Tuesday 02/06/2020 - 12:17 am

Hillary hatred is a reckless indulgence: Gabriel Schoenfeld

2016.08.29 05:21

 To hear the Hillary haters tell it, the Democratic presidential nominee is suffering from a number of critical illnesses that render her unfit for office and which she is hiding from the public. Rudy Giuliani, now a leading Donald Trump surrogate, says the evidence for the various diagnoses is right there on the Internet.

Of course, leveling such an unfounded accusation is both reckless and nutty. Bush Derangement Syndrome was the name of the malady conservatives ascribed to those who heaped obloquy on our last Republican president. Now Hillary Derangement Syndrome has struck Giuliani and quite a few other Republicans hard.

This is by no means a new affliction. Ever since she entered public life as America’s first lady, a barrage of allegations, many fair but quite a few preposterous, have been hurled against President Clinton’s wife. Without any foundation, she is said to be implicated in the “murder” of her friend Vincent Foster, to have caused the fiasco inBenghazi, and to be covertly promoting the Muslim Brotherhood. Trump has gone so far as to call her “the devil,” to which his supporters responded with thunderous applause. For those of us not subsumed by Hillary hatred, the level of anger is a mystery. What accounts for it?

First and foremost, one must point to the deepening polarization of our politics, exacerbated in recent years by the strains and stresses of the post-9/11 era. Given how divided the country has become on fundamental issues, anyone seeking the White House in this environment would be subject to severe disapprobation from the other side.

But the extraordinary intensity of Hillary hatred suggests it is based upon impulses extending well beyond disagreement over policy. Any explanation must begin by acknowledging that Clinton herself has regularly poured gasoline on the fires burning around her.

Dishonesty is a case in point. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, among voters who dislike Hillary Clinton47% cite untrustworthiness, a number that is well-earned. Examples abound. Most recently, we have her pointblank false claim about her use of a private email server to conduct official business as secretary of State: “It was allowed.”

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