by Kevin Kelton
It’s already starting. The Hillarization of Elizabeth Warren.
As if it’s not bad enough that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has started the GOP’s methodical vilification of the 2020 Democratic frontrunner with his senate floor theatrics and that President Trump has chimed to lead the “Pocahontas” chorus. Now the left is falling into the same old, destructive pattern as well.
In my Facebook political group, Open Fire, I’ve already seen Democrats starting the tear-down process by calling the Massachusetts senator shrill, whiny, grating, and in one case saying Warren’s “tone” is so annoying that when he hears her he “just wants her to shut up.” There are Warren-bashing Facebook groups sprouting up, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are predictably going to town on her, and you can bet that the clickbait factories in Macedonia will soon begin churning out sensational fake news stories about her like this and this and this.
That is exactly what led to the Donald Trump presidency in the first place. While there are many theories as to why Clinton lost, it certainly didn’t help that members of her own party were fragging her with Clinton-hate from day one. Starting with Bernie Sanders’ entry into the race, liberals began relentlessly kneecapping Clinton about her emails, her Iraq vote, the Wall Street speeches, The Clinton Foundation, her husband’s infidelities, her own sexuality (with talk of a Huma affair), the cost of her outfits, misogynistic hostility about her ambition and so-called imperial sense of entitlement, and pretty much every other crazy slander you can imagine.
And, yes, they also mocked her speaking cadence and “Shrillary” tone.
In doing so, the Bernie-or-Busters gave life to the evil, “corrupt Hillary”cartoon caricature that the Trump camp happily adopted.
There is no doubt that the 16-month-long Chinese water-torture of Democrats badmouthing their own nominee led to the party’s abysmal turnout in the swing states that she lost, and to the historically oversized vote tallies that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson ran up. Had progressives and millennials rallied to their side’s nominee the way rural conservatives eventually did, Clinton would be president today. Instead, they gleefully did the other side’s dirty work for them.
Now many of those same Democrats are repeating history by kneecapping their next female frontrunner. A lot of it is due to misogyny (masked in insults about her “tone” or the sound of her voice). Some due to gullibility (buying into GOP-manufactured narratives like “Pocahontas” or that she’s somehow corrupt). And as the inevitable fake news stories and nasty memes fan out on Facebook and Twitter, a lot of gullible Democrats will do the GOP’s bidding by playing telephone with it all in the social media gossip mill.
Folks, don’t do it. Resist the temptation to play into Trump’s hand, and don’t let your well-intentioned friends on the left do it, either. When you see a Democrat peddling Liz-hate, remind them how that played out for our side in 2016. Let’s nip this in the bud now, before it takes on a life of its own.
Because if we help the GOP torpedo our party’s leading voices again, we are doomed to repeat history. And there may not be much history ahead of us after that.
Kevin Kelton is co-host of the More Perfect Union podcast and founder of the Facebook political debate group, Open Fire.