New York Times columnist David Brooks. (photo: PBS)
26 May 16
n a stunning feat of investigative journalism, New York Times columnist David Brooks has finally determined exactly why the American people find Hillary Clinton so unlikable.
It's because she doesn't have any hobbies.
Hmm. That doesn't seem right.
"What exactly do so many have against her?" Brooks wonders. "I would begin my explanation with this question: Can you tell me what Hillary Clinton does for fun? We know what Obama does for fun — golf, basketball, etc ... But when people talk about Clinton, they tend to talk of her exclusively in professional terms."
Yes. Hillary Clinton's likability problem does not stem from the fact that we inhabit a society still influenced by subtle sexism, but instead that she just doesn't seem all that fun. Maybe if she didn't take the job of running for leader of the free world so damn seriously, she'd have more time for knitting, or Ping-Pong, or binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls.
Of course the kind of fanatical work ethic that's valued in men is scorned in women: Because she's a woman, Clinton's dogged dedication to her job becomes a hurdle to overcome instead of a strength. But even if his theory is true and people wish Hillary would show us her softer side, exactly why they expect that of her does not factor into Brooks's column. In fact, the word woman doesn't appear once in the article.
Naturally, all this leads to the question ... what does fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders do for fun? No freakin' idea.