As publisher and Twitter wag Jeff Triedich puts it, “Don’t blame me, I voted for the email lady.” It’s a moniker Tiedrich doesn’t need to explain. For reasons that don’t even seem feasible today, in 2016 the mainstream media made an unaccountable mountain out of Hillary’s email molehill. And just enough people bought into it to elect history’s most toxic president, a rapist and traitor.
But before she exited the world stage, Hillary Clinton made a number of predictions about Trump, all of which came true. She told us he didn’t pay income tax. Check. She told us he would lower taxes for the one percent. Check. She told us Mexico wouldn’t pay for his stupid wall. Check. She told us Trump was in Putin’s back pocket. Check. She told us many things about this awful man that came true. But above all she told us he would claim that the election was rigged, because he always said the system is rigged against him. Double check.
Hillary Clinton was history’s single most qualified person to run for President. She was an ivy league-educated former Senator and Secretary of State. She’d already spent a whopping 16 years working in the White House before she ran for President of the United States. She was deeply admired and a strong leader.
Donald Trump was history’s most unqualified candidate for president. He’d never held elected office, was a notorious draft-dodger and cheat who never served in the military. He was a known crook and a liar. But for reasons of ratings and entertainment value Hillary Clinton was excoriated daily by the press and Trump was given a free pass for his crimes, to the point that Donald Trump won the election.
Hillary Clinton has emerged to give us one more warning. It is about the midterm election. “We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy,” she said in an interview with the Financial Times published Friday, “and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window. Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority.”
Given the recent revelations, beginning with the leaked SCOTUS memo about Roe v. Wade and the ongoing January 6 Committee hearings, it seems astonishing that Republicans even have a chance at recapturing Congress. But whoever you listen to or whoever you choose to believe, Hillary is right, losing is simply too horrible to contemplate. Failure is not an option.
America to its peril ignored Hillary once before. We cannot afford to ignore her this time. As bad as things have gotten in the past, Congress has never yet been wholly radicalized. There has always remained behind restraining voices that stepped in to rescue us now and then — but only barely. There may not be enough such voices next time. Above all we must keep our majority and it should be, as Hillary says, our priority above everything else. It cannot be said enough: the alternative is too horrible to contemplate. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.