I’ve struggled at times with my political leanings. I’m the kind of person that likes to fact check everything he reads on Facebook, hears on the radio, or is told second hand based on what some dumbass said on Fox News. I hate the idea of supporting something based on bad information. As someone that used to lean to the right, then moved toward the libertarian, then stopped describing himself that way when the Tea Party idiots redefined what it is to be libertarian, and finally settled into what I can only describe as “a progressive,” I’ve never been a fan of Hillary Clinton.
I recognize some of the positives she has brought to the political landscape—she’s been good for some aspects of feminism, and you could creatively spin things well enough to say that she isn’t afraid of changing on a bad opinion. Of course, we all have our suspicions about why she may “flip-flop” on her unpopular opinions—not because they’re wrong, but because they’re unpopular.
As an avid and unabashed Bernie Sanders supporter for reasons that I don’t feel need to be stated for the purposes of this article, I think my reasons for disliking Clinton may be fairly straight forward—if that isn’t enough by itself, how about just “all the true things that Bernie says about Hillary that are bad?” Anyway, I decided to do some research over the course of a few days on Twitter and Facebook to find out what others don’t like about Hillary. I didn’t want to just assume that other people have the same reasons I do. I wanted to seek out the facts.
It was pretty simple and unscientific; I asked people to send me a little bit of information if they didn’t like Clinton, and even if they do like her to at least retweet or share my post so that as many people as possible might see it. The information was just three bullet points: your identifying party, what reasons you have for your disdain for Clinton, and who you are likely to vote for.
Between my Facebook private messages, my DM’s on Twitter, and my email inbox, I got a total of *62 responses—32 that identify as Democrat, 25 Republicans, and five independent/others. Interestingly, the vast majority of the Democrats I found via Twitter and nearly all the Republicans saw my post on Facebook. I’m not sure that says anything about where people of specific parties hang out, so much as it says about me and the people I choose to surround myself with. Many have opined that Facebook is the place you stay connected with distant family or long lost high school friends whether you really want to or not, but Twitter is for choosing your own social circle.
*One other person responded as independent, but did not list a preferred candidate.
But even more interesting than the split of the responses are how they plan on using their votes. We know that none of them are voting for Clinton, so where are those votes going? It wouldn’t shock anyone to find out that 100 percent of the Democrats planned to vote for Sanders, but check out the overall numbers.
I was fairly surprised at the amount of people that identify as Republican told me they’d vote for Sanders in the general election. I figured, based on things I’d heard and read on the internet, that a few Republican voters might be disillusioned enough with the craptastic group of candidates the Grand Old Party has paraded out to switch and vote for Sanders. But getting the biggest majority of any candidate among Republican voters? I didn’t expect it, to say the least.
The reasons for this choice, while not required in my line of questioning, were fairly interesting as well. A sample of a few:
“He has several good ideas, and some bad ones too. But everyone does. He has the fewest faults in my book…There are no even decent Republican candidates.”
“I want real change in our country and I don’t believe any of the other candidates want to make our country better for everyone. They either are only interested in catering to the wealthy, pushing a religious agenda, or are a hate-mongering buffoon.”
“I only agree ideologically on a few things with Bernie Sanders, but the rest of the field is a pile of dog (crap). At least we know Bernie’s intentions and that his motives are to help the American people. Plus, he’s the most pro-veteran candidate.”
The other interesting part is the massive split among the rest of the Republican candidates. Even taking out the fact that the majority of Republican’s responding in my research were leaning toward voting for Sanders, the rest of them weren’t exactly at a consensus on their choice of candidate. On the overall numbers, Kasich comes in second place with just four intended voters. Sanders leads with a massive 48.
That really became the eye-popping portion of my research but the intended result was to narrow down the difference between Democrats and Republicans, and why they dislike Hillary Clinton. The first interesting thing I noted—which was for all demographics, not just any one in particular—was that the dislike for Clinton was heavily slanted at more recent events. This could have a lot to do, again, with the people I associate with on the internet. Many of them, like me, are on the younger side.
The majority of Republicans responded with Clinton’s involvement in the email scandal and Benghazi, which are both extremely recent events in her long political career. A few Democrats responded with this as well, but not many.
It’s interesting, though, that while both sides of the isle used more recent events in general to describe why they are down on Clinton, Republicans really struggled to come up with a real reason or event prior to the last five or so years. Beyond the reasons previously listed, many of the Republicans’ views on Clinton are more related to how she carries herself and less related to specific events. A few quotes:
“She doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle with paying bills and will never understand what “privilege” actually stands for.”
“The constant, pandering to young people, like doing “the dab” on Ellen, makes me sick. She isn’t hip or cool, she just wants to rule the world.”
“I don’t know what it is about her, I just can’t stand her. I’d rather vote for Trump than have Hillary in the White House.”
On the flip side, most of the Democrats and Independents responding cared less about her likability and more about what she might do if she were actually in office. They also tended to expand more on their rationale:
“I don’t like Hillary Clinton because of her views on foreign policy (hawkish) and she wants to limit free speech in order to fight terrorists. Or so she says. She also claims to fight Wall Street corruption but has contributed to it consistently in her career.”
“Where I end up disagreeing with her is in her foreign policy stances, which I have always thought were took hawkish for my taste. It was one of the things that pushed me away from her and toward Barack Obama in 2008, and when you add in her vote on the Iraq War, as well as my expectation (based on her interviews on the subject) that she would continue to push forward with new surveillance powers for the NSA (something I’ve vehemently disagreed with Obama on during his presidency), I can’t say that she’s my preferred candidate in these primaries.”
“My big problem with Hillary is her strong ties to Wall Street, her change on gay marriage only when it was politically smart for her to do so, and her easy acceptance of Obamacare while smearing Bernie Sanders on the idea of a single-payer healthcare system.”
If you don’t like Hillary Clinton, the reason doesn’t really matter. Whether it’s Benghazi—which is quite frequently more a matter of narrative than fact—her email scandal, that she’s a massive phony, or that she’s embedded with Wall Street, Hillary Clinton is quite possibly one of the most heavily disliked presidential candidates of recent memory.
The good news, in my estimation? People are using that as a reason to look toward real change. And it looks like it may end up costing her the Democratic nomination.