Hillary Clinton’s latest remarks weren’t the problem. The response was.
What Democrats, Republicans, culture liberal crusaders should actually take away from her latest comments.
It’s a masochistic endeavor to watch the news these days, but I found myself closely following the dust up surrounding Hillary Clinton’s latest oral flub. At a conference in India this weekend, the 2016 Presidential popular vote winner stated, “all that red in the middle” of the nation, where Trump and the Republicans tend to dominate, was deceptive because what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So, I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.” Trump’s campaign, she alleged, “was looking backwards” by playing to white voters who “didn’t like black people getting rights” or women leaving the home and getting jobs.”
The usual chain of events ensued. Democrats distanced themselves from these remarks, Republicans seized on these remarks as a sign of elitist behavior, and liberal news outlets such as Salon argued this statement was an uncomfortable truth society was unwilling to accept.
All of this is futile. As all camps are once again missing another opportunity for broader, and more reflective, conversation.
This is a statement, unquestionably, highlights the Former First Lady’s penchant for sporadic tone deaf rhetoric. Even troubling, is a liberal tribal instinct to defend these comments. Granted, there are certain aspects where Southern states lag in comparison to their Blue state brethren. Yet, that doesn’t mean they are universally primitive thinkers.
Instead of pointing out conservative state deficiencies, this could be a lesson in empathy for coastal culture warriors. Liberals should extend the same panoramic empathy to red state patrons they often afford to individuals in developing countries. That is the leaders of that region don’t accurately represent the spirit of the people, their is beauty in everyone, and there are multiple flavors to any region. If liberals continue to immerse themselves in the narrative that those who are ideological different are less cultured and nuanced they will continue to lose out on opportunities such as Doug Jones in Alabama and Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania. Omitting a cultural condescending tone would be do well for liberal causes in the long run.
Liberals should, however, be proud of the economic burden they bear. Mrs. Clinton is correct to point out that more than 66% of American’s economic engine is revved up by left leaning parts of America. Representatives of these areas highlight this fact and be proud of their contribution. Far too often, the blue team is painted as a coalition representing the handout crowd. There is data to refute this illusion. The party of FDR should utilize the information to brand themselves as the party of opportunity and not of government support.
But the former Secretary of States makes a crucial point that has largely been ignored. The world is changing and clinging on to past norms, traditions, and industries will further paralyze those in need. Optimism, diversity, and economic dynamism are the key ingredients for a prosperous society. If Republicans continue to rebuff these values and variables it is their constituents who will suffer immensely. Political capital gained off these types of comments are great in the short run, but they do little to tackle crucial challenges in the long run. Coal, sustainable employment based on minimal education, and a homogeneous America are a thing of the past. Republicans need to acknowledge this rather than gleefully lambasting the loser of an election that took place nearly two years ago.
HRC’s latest verbal blunder may have been temporary inconvenient for Democrats, an interim platform for outrage for Republicans, and a brief soapbox for progressives to stand on but none of these efforts do anything to curtail our disturbing lust for tribalism, confront troubling massive wealth concentration, or build a strategy to confront current economic disruptions.
Mrs. Clinton is right about one thing. The forward-looking need to get their due or we’re all in hot water.