Now that the 2018 midterm elections are over, it is time to assess what American voters have learned since 2016. Here are three things that I have learned.
- Misogyny is stronger than most of us would like to think, or used to believe. It has shown up in many forms, from many people we might have thought to be beyond it. But the culture is no more post-misogynistic in 2018 than it was post-racial in 2012.
It was most obvious in Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald J. Trump, and was equally manifest in subsequent interpretations of the election’s outcome. We saw it in voters’ and pundits’ outrage at Clinton’s use of a private email server (particularly when contrasted with pundits’ and voters’ lack of response to the information, in a recent New York Times front page article, that the president has been using an insecure cell phone that is known to be under Russian and Chinese surveillance, and further that the president is aware of this fact and doesn’t care). In Clinton’s case, FBI chief James Comey expressed great indignation and public opinion swung strongly against Clinton: even usually rational sources condemned her use of the server as possibly “criminal,” or “treasonous,” despite no evidence that any emails Clinton had sent on that server had been compromised. My assumption is that, very rationally, the Secretary of State (who traveled extensively) found it easier to use the private server on her travels and thus do all aspects of her job more efficiently. But the cry persists to this day: “Lock her up!” Continue reading