The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Hillary’s Delusional Reading of Classics

Posted on | September 13, 2017 | 3 Comments


Everyone is stunned by the self-deceptions and blame-shifting in Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir What Happened, and Ace of Spades aggregates several of the most mind-blowing excerpts.

Most notably, as British socialist writer James Heartfield observes, Hillary claims that George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is about the importance of trusting “our leaders, the press, experts” — a 180-degree reversal of Orwell’s actual meaning. A free society requires a citizenry distrustful of power, and not predisposed to accept whatever beliefs officially-approved “experts” advocate. Independent minds must be skeptical, for example, of the suggestion that we should reorganize our healthcare system according to what “leaders” and “experts” tell us.

Only her arrogance — imagining herself as the expert leader who deserves our unquestioning trust — could lead Hillary to reverse the lesson of a classic anti-totalitarian novel like Nineteen Eighty-Four.

However, Hillary also misinterprets Eric Hoffer’s 1951 classic The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. This is a book that I have repeatedly recommended as a guide to understanding the kind of people who are attracted to radical ideologies like feminism:

. . . especially Part 2 (“Potential Converts”) and sections IV (“The Role of the Undesirables in Human Affairs”) and VI (“Misfits”). What Hoffer writes about the influence of “the inferior elements in a nation” (p. 24) and the “incurably frustrated” who have “an unfulfilled craving for creative work” (p 47) applies to many of the angry young men and unhappy young women who rush to join the mob of disgruntled “progressives.”

Being familiar with Hoffer’s ideas — The True Believer is sitting on my desk even now — it was mind-boggling to read Hillary’s warped view:

During the campaign, Bill and I both went back and reread The True Believer, Eric Hoffer’s 1951 explanation of the psychology behind fanaticism and mass movements, and I shared it with my senior staff. On the campaign trail, I offered ideas that I believed would address many of the underlying causes of discontent and help make life better for all Americans. But I couldn’t — and wouldn’t — compete to stoke people’s rage and resentment. I think that’s dangerous. It helps leaders who want to take advantage of that rage to hurt people rather than help them. Besides, it’s just not how I’m wired.

Really? A campaign that denounced Republican voters as “deplorables,” led by a candidate who promised among other things to destroy the jobs of coal miners (helping “make life better,” you see), who irresponsibly incited a phony campus “rape culture” hysteria and endorsed the racial violence of “Black Lives Matters,” was not about stoking rage?

It is easy to condemn the populism of Donald Trump (or Bernie Sanders) as a demagogic appeal to ressentiment, but populism flourishes only because elites are out of touch with the needs and interests of ordinary Americans. This is true in both Democrat and Republican parties, but because the educational system and the news media are both controlled by Democrat partisans, it is possible for someone like Hillary Clinton to exist within a liberal bubble where the grievances expressed by the populist Left seem legitimate in a way that the grievances of the populist Right do not. When she was sharing Eric Hoffer’s book “with my senior staff,” did Hillary ever suggest that its critique of fanaticism applied to them or to her own supporters? Isn’t it true that Hillary had her own True Believers, and that the Clinton campaign sought to harness the mentality of a “mass movement” — #ImWithHer — to win the election?

“Inside a cult, the only people who matter are Us, and your identity as one of Us requires you to buy into whatever ideology defines the cult. If you are not willing to constantly prove your loyalty to Us, you might be exiled and ostracized from the cult, becoming one of Them — and this, to the cult member, is a fate worse than death.”
Robert Stacy McCain, May 19, 2016

There was always a creepy totalitarian vibe surrounding the Hillary campaign, including a paranoid mentality that has expressed itself, since the election, as a search for scapegoats (“Bernie bros”) and conspiracies (Russian hackers) to explain how it was that The Maximum Leader was wrongly deprived of the victory she deserved. Indeed, one could invoke the works of Orwell and Hoffer to analyze the 2016 campaign, but the lessons are not flattering to Hillary. “SJWs Always Project,” as Vox Day says, and Hillary’s psychological projections are illustrative of What Happened, and more importantly Why It Happened.




3 Responses to “Hillary’s Delusional Reading of Classics”

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