Actress Susan Sarandon has gained a host of enemies after saying Hillary Clinton was not the right woman for the job of president. While we may disagree with her position on many issues, she’s a refreshing example of an independent-thinking woman.
The Guardian published an interview with Susan Sarandon this weekend and it ticked off feminists and progressives. You might think it was because she evolved on her positions about the Keystone Pipeline, DACA, or the $15 minimum wage.
Instead, her critics are rabid about her vote in the 2016 presidential election cycle when she snubbed candidate Hillary Clinton, not once but twice.
Sarandon took an objective view and didn’t think Clinton would deliver the change she wanted to see. Now, progressives are blasting her. Katha Pollitt in the New York Book Review called her an “idiot.” HuffPost contributor says Sarandon doubled down on nonsense. Salon took a softer tone, but suggested she doesn’t make sense and wants her to admit that a Clinton White House would have been better. The common theme in these attacks: undermine her intelligence.
Feminists and those on the left can’t understand why Sarandon would vote principle over political victory. Sarandon supported Clinton’s 2001 Senate bid, but pulled her support after Clinton voted for the War in Iraq. Instead, Sarandon supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the primaries and eventually cast her vote for Green party candidate Jill Stein in the general election.
Sarandon said the backlash was vicious:
… and now all the moderates hate her, to the extent, she says, that she had to change her phone number because people she identifies as Hillary trolls sent her threatening messages. “I got from Hillary people ‘I hope your crotch is grabbed’, ‘I hope you’re raped’. Misogynistic attacks. Recently, I said ‘I stand with Dreamers’ [children brought illegally to the US, whose path to legal citizenship – an Obama-era provision – Trump has threatened to revoke] and that started another wave.”
Wait, from the right?
“No, from the left! ‘How dare you! You who are responsible for this!’”
Even more she called out the Democratic National Committee for having its head in the sand – adding to the chorus of voices that want to see change in the party.
Is it upsetting to be attacked?
“It’s upsetting to me more from the point of view of thinking they haven’t learned. I don’t need to be vindicated.”
But it’s upsetting that they’re still feeding the same misinformation to people. When Obama got the nomination, 25% of [Hillary’s] people didn’t vote for him. Only 12% of Bernie’s people didn’t vote for her.”
Sarandon makes a point that we make about “what happened” to Hillary. Instead of speaking to the hurt of so many Americans, who are still struggling to make ends meet even after eight years of Obama’s policies, they treated the election as a Hillary coronation. President Trump acknowledged Americans who felt left behind and delivered a message and vision of better things for America.
Does she have any sympathy with the critique that casting a protest vote is the luxury of those insulated from the effects of a Trump presidency? “It wasn’t a protest vote. Following Bernie wasn’t a protest.” Voting for Jill Stein was, by any definition, a protest vote. “Well, I knew that New York was going to go [for Hillary]. It was probably the easiest place to vote for Stein. Bringing attention to working-class issues is not a luxury. People are really hurting; that’s how this guy got in. What we should be discussing is not the election, but how we got to the point where Trump was the answer.”
Once again, we have an example of how the left expects groupthink – everyone must hold the same beliefs, positions on issues, and opinions. Otherwise, they are undermined and ostracized.
As women, we should be free to think, support, and vote for whomever we think is the best woman or man for office. It’s too bad the left doesn’t agree.