by Kitty Testa
There’s a wonderful tradition in NHL playoff games in which the opposing teams line up after a championship game and shake each other’s hands. The losing team congratulates the winning team. The winning team congratulates the losing team on a hard-fought challenge. It exemplifies grace in victory and grace in defeat. It embodies the mutual respect that makes the competition meaningful.
We have a similar tradition in our election process. The winner waits for concession before giving the victory speech. As painful as it might be, the losing candidate appears before his or her supporters, thanks them for their efforts, and congratulates the winning candidate. Especially in hard-fought contests, the candidate must gather courage to face the campaign’s crusaders, but it is necessary to show respect for supporters and for the contest itself by conceding with grace and dignity.
Much of the country stayed up well into the wee hours of Wednesday morning expecting that this tradition would be honored. But it wasn’t. Hillary Clinton lost the election, and in defeat she turned out to be … a snowflake. Not a tough, feminist woman of courage, but someone who was too upset to face the world.
Donald Trump announced that he had received a phone call from the losing side at the beginning of his victory speech, but we learned later that the concession call wasn’t from Hillary Clinton; it was from Clinton’s friend and aide, Huma Abedin. It was John Podesta who dismissed Hillary’s supporters from the ill-fated victory soiree late in the evening. When it came time to address Hillary’s campaign, she sent a man out to do the woman’s job.
As a Libertarian, my perception is that I live among individuals, not groups, but I am also aware that—like it or not—we are members of groups, and high-profile individuals are often seen as representative of these groups. Hillary Clinton is female, a fact of which she reminded the electorate at every opportunity during her campaign. I am female. I’m no snowflake.
If Hillary Clinton really cared about women making a difference in politics, she could have delivered a concession speech in those early hours of Wednesday morning to show gratitude to her supporters and to inspire women in the United States to face defeat with grace and dignity. She missed a real “pass-the-baton” moment to inspire younger women to be tough and courageous, to keep calm and carry on. Instead she inspired young women to go to their rooms and cry until they feel better before facing a difficult situation.
Clinton didn’t make her concession speech until lunch time the next day. But in the meantime there was the crying. And more crying. Freak out selfies flying through cyberspace. Yes, she delivered the correct sentiments, but it was too little too late. Clinton’s rudderless supporters took to the public square to engage in a temper tantrum of improvised performance art so self-degrading, crude and hysterical that the grownups in the electorate couldn’t help but realize that we may have dodged a bullet.
Clinton and her crusaders have argued often that Trump doesn’t have the temperament to be President of the United States, but Clinton’s lack of courage and her supporters’ lack of anything resembling civility make that argument a bald-faced hypocrisy.
Yet we should have seen this coming. Throughout her candidacy, Clinton avoided the competition. It was as if she benched herself, sending her surrogates out to actually play the game. She didn’t hold press conferences. She needed the debate questions surreptitiously fed to her in advance. She surrounded herself with an echo chamber of devotees and never really faced the opposition. She couldn’t take a hit, so she was never really out there to score the winning goal.
As a woman who grew up watching the feminist movement from its modern beginnings in the 1960s, the irony of Hillary Clinton’s demise is alarming. In the end, she fights like a girl.
We came to a point in American society where the majority of the electorate was not opposed to a female president, but I worry that Hillary Clinton and the weepy SJWs may take us back fifty years in that regard. Our country is full of tough, courageous women, and many of them are qualified to be the chief executive of our nation. Now they have to fight off the stink of Clinton’s ungracious and undignified behavior in battle and in defeat.
I have strong disagreements with Hillary Clinton politically, and the revelations of the WikiLeaks emails convince me that she is a femme fatale whose international entanglements are in direct conflict with our national interests. There was never a chance that I would vote for her. The old guard feminists like Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright say there’s a special place in hell for me. I can’t help but to wonder if they, perhaps privately, have realized that Hillary Clinton is no “iron lady.”