Hey, I Like Hillary Clinton Too

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Sady Doyle:

I’ve come to believe that saying nice things about Hillary Clinton can be a subversive act.

Well, I don’t know about subversive. A little unusual, maybe, but that’s all. So what accounts for Doyle’s affection for Hillary? Basically, the fact that Hillary is still alive and kicking after spending nearly her entire life on the receiving end of attacks that would turn most of us into sobbing wrecks who refuse to answer the doorbell:

It’s almost as if, after a quarter-century of being attacked for her appearance, personality, and every waking move, breath, and word, Hillary Clinton is highly conscious of how she is perceived and portrayed, and is trying really hard to monitor her own behavior and behave in ways people will accept. Which is “disgusting,” of course. We want “authentic” candidates. Remind me: How well did the public and media react the last time she appeared in public without makeup? Or raised her voice? Or laughed? Or went to the goddamn bathroom? Or did any “authentic” thing that a real-life person does every day?

….Honestly, ask yourself: How long would you make it, if people treated you the way you treat Hillary Clinton? Would you not just be furious by now? Would you not have reached levels of blood-vessel-popping rage and despair? She’s been dealing with it for decades, and keeps voluntarily subjecting herself to it, and knows exactly how bad it will get and exactly what we’ll do to her, and yet she is running for president again, and—here’s the part I love, the part that I find hard to wrap my head around—she might actually win. That is awe-inspiring.

Yeah, pretty much. I like Hillary Clinton too,1 and for much the same reason as Doyle. I view her as nearly the exact opposite of her reputation in popular culture. She’s not cunning or devious. In fact, she’s the farthest thing from that. She’s dutiful and always has been. She wants to do good. She’s demanding of herself. She’s not naturally extroverted, but forces herself to do what needs to be done. She’s not naturally brilliant, but she’s a studier and a hard worker. And I imagine that the relentless attacks she’s put up with have indeed wounded her pretty deeply. Unlike her husband, she’s not the kind of person who can brush them off as just part of the game.

Do I like Hillary because of all this? Sure, though not in any deep sense. I don’t really like people I’ve never met. But I sure as hell admire her. She could have ended up like Richard Nixon, but she didn’t. She keeps gutting it out, over and over. For that, she’ll always have my esteem—and maybe even my affection.

1I also like Bernie Sanders. I used to like Martin O’Malley, but not so much anymore.

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“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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