[audioplayer src="http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/268140526-the-spectator-podcast-brexit-strategy-what-would-the.mp3" title="Freddy Gray and Kate Andrews discuss Hillary Clinton" startat=662]
Women of the world unite! Back Hillary Clinton! Otherwise, prepare to be damned to that special place in hell that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright insists exists ‘for women who don’t help each other’!
Exclamation marks are crucial to discussing Hillary Clinton for President. If you don’t deploy one at the end of each sentence, people might think you’re hopelessly depressed that a woman is about to become leader of the free world. We’re supposed to be excited that a woman has just clinched the Democratic nomination. It took America 227 years to get so far. Never mind that the woman in question is widely disliked by a majority of women. Ignore the fact that she was nearly beaten by a kooky 74-year-old socialist called Bernie. Progress marches on. ‘People are talking about revolution,’ said Albright, at a rally for Hillary in February. ‘What kind of a revolution would it be to have the first woman president of the United States?’
The answer is: none. Yes, it could be wonderful — symbolically — if the most powerful person on earth were female. But if Hillary beats Trump to the White House, it won’t be feminism’s ultimate triumph, it’ll be one more victory for the institution of marriage. And, by my feminist standards, if that symbolises anything, it’s regression. Achieving power by means of marrying, and putting up with, a really shitty husband is something women have been doing for centuries. Yet no one points to Catherine the Great and says, ‘That’s the way to do it, gels!’ At least Catherine, when she got to power, knifed her cruel spouse, confident that she could rule much better by herself. Hillary has not only ridden the Clinton machine all the way to where she is today; she promises Americans that she’ll rely on her husband to govern. In May, she reassured voters in Kentucky that Bill will be ‘in charge of revitalising the economy because, you know, he knows how to do it’.
And yet still the young women of America have been lambasted for flocking to Bernie Sanders. These poor ignorant dears, the argument seems to run, will keep voting according to politics rather than what’s really important — a candidate’s sex. But surely it makes no sense to vote for Hillary because she, like you, boasts two breasts and a vagina? Margaret Thatcher sprang into power entirely thanks to her own smarts, cleaving to her own political vision, which she implemented, ruthlessly, through three elections. And feminists of the fifth wave never claim that as womankind’s great leap forward. Mrs Clinton, by contrast, has no message, no vision and no creed beyond, as Christopher Buckley recently pointed out in these pages, ‘I am so owed.’
And for what is she owed? Standing by her man, of course. The young women of America are too young to remember the deeply unedifying exhibition the Clintons made of themselves in the 1990s. Back then, Bill referred to his wife as ‘the First Liability’ because everything she touched — in the words of Martin Amis — turned ‘out to have the word gate tacked on to the end of it’. Worse still was how Hillary stuck by her husband as he stuck his penis into any woman willing — plus, according to Juanita Broaddrick, at least one who wasn’t. And she didn’t just stick by him; she helped him stick it to each and every member of her own sex who had the temerity to complain. And she continued to dance to Tammy Wynette’s tune even after he left office, as he gadded about the globe with billionaire Ron Burkle on a plane dubbed Air Fuck One. Now, Bill is too ill to carry on philandering, but he was at it as recently as 2008 when ‘a bimbo eruption’ — as a Clinton troubleshooter delicately put it — threatened to derail Hillary’s nascent campaign. Fortunately, Obama won.
The most appalling thing about Hillary Clinton is that she makes Donald Trump seem like a crazed feminist choice for 45th president — for at least he’s making a feminist argument. The Donald has been busy pursuing a line of attack first put forward by none other than America’s radical feminist-in-chief, Camille Paglia. ‘Hillary Clinton’s feminism is a fraud,’ Paglia wrote in an email to the Daily Beast last year. ‘She rode her husband’s coattails to wealth and power, and she has amorally colluded in the vilification and destruction of female victims of her husband’s serial abuse.’ In January, Trump started tweeting, ‘I hope Bill Clinton starts talking about women’s issues so the voters can see what a hypocrite he is and how Hillary abused those women!’
I don’t like sympathising with a misogynist billionaire whose ideas are as mad and bad as his hair — but he has a point. It matters how you get to power, and trampling all over your less powerful sisters without once stopping to help is not the way to do it. When I was a teenager, Bill taught me how men in power are allowed to treat women, while Hill stood by and watched. The most powerful man in the world appeared, with livid face, on television, on permanent loop, claiming that he ‘did not have sexual relations with that woman’, the 22-year-old unpaid intern whose best dress turned out to have the presidential ejaculate all over it. Hillary appeared to disregard the whole existence of Monica Lewinsky, just as she did any other woman Bill discarded as a used receptacle for semen and cigars.
Had Hillary divorced the oily bastard, acquired a clear set of political principles and made it on her own, I’d be the biggest cheerleader there ever was for Democratic candidate Rodham. But she hasn’t and she didn’t. She stuck by Bill, cynically, because she needed the man. That, to me, is no sort of womanhood at all. And I’m content to burn in hell for all eternity for saying so.