When Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Party’s nomination, I knew that she was in for harsh criticism. She is a flawed candidate, conservatives disagree with much of her agenda, and most Republicans have disliked her since Bill Clinton was president. I also figured that, as usual, some of the attacks would stray into hyperbole.
As it turns out, some have strayed into hysteria.
Publius Decius Mus suggested that “a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto.” Angelo Codevilla wrote that the republic is dead. A conservative acquaintance told me that her victory would be like “the fall of Rome all over again.” Why does their rhetoric so far exceed the words these Bill Clinton- and Barack Obama-haters used when those presidents were elected, even though there is every indication that Hillary Clinton would govern much as her predecessors?
After speaking with at least a dozen of these apocalyptic sounding Hillary Clinton opponents, I don’t think they’re lying. Their words reflect how they think they feel. At the same time, they’re not liquidating their assets and looking into expedited Australian citizenship, so there is a sense in which they don’t appear to really believe their own words. That’s why I kept puzzling away until I came to a theory.