John Seven: Well-respected Clinton ought not play the victim


NORTH ADAMS >> The Democratic run for the presidency has entered that point of hostile tedium.

Everyday you wake up to some way in which Clinton has slighted Sanders, or Sanders has slighted Clinton, or Sanders supporters have belittled Clinton supporters, or Clinton supporters have acted superior to Sanders supporters, and both sides are too happy to claim the outrage.

Some of Sanders' younger supporters react to Clinton as if she were Richard Nixon, and as if that were unusual in our political scene. She is not and it is not, and it's probably time to cut the angsty drama about that, and whether you agree with her politics or not, I think she is worthy of respect for what she has accomplished despite the sexism of our political system.

One current charge of sexism by Clinton and her supporters is in regard to some Sanders supporters who, online, resort to sexist bullying of Clinton supporters.

There is some dispute whether it's a very significant portion of Sanders' supporters who do this, whether it's actually his supporters doing this or trolls and whether someone being nasty to someone else online is really unusual.

People get over-the-top arguing about dinner rolls online. Leastwise, Sanders came out and said that he did not want the support of anyone who acted like that and it needed to stop.

But though in the wider picture, Clinton has contended with sexist views against her over the years, and that she is often held to a different standard than her male colleagues, you have to be careful to not brand all criticism of her under that one umbrella.

Legitimate criticism

In Clinton's case, some legitimate criticism of her policies and actions have been accused of being sexist when, actually, they're just criticism of her policies and actions, as well as old political animosity stemming back to her husband's presidency.

The more disingenuous gender claim on Clinton's part is that it automatically makes her a progressive in context of this election. I don't think there is any denying that many people are excited by the prospect of a woman president, and Clinton is right to point out that she, in fact, is a woman who, you may or may not have noticed, is running for president, and this would be a progressive move on the part of the voters.

She is wrong to claim that this makes her a progressive. Sanders is a progressive. Clinton is a moderate liberal. She should sell herself as such because that is honest. Claiming that she is a progressive is at least as disingenuous as what Clinton says about Sanders promising health care.

For the record, there is a progressive woman running for president. Her name is Jill Stein.

Two different things

In Clinton's case, facing sexism and being a victim of it seem like two different things. Clinton has to face sexism, but I wouldn't call her a victim of it. She is the long-term front-runner for her party and was the anointed candidate until Sanders entered the race.

She was handed the nomination and Sanders has had to fight for recognition in the press and work hard to become a viable challenge to Clinton. Even still, she is viewed by the party as being the most credible candidate.

Clinton has faced sexism, but she's also done an admirable job of not letting it stop her. She is still considered a capable and intelligent person who is qualified for the highest office in the land.

Sexism did its best and it was not good enough to unseat Clinton. That's something to admire greatly. Please don't belittle her most admirable trait in this battle. She deserves to be portrayed as a fighter, not a victim.

Contact John Seven at Follow him on Twitter @damnjohnseven.


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