What explains the deep-seated, visceral hatred of Hillary by many Republicans?
Early opposition came from conservatives in Arkansas who disliked the fact that she at first retained her maiden name when Bill was governor.
“There’s something about her manner, persona, voice, smirk that just grates on a lot of people,” he [Craig Shirley, Ronald Reagan biographer] said. “People don’t like to be talked down to, and she has a terrible habit of talking down to people, with that smirk.”
“I think there’s some misogyny in that,” said [Elaine] Kamarck [of the Brookings Institute], noting that it’s exceedingly common for men who don’t hew to conventional standards of attractiveness to be on television or pursue political careers, while women are more likely to be granted that visibility when they are younger and if they meet traditional beauty standards.
“We will overcome this but, right now, the world is accustomed to saying old men are fine, they’re strong, they’re wise,” she added. “Old women, we’re not so sure.”
HuffPost: How Hating Hillary Clinton Became Cool
So ingrained is the anti-Hillary sentiment, crossing party and demographic lines, that even those too young to remember anything about Whitewater or “Troopergate” know it’s cool to dislike her -– even though they may not be quite sure why.
….Clinton has not always been so disliked. In fact, among her highest approval ratings came during her tenure as secretary of State. She traveled the globe, meeting with world leaders while also holding free-wheeling town hall meetings with everyday citizens. In 2012, the “texts from Hillary” internet meme briefly made her a pop icon, both hip and funny.
Newsweek: Why Do Republicans Hate Hillary Clinton?
Slate: The Hillary Haters
Strikingly, the reasons people commonly give for hating Clinton now are almost the exact opposite of the reasons people gave for hating her in the 1990s. Back then, she was a self-righteous ideologue; now she’s a corrupt tool of the establishment. Back then, she was too rigid; now she’s too flexible. Recently, Morning Consult polled people who don’t like Clinton about the reasons for their distaste. Eighty-four percent agreed with the statement “She changes her positions when it’s politically convenient.” Eighty-two percent consider her “corrupt.” Motives for loathing Clinton have evolved. But the loathing itself has remained constant.
As former New York Times editor-in-chief Jill Abramson wrote, “I would be ‘dead rich,’ to adapt an infamous Clinton phrase, if I could bill for all the hours I’ve spent covering just about every ‘scandal’ that has enveloped the Clintons.” After all that investigation, Abramson concluded that Clinton “is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.” But the appearance of perpetual scandal surrounding Clinton can make it seem as if she must be hiding something monstrous, especially to those who are predisposed against her.
Americans tend not to like ambitious women with loud voices. … Among hardcore Trump supporters, the misogyny often isn’t subtle. … For as long as Hillary Clinton has been in public life, people who’ve met in her person have marveled at how much more likable she is in the flesh than she is on television.
(Mostly a defense of Hillary; not much explanation of why people hate her)
The National Review (a conservative publication): Why do they Hate Hillary Clinton?
(Mostly a hit piece which says that she’s dishonest (though Politfact says she’s more honest than the other candidates) and that she changes her positions when politically expedient)
(Again, mostly a defense of Hillary. It points out that PolitiFact shows Hillary as the most honest candidate, about tied with Sanders, whereas Donald Trump and Ben Carson are the most dishonest. The article fails to mention Hillary’s hawkishness and was written in February, well before the revelations about DNC collusion against Sanders and about the Wall Street speeches)
Crooks And Liars: Why Do So Many People Hate Hillary? Meet Your Press
Make no mistake. Much of the negativity swirling around Hillary Clinton today is deeply rooted in long-standing sexist press themes rather than reality. Republicans are as horrified at the prospect of a woman becoming President as they were about a Black guy being President.
I recommend that everyone read the emails too, or at least a chunk of them. When you do, you’ll discover what I did: Hillary Clinton is no monster. She’s a wonky, caring public servant who has a firm grasp on reality and policy.
The weird thing is, the person among them who hates Clinton the least may be Donald Trump himself. Before he started running for president, he called Clinton a friend and sang her praises to the media. But just as he intuited that the path to victory lay not in the purest expression of conservative ideology or the assemblage of concrete policy plans but in a campaign of angry white nationalism, he realized that loathing for Clinton was a powerful force just begging to be unleashed.
And unleashed it most certainly is. The question now is how much farther it will go.
There is widespread dislike of Hillary on the left (e.g., among Berniecrats), due to her perceived hawkishness, her past support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and her perceived friendliness to Wall Street. But I do not believe that such dislike amounts to the sort of visceral, extreme hatred that you see among Republicans.
Peace activist: Hillary Clinton Goes To Militaristic, Hawkish Think Tank, Gives Militaristic, Hawkish Speech
Peace Activist: Hawkish Hillary Clinton Prefers the Big Stick