Even at this late date, the name Hillary Clinton ranks somewhere between child molester and serial killer in much of America’s ranking of evil expletives.
Let’s play with numbers. Most, even all, of the raw numbers we’ll be toying with here are fluid as they are constantly being adjusted. Nevertheless, if we estimate judiciously, we can stay within a margin of error and come to some general conclusions.
Now then, some 200,082,000 Americans were registered to vote in 2016. The latest number I could find indicating voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election is 59.7 percent (which is fairly decent, topping even the turnout in 2012). So, using those figures, I calculate that some 119,449,000 citizens of the United States went to the polls across the 50 states and the District of Columbia last November.
Of that 119.5 mill, some 65.8 million voted for Hillary Clinton and 62.9 of them went for Li’l Duce.
Based on all I’ve read and heard and conversed about, all the opinionating and bloviating and finger-wagging, and every bit of info I could glean from corporate media, alternative media, social media, mass mailings, street corner preachers, rally orators — literally all the voices inside and outside of my head — I have to conclude that the sum total of the people who like or tolerate Hillary Clinton could probably be accurately represented by that 65.8 million figure. I’m going under the assumption that if you really dug HRC, you were likely a conscientious voter, still somehow trusting in the idea of democracy and the body politic as mythologized in this holy land’s elementary school civics classes.
Many, many, many people who are eligible to vote have washed their hands of the whole production. Every politician’s a crook, they say. The whole system’s corrupt. And so on, a broad brush stroke that’s as ludicrous as believing in everything your elementary school civics teacher told you. The people who say that — not without some little justification — can’t stand Hillary Clinton.
Here, then, is the conclusion I’ve come to: Of all the 200-plus million people qualified to vote in America, better than 137 million of them detest Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Think of it! Is there anyone else alive — hell, anyone else in our history! — who’s been loathed as deeply and popularly as Hillary Clinton?
Try to argue against these points. My advice? Don’t waste your time.
Why’d I start thinking about this? Simple. Yesterday I spent a delightful afternoon on a boat owned by some friends. These particular friends are dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, good, solid liberals who’d sooner have their eyes gouged out than see Li’l Duce as president. One of them, in fact, fell into a deep clinical depression (in my non-professional opinion) after the November election.
As the clouds started rolling in over Lake Monroe, we headed back toward my friends’ boat slip. We tied up and then the lot of us — there was another couple involved — sat back down in front of the boat and sipped 12-year-old Scotch. Another boat-owner ambled by and our hosts invited him to join our little party. A friendly fellow and a lifelong Hoosier, I’d imagine, judging by his thick So. Cent. IN accent, he contributed nicely to the conversation. At some certain point the topic of Russia arose and we all shook our heads and fell silent. That’s basically America’s attitude toward the Russkies these days: resignation.
The lifelong Hoosier was the first to pipe up again. “They’re everywhere,” he began. We all nodded, knowingly. Only, it turned out, the things we knew weren’t exactly a matter of consensus. “Can you believe it?” he went on. “Some big Russian arms dealer gave a hundred and fifty million dollars to Hillary Clinton’s campaign!”
The rest of us bit our lips. Our silence spoke volumes. The man’s eyes went wide. He looked around at each of our faces and realized he was playing to the wrong audience. Wisely, he dropped the subject and then someone brought up the Chocolate Moose. We all could agree that it was more fun to go to the Chocolate Moose when it was a ramshackle outdoor ice cream stand than now in its new digs. The lifelong Hoosier man reminded us the Chocolate Moose long ago went under the name of the Penguin. The rest of us smiled at the memory.
Here it is almost precisely a full year after the election. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been smacked down by voters twice, dramatically, in 2008 and 2016. She’s going to be 70 years old on Thursday. There’s no danger of her gearing up to run as a mid-septuagenarian in 2020. She’s yesterday’s news. Yet, to many people — loads of people, millions of people — she’s still uppermost in their minds. She’s the embodiment of all that’s wrong with the world today.
So much so that just plain folks still throw around crazy accusations that have only the merest whiff of veracity. I’d guess the lifelong Hoosier man had mashed together the story of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout (he’d sold weapons to FARC rebels for use against US-backed Colombian forces) and the alleged scandal involving Russian nuclear industry lobbyists who’d supposedly contributed a pile of money to the Clinton Foundation. So, it didn’t have a single thing to do with HRC’s campaign and foreign contributions thereto, but since when does accuracy and truth have anything to do with a good political argument?
And my guess Hillary Clinton will continue to be the most hated human being in America long after she passes from this vale of bullshit.
Guns, The Conclusion
Herewith we present installment four of gentleman farmer Sam Zurcher’s epic discourse on America’s love affair with guns. Many thanks to Sam for allowing this global communications colossus to reproduce his social media series of essays here. If you want more of Sam, go to his website, Infinite Gestation, where he and a couple of other fine scribblers talk about literature and the world. And away we go!
The Trial of the NRA
I said in my last post some sensible gun laws are needed. Most people, a large majority including among gun owners, agree with me. Yet the NRA is run by the most hardline people. You may say it’s strange, but the NRA is in many ways both a perpetrator of our increased political divide and a victim of it.
The NRA, for those who are unaware, is considered one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country. Once you take away the lobbyists representing corporate interests, the NRA is powerful not only for their wealth but a large membership that votes and is rivaled only by AARP. Because the leadership has other social ideas, naturally, and they want more members, there’s an inclination to package other political stances with the one the organization advocates. At the same time other groups look at the power of the NRA and attempt to latch onto it. That way they can incidentally benefit from them. It’s not hard to figure out, just don’t view groups like the NRA as if they’re in a vacuum.
I can assure you, both from my own experiences and the statements/publications of the NRA, the spectrum of political beliefs on everything but gun control (and that as well to some extent) has narrowed considerably the past two decades. Remember when I told the NRA week story and a counselor gave his low views on interracial relationships? The people where I went shooting with were disappointed I didn’t call him a hateful racist to his face then and there. It’s hard to imagine the reaction now. Given that I could, and did, dismiss that guy as an isolated case. Every large organization has one. Over the years I’ve seen the change.
The NRA has recklessly ignored (when not encouraging) the insane conspiracy theories. It’s always the black helicopters controlled by the evil bureaucracy, aided by the Democrats and not true Republicans. The media only give one view because of their plan to brainwash and oppress the people. What began in my younger days as crazy fringe nonsense most gun owners dismissed is now believed by most. Some of this should sound familiar (Trump invented nothing). The NRA has gone along with it for their own cynical purposes.
The NRA has allowed its messaging to be dominated by the far right. It is increasingly fundamentalist Christian, authoritarian, racist, sexist, and encouraging people it’s okay to be woefully ignorant. And yet, for a group in fear of government helicopters, the NRA will never defend or advocate for a black man murdered by the police. To say nothing of a legally armed black man who cooperated with the police and was killed anyway. They said nothing in that case, as Trevor Noah pointed out.
Before Charlottesville the NRA released a disgusting ad which encouraged violence against protesters, so long as the protestors were liberals. Immediately after Charlottesville, the NRA has nothing to say about the neofascists dressing in riot gear, carrying rifles, and acting like their own police force, who legally can’t tell you to do anything. It was nothing but mob rule, bullying, and intimidation. Since the events of Charlottesville the view that the crowd was some neo-Nazis, mostly good people who didn’t want confederate monuments removed, and an uber violent far left antifa that wanted a fight is the popular opinion.
I can only conclude the NRA is fine with authoritarian government, so long as it’s theirs. They seem willing, and quite eager, to burn the rest of the Constitution for the sake of one amendment. I say this is evil, and if the founders wrote the Second Amendment for the sake of protecting the rights of the people, a lot of the NRA is betraying even that Amendment by their actions.
On a final note: it is clear that not all gun legislation is created equal. Since the country is saturated with firearms, taking any total ban off the table in my opinion (banning firearms would be about as effective as Prohibition at this stage and create a large black market with a product that possesses longevity) we’ll have to be smart about how to do this. Which means we need to do research on gun violence. The NRA blocks government research wherever possible and works to discredit all other studies. This must end. I cannot abide a group, any group, preventing research. We shouldn’t be afraid of the truth. It’s no mystery why the NRA does this. Any scientific study forces them to answer some questions. Which is cowardly. Given this environment, and the NRA’s actions in it, creating it, profiting by it, promoting ignorance, and not even being consistent in their principles, I can’t support it. And I won’t.
In case you missed them, here are the three previous installments in Sam’s series.