Positive Hillary in the Making
transcending partisan hatred
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
-- Jesus, Matthew 5:34
I hope that, when Hillary goes to bed at night, she prays for her loved ones, for her friends, for herself, and for those who hate her. I hope that she prays for Donald Trump, too.
Dear God, may Donald find the happiness his heart seeks, the friendships he desires, and your generous love. Please hold his soul in the warmth of your arms, and hold the souls of all who hate me in your arms as well. And may my own arms be open, too, filled with forgiveness. Your friend, Hillary.
Yes, that's the prayer I hope she prays. I'm working on one of my own, too.
I have some friends and even some relatives who hate Hillary as a person. I feel fairly confident that they don't pray for her in a loving way.
I can't understand the hatred. I offer excerpts from an article by Michelle Goldberg in Slate on why people hate Hillary, and these excerpts give me a little perspective. Maybe they will help you, too. I've come up with five reasons people hate Hillary:
I am sure that a few of my friends who hate her would check all of these boxes and add still more. Some might say that she is "incompetent," but that's no reason to hate anybody. It's the hatred that is so hard to understand; it seems so destructive. It is especially confusing to me when I realize that some who hate Hillary claim affiliation with a person I much admire: Jesus of Nazareth. That's why the article from Slate helps. It gives me perspective on why people hate Hillary, despite their religious convictions to the contrary.
Having lived in Arkansas when Hillary was First Lady, I liked her very much and still do. I met her a couple of times, very briefly; but, more importantly, I knew people who worked with her closely as members of her staff. Several of them were friends from church, and they consistently reported that she was personable, kind, and well-meaning. They liked her and felt loyal to her. They still do.
I also knew the minister at the church she attended, and I was impressed with his own appreciation of her. He told me that she was a serious and sincere Methodist which means that she follows John Wesley's idea that personal piety and social service are two sides of the same coin. When asked to teach in Sunday School, she wanted to focus on Wesley. He also told me that when Chelsea was being confirmed, it was very important to Hillary that Chelsea's confirmation be personal and private for Chelsea. Hillary wanted no photographers, no publicity. She was interested in her daughter's spiritual journey, not politics. And he said that Hillary was herself a woman of faith: a woman who trusts in God and seeks to do God's will in the world.
All of this led me and leads me to like her as a person. I have friends who think that we should vote on the basis of policies, not character; but I disagree. I want to vote on both bases. And as a Christian I am convinced that, all things considered, the policies Hillary would support are much more consistent with the biblical values than are the policies of Donald Trump. Here I am influenced by a friend of mine, Rabbi Bradly Artson, and his article Voting Biblically. I think her policies are more "biblical" than those of most conservative Republicans. I hope that she will not be hawkish; this worries me. But her opponent, Donald Trump, will be ever the more hawkish, and cannot find myself able to "like" him.
On Not Liking Either Candidate
I best be honest and also say that some thinkers I admire -- Cornel West, for example -- disagree completely with what I've said about Hillary's policies. They don't like Trump and don't like Hillary. Here Cornel West's words:
The sad spectacle of the presidential election is no surprise. Rather, the neofascist catastrophe called Donald Trump and the neoliberal disaster named Hillary Clinton are predictable symbols of our spiritual blackout. Trump dislodged an inert conservative establishment by unleashing an ugly contempt for liberal elites and vulnerable citizens of color — and the mainstream media followed every performance (even his tweets!) for financial gain. Clinton laid bare a dishonest liberal establishment that was unfair to Bernie Sanders and obsessed with winning at any cost — and the mainstream media selectively weighed in for pecuniary ends.
There is no doubt that if she becomes the first woman president of the United States — though I prefer Jill Stein, of the Green Party — Clinton will be smart, even brilliant, in office. But like her predecessor, Barack Obama, she promotes the same neoliberal policies that increase inequality and racial polarization that will produce the next Trump. More important, she embraces Trump-like figures abroad, be they in Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Israel, or Syria — figures of ugly xenophobia and militaristic policies. The same self-righteous neoliberal soulcraft of smartness, dollars, and bombs lands us even deeper in our spiritual blackout. Instead we need a democratic soulcraft of wisdom, justice, and peace — the dreams of courageous freedom fighters like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Joshua Heschel, Edward Said, and Dorothy Day. These dreams now lie dormant at this bleak moment, but spiritual and democratic awakenings are afoot among the ripe ones, especially those in the younger generation. (Cornel West, Spiritual Blackout in America)
Loving Donald but not Liking Him
We can hope that Cornel West is right in saying that spiritual and democratic awakenings are afoot among a younger generation. Perhaps...perhaps...Hillary can be part of this awakening, if the American public has the generosity of heart to support her, should she win the election.
Back to Donald. He might win instead. Often I find myself thinking that he is hopeless as a person: narcissistic, greedy, and hateful. I am trying to read materials that will help me like him more: articles about how lonely he might be, lacking close friends as a child and even now, and how this loneliness may be part of his narcissism. Some people point to his children as the better side of Trump, but I am not especially fond of his children, either. They seem a bit narcissistic to me, too.
But truth be told, I don't want to hate anybody. Part of this desire not to hate is the Christian side of me. I am trying to follow the teachings and example of a man from Nazareth who encourages us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute others. I think of Trump as a kind of "enemy" to so much of what I admire and value, and I am required to love him nonetheless. It helps to think that he may not be in control of his personality and also that he may not really be smart enough to understand his own policies. I suspect this. But this is just pity. Love is so much more than pity: love is willing the well-being of another and it includes listening to them with a generous ear. If Trump wins the election, this will make it tough for me and many others. It's easier to love people who are out of power than are those in power. Still I pray for him. I may not like him, but I can love him and hope that his does indeed find, and help implement, a Love that includes us all.
Dear God, may Donald find the happiness his heart seeks, the friendships he desires, and your generous love. Please hold his soul in the warmth of your arms, and hold the souls of all who hate me. And may my own arms be open, too, filled with forgiveness. Your friend, Jay.
-- Jay McDaniel
The Real Hillary
She is a generous soul, committed to making people's lives better,
scarred by 30 years of politics, overly private and not flawless,
who works very hard and will help our country reclaim
its kindness and generosity if we help her.
The Hillary her supporters appreciate
BBC: A journalist's perspective
The Hillary her Opponents Hate
Why do they hate her?
by Michelle Goldberg
in Slate Magazine
Excerpts from Goldberg's Article
They think she is a self-centered, venal cynic:
They don't like her as a person, thinking she is arrogant.
They are threatened by a powerful woman who is confident and assertive.
They don't like her policies and believe that she is too hawkish