It's amazing to go from "World's Most Admired Woman" to "Lesser of Two Evils" in one year. How did that happen?
As recently as last year, Hillary Clinton was polled by the Gallup organization as the world's most admired woman. That capped a record twenty (20) times Clinton has been so honored. Even Eleanor Roosevelt, the most honored woman of her day, polled fewer times (13) than Clinton. Last year's honor meant beating out such international icons as Malala ("I am Malala") Yousafzai, Queen Elizabeth, and Michelle Obama.
Of course, the reputational fall happened because of Donald Trump's vicious campaign against Clinton for the White House, in which this con artist regularly slimes her as "Crooked Hillary" and "Lying Hillary" and vows, if elected, to put her in jail. The Hillary hatred among Trump supporters, and even among some on the progressive left, is scary. Again, how'd it happen?
I know, I know: the emails. Which was a major mistake on Clinton's part and for which she has apologized many times (something Trump never ever does, but should). And there was the too-cozy relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton was Secretary. If she wins the White House, the Clinton Foundation will stop accepting foreign donations.
But, people, these several mistakes simply do not rise to the level of Trump's malfeasance -- the bankruptcies that destroyed others while allowing Trump to continue living like a billionaire, the fraudulent and now defunct Trump University, Trump's non-payment of taxes while ordinary Americans pay their fair share. If Trump wins, the killer issue will have been... Hillary's emails. Really?
Nor do Clinton's character flaws equate to anything like Trump's repugnant behavior -- the denigration of Muslims, Mexicans, the disabled, the women he has allegedly assaulted sexually.
Hmmm, denigration of women. Think that has anything with the Hillary hatred...?
Trump has called women "pigs, slobs, and dogs." He insults Hillary as a candidate: "Does she look presidential, fellas? Give me a break." (Note his callout to "fellas.") Saddest are the women blindly babbling their anti-Hillary, anti-woman hatred.
Again, this is the woman who 20 times --20 times-- was polled "World's Most Admired Woman," while the estimable Eleanor Roosevelt managed it only 13 times.
Tellingly, Hillary Clinton's 20-time record as world's most admired woman spans the 30 years of her public life that Trump now derides and points to as abject failure: her years as First Lady, then U.S. Senator, then Secretary of State. To quote the fear-mongering Trump himself, "Something's going on, folks."
Something is going on, folks. Trump has manipulated the general discontent of the public and out of it created a dangerous reactionary campaign -- against non-white Americans, against foreigners, against women.
Eleanor Roosevelt would weep. Wake up, America.
Note: Donald Trump in 2015 was polled by Gallup as the world's second most admired man, after Barack Obama and tying Pope Francis. The only other time Trump placed in the top 40 of this poll appears to be in 2011, with 1% of the vote.
Carla Seaquist's latest book is titled "Can America Save Itself from Decline?: Politics, Culture, Morality." An earlier book is titled "Manufacturing Hope: Post-9/11 Notes on Politics, Culture, Torture, and the American Character." Also a playwright, she published "Two Plays of Life and Death" and is at work on a play titled "Prodigal."