Oh, please spare us the ‘fighting’ words, Hillary…

I mentioned favorably the fact that on her visit to Columbia recently, I did not hear Hillary Clinton use the “fight” language she has resorted to in the past. I wrote about how nuts that makes me back in 2008.

Actually, she did promise to “fight” for us once (“You’re not gonna see me turn white in the White House, and you’re also not gonna see me shrink from a fight”), but it slipped by me. Apparently, that was a harbinger.

The last few days, I’ve been hearing the “fight” hyperbole invoked again and again by her campaign. For instance, there’s this video that came out three days ago, titled “Fighter.”

Oh, please, spare us. Use tempered, sensible words to appeal to our minds rather than our emotions. It would be so refreshing.

Interestingly, this surge of “fight” talk coincides with her almost complete turn away from the world and to domestic issues. Which is downright weird, considering that she’s not more foreign policy experience than any of the Republicans who are going on and on about national security.

But Democrats, like Republicans in the 1930s, like to pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist, and obsess inward. They want to talk about something they call “kitchen-table” issues. And THAT is where they like to use “fight” language, ironically. Apparently, the only enemies that need to be “fought” are right here at home.

Which, of course, leads in turn to more political polarization, which means actual progress on the issues they care about becomes less and less likely.

Representative democracy works when we deliberate with our fellow citizens, not when we see them as our enemies. So the more I hear that “fight” stuff, the more I despair for the country…

8 thoughts on “Oh, please spare us the ‘fighting’ words, Hillary…

  1. Doug Ross

    “not when we see them as our enemies.”

    Unless you’re of a libertarian persuasion. They suck.

  2. Doug Ross

    What is Hillary’s record as a “fighter” anyway? 0-1? or 0-3 if you include Benghazi and Hillarycare?

    Well, she did K.O. Vince Foster… allegedly.

  3. Bryan Caskey

    I guess you didn’t listen to her speech from Roosevelt Island or read the transcript:

    “I’ll wage and win Four Fights for you,” Clinton told the crowd. Those fights are: 1) the fight “to make the economy work for everyday Americans”; 2) the fight “to strengthen America’s families”; 3) the fight “to harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity”; and 4) the fight for “reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy.”

    She took Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” and made them into her “Four Fights”. I’m just a simple caveman lawyer, and while your world frightens and confuses me, I’m pretty sure that the word “fighting” is going to be a really big part of her vocabulary for the foreseeable future.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I know. I was aware of that speech when I wrote this post yesterday. I just didn’t mention it. Thanks for backstopping me on that…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        “Fighting for the Foreseeable Future”

        Maybe not a great band name, but it might make for a good song title.

  4. bud

    But Democrats, like Republicans in the 1930s, like to pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist, and obsess inward.

    These are the types on hyperbolic observations that drive ME crazy. Who is obsessing inward? Just because most people aren’t ready to send troops to every hot zone in the world in a misguided attempt to use the military to forge the world into the image of America doesn’t mean we don’t believe the rest of the world exists. On the contrary those of us who view the world as a diverse place with many points of view are the ones who see humanity as it really is.

    As for the issue at hand the word fight is a bit annoying when overused. I can agree with that sentiment. But it pales in comparison to the phrase “Let’s take back America”. Now there’s an over used bromide if ever there was one.

  5. Phillip

    Of course, talk of “fighting” for a cause or for the “common man” or the “underdog” has a very long history in American political rhetoric, including many past Presidential campaigns going way back. FDR, in his final speech of the 1936 campaign, ran down a list of various items on his New Deal agenda, returning again and again to the refrain, “for all these we have only just begun to fight.” And going back 40 years, William Jennings Bryan’s famous “Cross of Gold” speech has “fight” sprinkled all through it, including for example “we are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity” and so on.

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