Argument for Hillary Clinton fails to convince

To the Editor:

Ted Fertik’s attempt (“Feminist says, ‘Stop hating on Hillary,'” 11/01) to sway Senator Hillary Clinton’s nay-sayers is unlikely to seem convincing to anyone but himself. As lucky as readers are to enjoy the wisdom he shares “as an act of sheer benevolence,” that benevolence proves irrelevant when he fails to muster any convincing arguments for the senator’s presidency.

This is not to say that such reasons don’t exist, of course; just that his opinion that Senator Clinton is “the most intelligent elected official in America” and “popular” is something less than a well-articulated explanation of how her stances on salient issues resonate with the American people. Indeed, the fundamental shortcoming of his editorial is its unfortunate reliance on a straw-man argument as its centerpiece. To dismiss all of Clinton’s opposition as “terrified of a woman who is smarter and more powerful than they are” is to label all those who might disagree with her politically as bigots.

For example, Fertik might be excited about her proposed expansion of affordable healthcare — but we’re not sure, as he prefers to focus on her fundraising. Someone else could easily be uncomfortable with her thinking, not because he or she wants to keep women in the kitchen, but because of an aversion to the expansion of the welfare state and its attendant bureaucracy. Fertik seems to lack any interest at all in relevant political issues or Senator Clinton’s positions; instead, he appears to have a crush on his notion of the senator as some sort of super-fundraising, uber-hack politician.

Perhaps Fertik shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers when it comes to misogyny, though: He identifies Senator Clinton as the “most empathetic candidate,” a quality he neglects to explain elsewhere in the piece, unlike her other traits he identifies. Maybe he just assumed it’s self-explanatory — after all, she is a woman.

Sam Heller ’08

Nov. 1, 2005