On Thursday’s post-convention episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, author Salman Rushdie explained why he’s drawn to Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just her policies, though I suspect he agrees with quite a number of them, but rather the way she’s handled herself after decades of constant irrational attacks from her opponents.
Rushdie, of course, has been the subject of a fatwa since 1989 for his perceived criticism of Islam in The Satanic Verses.
There’s a thing that I kind of love about Hillary… there’s a thing that I know a little bit about, which is what it is like to spend decades of your life being vilified and demonized by… another culture’s equivalent of Fox News… The Ayatollah Network…
But I know in a kind of little personal way what it takes to have to stand up against that non-stop, cartoonizing, demonizing, creating a lie about you which you are powerless to resist because the people putting out the lie have a megaphone louder than you do, you know?
And if that’s me, if you would then magnify that to the national scale… and have somebody facing that in America every day for decades, and that she comes through as strong and tough as she does? I mean, respect.
As someone who plans to vote for Clinton, not just because I find Donald Trump despicable and unsuited for the office, but because I genuinely think Clinton is a strong candidate who doesn’t deserve most of the shit she gets for her supposed misdeeds, that argument carries a lot of weight with me.
Trump can’t take any criticism from journalists or other politicians without riling up his followers against them and blasting out an angry public message. Clinton has been called every name in the book from public figures and private citizens alike and carries on as if it never happened. That’s admirable. That’s not to say she ignores fair criticism, but that she’s not visibly affected by unfair attacks. It’s an impressive skill that very few people, celebrities included, possess.