With Donald Trump busy spreading havoc around the world—most recently tweeting about James Comey’s testimony, or feeding into the crisis over Qatar—it’s reasonable to ask who can be bothered to gripe about Hillary Clinton. But I can. One makes the time. Or maybe one doesn’t, but in a two-party system there’s only one alternative to the party of Trump, and the role of Clinton in that party is therefore important.
Lately, it has been increasing. Hillary has been making high-profile public appearances and started talking frankly about her distaste for Trump and her dismay over the people and things that cost her the election. She has even founded a PAC called Onward Together, a 501(c)(4) that will “advance progressive values.” Whether we like it or not, the Clintons are back in the game. It’s up to the rest of us to figure out if we approve.
Just about everything we do lends itself to a generous or hostile interpretation. Our friends think we feed the poor because we have genuine compassion, and our enemies think we do so because we want to look good. The benign take on motives isn’t always closest to the truth, but it’s the better bet. (On the occasions that I’ve had an inside view of something in the glare of the press, those with the darkest take on it have usually been wrong.) I’ve been tough on Chelsea Clinton—hard not to be—but Hillary Clinton has a much higher accomplishment-to-self-regard ratio. So why not start generously?