Los Angeles, March 16, 2015 — As Hillary Clinton struggles to explain why she had every right to her private email server, a familiar pattern is emerging. While Hillary is only one person, she seems to have afflictions that have become deeply embedded in the Democratic Party.
George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis were all honest Democrats who lost landslide elections. One message Democrats learned is that. for liberal candidates to govern a center-right nation, they have to disguise their intentions. They have to lie about who they are, what they believe and what they will do if elected.
Bill Clinton was the bridge to the 21st-century Democrat, where honesty was a death sentence for electoral success. Yet for all of his flaws, Bill Clinton possessed one positive quality that no Democratic presidential nominee has had since. Bill Clinton likes people.
Forget the jokes about his libido. One can dislike his moral failings while still respecting his genuine enjoyment of his fellow citizens. He liked diving into crowds and shaking hands. He liked staying up all hours of the night having policy discussions. He liked interacting with people. Growing up in the segregated South as the stepson of an abusive alcoholic taught him many layers of suffering. This enabled him to react to others with genuine human empathy.
After he left, Democrats seeking to replace him lacked this warmth. Democrat nominees saw the people as anything from objects of indifference to contemptible slobs needing to be molded. No candidate would overtly say this, but body language and attitudes are what they are.
Al Gore tried to brand himself as Bubba 2.0, but this was just not who Al Gore was. Clinton was from Arkansas. Gore’s father was a true Tennessee man, but Junior was raised in D.C. surrounded by wealth, privilege and power. Gore desperately tried to convince voters he was a lifelong tobacco farmer until the public turned against tobacco. Gore was robotic, with a common refrain being that “Al Gore is so boring that his secret service code name is Al Gore.”
John Forbes Kerry really was the stereotypical Massachusetts liberal with monogrammed “JFK” clothing. Kerry was too rich to understand ordinary men and similarly not fancy enough for those even wealthier than he was. He was a Vietnam veteran who drew the ire of many veterans. He was for the Iraq war before he was against it. Like Gore before him, Kerry never trusted the voters enough to just tell them who he really was. He speaks fluent French, which he denies in public because it plays into the stereotype of the liberal French-lover.
Barack Obama has shown himself to be a cold, clinical individual lacking basic human warmth. He loves his wife and children, but at his core he is an introvert who would rather spend every night with them away from everyone else. Obama loves ideas and grand visions. He sees people as an intrusion into his time and space. When people disagree with him, he sees malevolence. He was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia and spent most of his formative years as a loner.
For these three men, there are plenty of professions where warmth is not required. Many certified public accountants and information technology professionals are known for preferring numbers and spreadsheets to human beings. The world of e-commerce allows thousands of individuals to work at 4 a.m to avoid human interaction.
This coldness transcends race and gender. Hillary Clinton has long been described as an ice queen, the woman who pours cold water on the party and instills discipline on her fun-loving husband. She is wooden on the stump, with a grating speaking voice that occasionally wanders into cringe-inducing fake accents.
Supporters of Gore, Kerry, Obama and Hillary Clinton can all insist how warm these people may be in private. That matters not one bit. In public, none of these people has shown the slightest inclination to care about people.
When told of people losing their healthcare plans, Obama keeps insisting that the voters will eventually see the light and admit his righteousness. He goes golfing after people are beheaded. He smiles and laughs with Jimmy Kimmel while the world burns. He and his wife took separate planes from D.C. to Los Angeles simply because they could and they felt like it. Leaders who respect the people act better than this.
Hillary’s worst moment came when she testified during the Benghazi hearings. She testily yelled, “What difference at this point does it make?” as to why four Americans were murdered. It makes all of the difference in the world. A caring person would never ask this question.
Anyone can be judged on their best or worst moments, but take Democrats in totality. John Edwards almost sleazed his way to the nomination. Howard Dean screamed at voters and still does. Elizabeth Warren is a tinderbox of rage ready to explode. These are the people Democrats trust to try to advance the liberal message.
How does an entire political party try to govern when ignoring and in some cases even detesting those they wish to rule? The left may despise George W. Bush for existing and breathing air, but after the 9/11 attacks he shook hands and hugged every firefighter and police officer within a thousand-mile radius of him. Does anyone think Obama cares about these people? As police officers are getting shot, he does not even lift a finger to pick up a telephone, much less meet with the families of the victims.
This is not a liberal or a conservative thing. It is a human decency thing. If Democrats truly want to govern successfully, they have to learn the one positive lesson Bill Clinton offered. They have to nominate somebody who cares whether ordinary people live or die.
For this and so many other reasons, neither the current president or Bubba’s wife is willing or able to break the post-Bubba, two-decades long lack of empathy gripping the Democratic Party.