On Thursday, Kristen Pyszczyk writing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) decided to publish an opinion piece on the national broadcasting service’s website. In the article, which can be found below, Pyszczyk describes Clinton as “a model of perseverance,” arguing that by no means should she disappear from the public scene and instead should remain in politics to act as a role model because “we need her — now, more than ever.”
Pyszczyk talks about a “deeply flawed politician and woman who has suffered defeat at virtually every point of her life,” attempting to convince the reader that somehow Clinton deserves their sympathy simply because she has supposedly spent the past months “demonstrating that a resilient, vocal woman cannot be shamed into shutting up.” While noting some very fair and admittedly irrefutable points, including the fact that “the political climate in the U.S. has taken an altogether dangerous turn, especially for women, immigrants, people of colour, trans folks and pretty much everyone who isn’t a white man,” Pyszczyk uses Trump’s power as a way to obfuscate from Clinton’s proven undeservedness to be a government representative any longer. After stating that Hillary is “such a valuable role model,” Pyszczyk goes on to claim that many of the ex-presidential nominee’s mistakes were matched by those made by men before her. Citing how Mitt Romney had a similar e-mail scandal, and then needlessly citing the Benghazi incident — where any self-respecting person with any political knowledge understands that Clinton had not been in the wrong — Pyszczyk argues that she has received disproportionate scrutiny for the mistakes she’s made, using very weak examples to convince the reader. The only problem with that, of course, is that she still made them.
What’s upsetting about the overall content of Pyszczyk’s opinion is that she ignores the fact that, regardless of whether or not other people did these things, she did them too, and there is more than enough worthy leadership waiting to shove Clinton aside. Now, when Pyszczyk talks about noteworthy leadership, she talks about “fantastic leaders like Senator Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, or even Michelle Obama,” immediately losing the interest of every progressive reader of her article.
much better of an example to put forward for the position, but keep in mind that she should not just receive the keys to Democratic leadership because of her former status as First Lady, and that she has already said she does not want to run for President. After Michelle however, it must be noted that Kamala Harris and Maxine Waters are women are corrupt members of a political establishment just like the men before them, and like Clinton, cannot be trusted. Maxine Waters was dubbed as one of the “most corrupt” politicians by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and Kamala Harris alone has raised over $11 million in large, individual contributions, with hundreds of thousands more coming from interests representing corporations like Time Warner and Alphabet Inc. Though Harris has recently come out for actual substantive policy positions, like Senator Sanders’ Medicare for All Act, she is still an example of what many Americans want to see gone from their political system, sitting just above water with a 51% approval rating according to Morning Consult. Meanwhile, according to the same polling data, Senator Sanders is enjoying a 75% approval rating, with many other polls suggesting it to be even higher. Somehow, Pyszczyk missed that polling data when finding suggestions for new Democratic leadership.
When looking towards finding someone to lead the Democratic party — as much as it is true that a woman should take the helm as soon as possible just because of the principle of the thing — the candidate for that leadership should first and foremost be considered for their policy beliefs, and there is no question that the person who should lead the party is the most favourable politician in America, Bernie Sanders. Sanders in his campaign was absolutely crushed by the Democratic party, getting slapped around at every turn. In a matter of months, the man went from no name recognition at all to becoming the most popular politician in the country, based solely on his policy beliefs. Now that’s a reason to place someone in a position of leadership, not some poorly supported belief that just because someone doesn’t go away is a good character trait. Sometimes, people just do have to go away. That is especially true when, on election day, that person was the second most disliked presidential candidate in American history.
If Pyszczyk actually cared about making sure women were more properly represented in American politics however, she could have began pointing out women who are principled — like Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example — and of course, Pyszczyk could have easily chosen candidates from the grassroots. Senators like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, running to be a congresswoman for New York’s 14th District, is a perfect example. Running her campaign with Brand New Congress, Ocasio advocates for policies including family support services and universal access to quality education regardless of income and ZIP code. Ocasio is just among a list of many other women in American politics who actually deserve the advocacy, like Adrienne Bell, a woman running to be the representative in Congress for Texas’ 14th District, or Paula Jean, running to be the Senator for West Virginia.
As for why Pyszczyk insults real policy-focused women in politics by advocating for neo-liberal failures like Hillary Clinton? An explanation to that question is nowhere to be found in her opinion piece, as she only repeats the idea that “we need this so-called nasty woman now more than ever” because of some fallacy involving her “experiences.” Pyszczyk should note that many of those experiences include her votes in favour of the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq, the Wall Street bailout — all things that Sanders voted against, by the way — and of course, her running a campaign that failed to defeat the most disliked presidential candidate in American political history.
Pyszczyk points out in her article that “we live in a culture where women are shamed for speaking up, seeking power and existing successfully in the public eye,” citing the comment section below her article as evidence to support that claim. While it is almost undeniably true that women are shut down while working up the ladder in almost every field, Clinton’s failure as a politician and leader does not stem from her being a woman: it stems from being a horrible politician and leader. Clinton is no more deserving of being in the public eye than any other woman, and there are countless policy-focused women ready to take her place and actually push for issues-based change. What Pyszczyk doesn’t seem to realise is that, by advocating for Clinton to stay in politics as some twisted “role model,” she is advocating for the continuation of a stagnant establishment that will never push for many of the policies that actually help working-class women in America. As an example, Clinton famously said during her campaign that single-payer healthcare would “never, ever come to pass,” even while every other developed nation on the planet had realised such a program. It is worth taking note here that the United States has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. A universal, single-payer healthcare system — like those that every other developed country on the planet has — would likely do away with many of these maternal mortalities. Who cares about actually helping women though, especially when you can just support a self-aggrandizing, power-hungry narcissist — just because you like her — right?
Hillary Clinton is a weak candidate and a losing politician solely because she is completely lacking in principles and completely focused on the money. She’s lied on the campaign trail more than any person can care to count, she’s been for and against every policy position there ever was, and it even took her until 2013 to come out in support of gay marriage. It wouldn’t matter if she was a man, she would be just as justified to receive the bashing she’s gotten, just as any other politician who didn’t push for the right policies when her fellow Americans needed them most. When Pyszczyk argues for Clinton to never go away, she isn’t arguing for a strong role model to continue inspiring future women, she’s advocating for the perpetuation of a fantastical obsession with a losing candidate that is doomed to lose at every turn. As long as people like Pyszczyk fight to have Clinton’s name never die, women in America who are in need of help may actually die because of a shortcoming in policies that the then-Secretary of State could have fought for.
It’s about time that people began to realize what sort of disaster Clinton spells out for the status of American politics today, and it’s about time for would-be progressive women like Kristen Pyszczyk — who likely believe they are doing good by putting out articles such as the one Pyszczyk did Thursday — to start focusing on the policy issues that would help them, and not the Hillary Rodham Clinton personality cult that most certainly never will.
Why Hillary Clinton Indeed Does Need To Go Away, and Quickly was originally published in Youth Policy Network on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.