It's time liberals acknowledge that their vitriol toward the presidential candidate is hurting women -- and speaks to something deeper
The Progressive Left's blitzkreig against Hillary Clinton is unprecedented. She's been branded a "neocon" -- this, in spite of a senate voting record netting an 83.9 percent "liberal score" from the National Journal (considerably higher than that of 2000 democratic candidate Bill Bradley or 2004 candidate John Edwards), a coveted "F" rating from the NRA, and an OnTheIssues.com calculation of "more liberal" than Barack Obama.
She is singularly delineated as "bought by Wall Street" -- even with former Democratic nominees Al Gore and John Kerry receiving millions in campaign contributions from the so-called "big banks" during their presidential runs, including hefty sums from both Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
When Republicans launched their dubious investigation into a "corrupt," "manipulative" and "dirty" Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server while Secretary of State -- regardless of Colin Powell implementing the same practice during his tenure -- this character assassination, quite troublingly, inspired many liberals to co-opt these very words, rewarding the carefully-crafted Republican fallacy and giving them new life in the progressive sphere.
These educated and civic-minded men and women would never engage in the kind of blatant misogyny that chides on her inability to satisfy her husband, that bandies the word "bitch," that forwards Kentucky Fried Chicken-themed memes boasting an "HRC Special" with "2 fat thighs" -- they instead use codified language that, when used in the context of a powerful female, serves as a tool of "soft sexism" that undermines and devalues women.
The Left's enthusiastic embrace of these tropes and rhetoric props up the narrative that, for a woman to have reached the upper echelons of power in her field, she could only have done so through depravity and deception. Her success is undeserved, and she is therefore unworthy -- and dismissing Clinton's campaign as a "coronation" only gives credence to a culture that has for so long cheered the brutal teardown of accomplished women.
Hillary Clinton is indeed, as her critics claim, part of the "the establishment." Like all women of lofty ambition, she is keenly and woefully aware that in 2016, less than a century out from women's suffrage, pioneering into a space formerly only occupied by men requires an acceptance that gender constrains one to work within the system, rather than from outside of it.
So the next time you say, "I hate Hillary Clinton," ask yourself why.
A version of this post originally appeared on Medium.