So before I say something about Hillary Clinton, I need to say something about Ghostbusters. Bear with me, here.
I had a conversation with some friends a few days ago about the new Ghostbusters movie, and I explained it like this: people like me—by that, I mean straight white guys who the majority of our pop culture for the last, oh let’s say, ever was made primarily for—in many cases aren’t angry about the new movie because of its quality, but because the idea that it wasn’t made with them in mind is some kind of cultural outrage. That’s what privilege is, in its essence—the idea that things are just expected to be for you, that you’re allowed to do and have what you want, and that the greatest offense you could face on a daily basis is being asked—not even told, but asked—to simply not do something.
The “crisis” people like me face with pop culture is that over the last few decades our collective culture has realized that it’s important and necessary to actually give other people things they might want. To many people like me, that feels like something’s being taken away as opposed to having something given to someone else. The trick here is, you have to accept that this isn’t an offense against you; it’s the natural progress of time.
As I get older, I have come to realize that there are many things I like that are going to change to appeal to other people. In short, a lot of stuff isn’t for me. And that’s okay. There’s tons of other stuff that can be for me. Or maybe, hell, maybe I can like that thing that wasn’t made for me anyway.
Hillary Clinton is this, on a level of stakes higher than any movie’s box office. There is a lot I like about her. There’s a lot I don’t. I am most certainly going to vote for her for president, because even if I ignored every single bit about the last 40-odd years of her life and pretended the Democrats nominated an apple pie with a little toothpick American flag stuck into it, I would understand it’s a more viable choice than a racist, ignorant coward who not only seeks to diminish the quality of life for the average American but openly brags about doing it.
And I’ll derail what I think was already a derail to talk about Trump for a second. I’m sick of hearing how he’s a “bully.” Of course he’s a bully. Bullies are everywhere. Your co-workers are bullies. Your boss is a bully. The bus driver can be a bully. Any act of trying to hurt or dominate another person because of a personal failing or sense of self worth is an act of bullying. Trump is the worst type of bully though. He’s a coward. It’s important to make this distinction because cowards are the most dangerous types of bullies. Bullies can be brought to heel, punched back, disciplined by authority. Cowards are wild dogs, backed in corners and ready to attack anyone because they’re terrified and don’t think straight and just want to hurt anything they see. He’s a pathetic, frightened man and we might hand him the keys to the nation’s nuclear arsenal. He’s afraid of women. He’s afraid of minorities. He’s afraid of not being rich. He’s afraid of not being important. He’s afraid of America. He’s afraid of Americans. And he wants to rule them now. If you think this same sensibility applies to Hillary Clinton, I would at the very least request you explain how doing this through several decades of humanitarian work was somehow an effective strategy on her part.
Which brings me back to Hillary. I am 35 years old. I have spent, at this point, literally half my entire life watching people hate Hillary Clinton. At this point, I don’t believe most Americans hate Hillary. They hate, as her husband noted the other day, the cartoon character Hillary Clinton. A gross caricature made of her, a doll crafted from mud and bile and shit and whatever bad parts of her exist. People don’t hate Hillary Clinton, the movie; they hate the trailer a bad editor released of her and now they’re making their own reviews and YouTube videos saying how they refuse to watch, sorry, I mean vote for her, or maybe they just want to keep screaming that she’s ruined president-ing for them. “I don’t like this version of Clinton. Why so much emphasis on women? What was wrong with the old Clinton? Or Reagan? They were such an important part of my childhood!”
I like Hillary Clinton. She will be a good president. She won’t be the best president ever, and she wasn’t what I personally wanted as the next leader of the free world. But Hillary Clinton wasn’t made for me. For once, this isn’t my movie. I’m still going to watch it, and still going to review it, but I’m not going to sit there, arms folded, harumph-ing over how I didn’t have a say in how the production happened. Good or bad, funny or unfunny, mild success or blockbuster sales, this means something so much more to other people. There are so many other people out there for who this matters in a way I at best can recognize, but will never truly understand. And that’s okay. And if this president turns out to suck, it’s okay too because they’ll release more presidents and we can all have our own opinions about them as well.
And I like “Fight Song.” Deal with it.