Hillary Clinton is going to publish a book. It will consist of essays based on quotes that she has used to inspire her, refresh her, assuage her and comfort her during the trying and difficult times in her life. It may be a cathartic experience for her—a healthy way of dealing with loss and disappointment.
Perhaps it will help her come to grips with her new reality: that her lifelong goal of becoming President of the United States is permanently out of her reach.
But, if her recent interview with the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof is any indication, she has a very long way to go. Given her history, it’s possible Hillary will never understand what happened to her, let alone accept it.
Clinton and Kristof discussed a long list of reasons why she lost to Donald Trump in November: Wikileaks, FBI Director James Comey’s mendacious behavior, Bernie Sanders and his millennial followers undermining what was owed to her by the Democrat Party, Vladimir Putin (naturally), and, of course, the greatest scourge and threat to women and democracy: “misogyny.”
Her megalomania and her belief in the inevitability of her “destiny” is, ironically what beat her. She underestimated the intelligence of the American voter and their revulsion at those who believe they were born to rule.
Her devastating loss must be explained by unprecedented conspiracies of hate—and hate directed not just towards her but also toward those she, in her generosity of spirit, deigns to represent: all womankind. To Hillary, her loss can’t be explained by simply stating the obvious. She ignored the Rust Belt, she was lazy, and her campaign lacked both energy and vision. These boring and mundane reasons mustn’t explain her loss, because she isn’t mundane; she was pre-ordained and special.
Jonathan Kay in 2013 reflected that people had a hard time accepting that such epic and historic figures as John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana could have been felled by such ordinary and flawed men—a part time loner and communist in the case of JFK and a drunk chauffeur in the death of Diana. It is all just too pedestrian in contrast to the myths and legends these figures have become in the public imagination.
Hillary is having an equally hard time convincing herself that her defeat came at the hands of her own miscalculation and incompetence.
Hillary envisions herself to be a kind of “chosen one” or royalty. She behaves as such because she has been convinced of her destiny since Life magazine covered her commencement address at Wellesley nearly 50 years ago and pronounced that she was destined for greatness. There’s a reason why Raksha and Akela, the mother wolf and the pack leader in Kipling’s famous The Jungle Book, cringe when the jackal, Tabaqui obsequiously praises Raksha’s cubs:
How beautiful are the noble children! How large are their eyes! And so young too! Indeed, indeed, I might have remembered that the children of kings are men from the beginning.
Hillary’s family appears to have had no such concern for her well-being.
She has lived her life believing in the inevitability of becoming a figure of historic and epic proportions. Her entire life had been leading her toward ultimate victory on November 8, 2016. She was finally going to break through that glass ceiling and ascend to heights no woman had ever reached, at least in her own mind. I would imagine Lady Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi and yes, even Eva Perón might have something to say about that small piece of historical delusion.
Overlooked in many of the postmortems since November is how Hillary’s own inability to see herself with a proper perspective led to her downfall. And given that inability to understand her limitations, it’s very likely that the country averted disaster.
Of course she would have continued Obama’s domestic agenda—a simultaneous weakening of the economy and tightening of central control over the lives of Americans. Obama’s reasons were ideological; hers would have been personal. Obama was a consistent statist in his policies and thus, his moves were understandable—however harmful they were to our republic. Her reasons would have been simpler, but perhaps more dangerous. She wanted wanted things done her way because she imagines she knows best.
Had Clinton won, not only would she have had the power, she would have had the ability to put her desires in place to complete the “fundamental transformation” Obama talked about leading up to his 2008 victory.
Her megalomania and her belief in the inevitability of her “destiny” is, ironically what beat her. She underestimated the intelligence of the American voter and their revulsion at those who believe they were born to rule. Hillary was so comfortable with her lead in the cooked polls that she was planning her agenda and having her staff order metaphorical new drapes for the Oval Office. (Trump had the last laugh there.)
Clinton foolishly refused to believe she needed to do the things that candidates need to do to actually win. She ignored even the greatest asset any candidate could have—the great political mind of her husband, Bill Clinton. No one could convince her that she actually had to work hard to achieve her dream. She only needed to believe that she was transformational herself and nothing could possibly get in her way.
Fortunately, her delusion allowed her to miscalculate. Bigly. And because of that, we dodged a bullet. But we will have to endure the book tour where she will inevitably continue to blame the deplorables and the stars for her failure to fulfill hers and America’s “destiny.” Thank you, deplorables—and our lucky stars.