly Fiorina? Zero.
Second, I haven’t begun to mention how unqualified, if character means anything, Hillary Clinton is to be president of the United States. The late New York Times Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist William Safire, never known for personal invective, opened his column of January 8, 1996, with this:“Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady . . . is a congenital liar. . . . She is in the longtime habit of lying; and she has never been called to account for lying herself or in suborning lying in her aides and friends.”
Nothing has changed. Are there a dozen Americans who believe that, while secretary of state, she kept a private e-mail account on a personal server because handling two phones was too cumbersome? And now that she has destroyed the data on her server, is there any doubt as to why she kept two phones?
Nevertheless, her mendacity and her lack of accomplishments count for nothing in the eyes of Democrats, feminists, and others on the Left. She is, after all, a woman (who’s liberal). What else matters?
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published recently by Regnery. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.