Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Criticizing Clinton's smugness is not "sexism"

This was Hillary Clinton much of the night whenever Donald Trump spoke--smug condescension oozed from every pore of her face. She donned this visage pretty much every time Trump talked about our broken system or lodged a criticism of her positions.

It was a look intended to derisively mock, belittle, and trivialize Trump. At one point, while laughing smugly, she actually said this to Trump, "You know, just join the debate by saying more crazy things."

Some pundits are claiming that any criticism of Clinton's smug demeanor is rank sexism--see, e.g., here and here. Of course, some of these pundits could find sexism in a ham sandwich.

If we can't criticize a candidate for her actions without being accused of being sexist, then America isn't ready for a woman president.

The problem with Clinton's smug attitude isn't that it mocked Trump--Trump is often an overbearing buffoon who deserves to be mocked in other settings. The problem is--like it or not--that Clinton's smugness in this setting implicitly disrespected and mocked Trump's many supporters and a lot of other people who are on the fence but who are sympathetic to his core message.

Trump gives voice to the frustrations of millions about a broken system--and the establishment that runs it--that has utterly failed them. Yet for too much of this campaign, Clinton and her ilk have disrespected these people and their concerns--and have dismissed Trump's movement as nothing more than a "basket of deplorables."

Clinton and her supporters, in and out of the media, dismiss--and mock--the millions who feel disenfranchised, and who look to Trump as their voice, at their peril.

And Clinton's media pom-pom girls do her no favors by dismissing criticisms of her smugness as "sexism." They need to urge her to ditch it next time around--or else maybe America really isn't ready for a woman president.