It’s Not Her Chronological Age That’s a Problem, It’s the Antiquity of Her Thinking

Maureen Dowd puts her finger on the “why-are-you-so-opposed-to-HRC?” question that bounces into my inbox multiple times a day from well-meaning Democratic friends of mine.

“It’s not that she’s too old,” Ms. Dowd writes in her column today, “It’s that she’s too old-think, thrusting herself forward as a hawk at a time when hawks — in the season of Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul — aren’t so cool.”

And it’s not just when it comes to foreign policy that HRC is too old-think. Her political strategies, her positions on social issues, her understanding of the New Social Fabric of social media and a dozen other aspects of her “thought” are all too old.

hillary_clintonJust about the only thing she has going for her candidacy is her gender. American women are a force to be dealt with and they have a strong sense that their turn has come, that it the country can support and twice elect a man of color, then it is time a woman gained the highest office in the land. Just because she’s a woman.

But, as a feminist, I’d a lot rather see a truly progressive man at the head of the party’s ballot in 2016 than a stuck woman. Come to that, I could enthusiastically and easily support a truly progressive woman candidate (can you say Elizabeth Warren?), but I doubt that will happen. For a woman to oppose HRC in 2016 would be political suicide. It might well be for a man as well but anyone gutsy enough to force a split in the ranks of the females of the Party would find herself on the outside looking in if Ms. Clinton were to win the Presidency.

So I’ll say it again. If Hillary Clinton is the party’s nominee, she’ll get my vote. But not one stitch of additional support of any kind. Not my time. Not my enthusiasm. Not my money. And I’ll hope she wins because any Democrat — no matter how old his or her thinking — will be infinitely better than any Republican candidate on the current political horizon.


3 comments for “It’s Not Her Chronological Age That’s a Problem, It’s the Antiquity of Her Thinking

  1. Don Huntington
    August 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I might write in Elizabeth Warren’s name on the next ballot, but will probably vote for Hillary just because she might win.

    Hillary might actually win because of the very reasons you are only going to support her in a lukewarm fashion. The whole process is so polarized, with you as far to the left as my East Coast relatives are to the right. (My brother-in-law actually said the sentence, “Fox News are the only ones telling the truth.”)

    The middle has vanished. Politicians who try to move in towards the center from either side are vilified by the “true believers” on their side of the aisle as betraying the cause. There is no solution.

    • August 18, 2014 at 5:14 pm


      Actually, your observation seems to be correct from the current calendar perspective: pre-primary and primary periods are intensely polarized but it isn’t that the “middle has vanished.” It’s that they stay out out of the partisan confrontations of the primary season when each party’s “leaders” jockey for position within the ranks and in both cases feel they have to appeal to their extremes because those are the people who turn out to vote and are passionately vocal during that period.

      Once we move into the General, then historically both parties’ nominees tend to shift toward the middle (though the middle has been drifting right in the past few years). Because at the end of the day, it’s the moderate independents who decide elections for the most part. Only when both parties nominate people at the extremes does that middle have to make a choice about truly fundamental direction. It’s that scenario that I’m suggesting elsewhere on my blog could in fact arise in 2016. If the GOP nominates a hard-core conservative and the Dems nominate a hard-core progressive, then the middle has to decide which general direction they want to take the country. In that scenario, it’s my belief that they will choose progressivism. Because study after study, analysis after analysis tend to indicate that the middle in this country support the *policies* espoused by progressives in the long sweep of political history even if they reject progressive candidates in specific races, probably for reasons of specific candidate weaknesses.

  2. Don Huntington
    August 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I hope you’re right. But things are different. There are huge constituencies — the Gun Lobby, for example — who doesn’t care what the rest of the country thinks. You put the creationists, racists, anti-gay, anti-immigration, gun lobby people together — driven by the belief that Fox News “is the only people telling the truth” and that Rush Limbaugh is the fount of wisdom — and who knows what will happen.

    The hope is that there are a lot of people like me, who are on the right (I still retain my Libertarian sentiments) but who feels that the Republicans have just abdicated their position as national leaders.