Back in April, there was a bit of debate about how sexist it is to call Hillary “Hillary” rather than, as is the usual case in politics, by her last name. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous . . . more perpetually outraged loons looking for something to be outraged about. Luckily, it quickly died away.
But now I’m seeing the same thing come up in discussion of Carly Fiorina. Why does the right insist on adopting the language and culture of the far left? Are we so steeped in this faux feminist madness that we don’t even realize how we are beginning to sound just like leftists? Trump, for example, has lately been hammering how the rich need to “pay their fair share” in his latest impression of failed president and well-known socialist Obama, and Jeb! . . . well, almost everything he says is straight of the regressive playbook.
Then we start it up about the one female Republican candidate for president, trying to out left the left in shrieks of faux feminist faux outrage. This is not to say that Carly doesn’t face actual sexism from both the left and the right. On the left, we expect it because we know their only interest is in division; they aren’t “for” women, blacks, or anything else, and we know this because leftist feminists are among the first to attack conservative women, leftist blacks are the first to attack conservative black people, and on and on. They could care less about women, minorities, or anything, really, but increasing government power and ensuring that the middle class in America disappears into the third world hell hole they envision for our nation’s future.
And on the right, she is faced with questions like that from what’s-his-face on the Fox Sunday show when he asked if she was really running for VP. That, my friends, is sexist. However, Carly’s campaign is centered, as is Hillary’s, on her first name. They both have invited us to think of them by their first name and for the same reason. They “get” that this is a sign of positive feeling . . . well, for the most part. Clearly, it is not working for Hillary.
This strategy, I think, is because of Sarah. They want to draw on the feelings that we have for Sarah, and that’s actually pretty smart. Sarah is almost always “Sarah” to me because there’s really only the one, and we all saw what happened to her, that “Palinization” that makes her a figure not only of respect but of a type of kinship that I feel toward her as a conservative first and as a conservative woman second. When I use her last name, it’s usually as a show of a different kind of respect as “Governor Palin,” but mostly, she’s “Sarah” to me: one of us, mama grizzly extraordinaire, conservative warrior.
This doesn’t work for Hillary, at least not for conservatives because when you say “Clinton,” you mean and evoke Bill Clinton, not his shrill, nasty, corrupt, paranoid, and evil wife. No amount of selling herself as “one of us” or as anything other than the lunatic leftist Alinskyite that she is will change that. She’s “Hillary” not because she’s one of us but because she’s isn’t her husband.
Likewise, calling Jeb! anything other than Jeb! doesn’t work: “Bush” means President George W. Bush to me, or maybe, in some specific cases, their father, so that leaves Jeb as Jeb!. The exclamation point is just for fun; his stupid logo makes it amusing to me. The same rule, sans exclamation point, applies to Rand because “Paul” means Ron, not Rand.
Marco Rubio, whom I cannot abide after his Gang of Ocho shenanigans as Chuck Schumer’s butt monkey and pet Republican, is always a sneer in my brain, whether I call him “Marco” or “Rubio,” it’s always with a mentally curved lip and a kind of mental spit.
Then there are the titled pols or would be pols: Dr. Carson, Governor Walker, President Bush (meaning W.), Colonel West, et al. This, I think, is more about respect for me than much else. Using only their last name would work, but for some reason, their title works better.
Then there are those whom I think of as both first and last name. Ted Cruz, for example, is always “Ted Cruz” in my brain, though when I write about him, I often will use only his last name. I can’t really explain it, but considering that he is currently–barring some horrible revelation of secret progressive leanings–my favorite for the GOP nomination, it may be that I am already mentally preparing for him to have a title other than “Senator” before his name.
I hope that the people on the right who are attempting to defend Carly by whining that she is being called “Carly” will . . . just stop it. There’s no there there.