The power of Hillary hate: Clinton’s ability to make people dislike her is remarkable, she could still lose this

The power of Hillary hate: Clinton’s ability to make people dislike her is remarkable, she could still lose this. By Freddy Gray.

‘Love Trumps Hate’ has become one of Hillary Clinton’s official campaign slogans. It’s a clunky pun but you get the point. Hillary stands for love — i.e progressive global values, equality, that sort of thing. Donald Trump represents white nationalism, bigotry, all the nasty stuff. Love is good; hate is bad. Trump must be trumped, so that history can keep marching in the right direction.

The trouble is, Americans don’t love Clinton. The feeling they have for her tends more towards hate, actually. Clinton’s ‘favourability ratings’ are famously bad. Between 30 and 40 per cent of Americans say they have a ‘highly unfavourable’ opinion of her.

To give you a sense of how woeful that is for an aspiring leader of the free world, Barry Goldwater (the Republican candidate in 1964) and George McGovern (the Democrat in 1972), who are usually cited as the most disastrous presidential nominees of all time, scored 20 and 26 per cent respectively.

If she wins on 8 November, Clinton will be the most disliked president-elect ever. And that is a small ‘if’, thanks to the epic anti-popularity of Trump (he scores a whopping 44 per cent on the unfavourableometer) and the self-destructing beast that is the Republican party in 2016.

This US presidential election is not a mere popularity contest. More like an unpopularity contest.

What does it say about the future of civilisation that the West’s foremost nation is about to elect a leader it can’t bear? …

Clinton’s many advisers and strategists struggle to keep her unpopularity in check, so they must be dreading the upcoming presidential debates.

Hillary’s ouch factor:

People think she belongs in jail. They say she murders people. They think she will destroy America and/or freedom. As Larry the Cable Guy, the popular blue-collar comedian, put it this week, ‘Hillary Clinton will be the end of this country. That’s all I’ve got to say.’

That is a common sentiment. It’s not just right-wing loons who abhor her; plenty of Democrats do too. The chants of ‘Lock her up!’ at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July were repeated, with almost as much vigour, at the Democratic Convention a week later in Philadelphia. …

According to a recent Gallup poll, the words Americans feel best describe her are: ‘dishonest’, ‘liar’, ‘poor character’, and ‘don’t trust her’. It doesn’t help that, over her 40-odd years in the public eye, she has been caught telling countless fibs. Familiarity breeds contempt; familiar liars breed disgust.

Hillary-hate rallies the disparate Republicans:

That’s why the presidential candidate Ben Carson suggested in Cleveland that she was inspired by Lucifer, and the whole convention roared. Anti-Hillary sentiment has long been motivated by an animus towards her sex, hence the Lady Macbeth references in the 1990s as she stood by her wicked man, and the pro–Donald T-shirts today that say ‘Trump that bitch’.

But to say Hillary Clinton is loathed because she is a woman is a bit like saying people dislike Katie Hopkins because she is a woman, or that Robert Mugabe is reviled because he is black. It is to muddle cause and effect. Clinton is disliked because she is dislikeable. She has always rubbed people up the wrong way, which is why at school she was called Owl Face and Sister Frigidaire.

Fake, fake, fake:

Over her long career, Hillary has developed various public personas, and somehow she makes them all seem fake. There is Hillary the liberal missionary, author of books about improving the world such as It Takes a Village, who then endorses the bombing of cities. There is Hillary the feminist, who once shunned make-up and expensive clothes but who now changes her look and her hair every few weeks and dons expensive power outfits. Or, everyone’s least favourite, Hillary the sassy granny, who tries to cackle charmingly on chat shows, then scowls at journalists who dare to ask her difficult questions.

Either way, the next four years are going to be more interesting than most presidencies.

hat-tip Stephen Neil