While Trump coddles Putin, Hillary knows how to handle dictators

With Donald Trump quickly becoming the Muscovite Candidate, I thought it would be interesting to contrast that with how Hillary handles authoritarian leaders.

Hillary man-handles them.

The seminal moment for Hillary came all the way back in 1995, when as First Lady — yes, First Ladyshe beat the bejesus out of Chinese communist leaders for their ongoing restrictions on free speech.

And then nearly 20 years later, she did the same to the United Nations over LGBT rights.

Here’s the NYT’s reporting at the time of the Beijing women’s conference in 1995:

In the section of her speech aimed most directly at China, Mrs. Clinton seemed to betray frustration over China’s intolerance for dissenting views.

Hillary Clinton Beijing

Hillary speaking at the Beijing women’s conference in 1995.

A number of delegates, including exiles from Tibet and leaders from Taiwan, were denied visas to attend this meeting and a parallel gathering of private women’s organizations.

“Freedom means the right of people to assemble, organize, and debate openly,” Mrs. Clinton admonished her Chinese hosts. “It means respecting the views of those who may disagree with the views of their governments. It means not taking citizens away from their loved ones and jailing them, mistreating them, or denying them their freedom or dignity because of peaceful expression of their ideas and opinions.”

Not only is this “not done” in polite diplomatic circles, but the notion of a First Lady doing it at all, over twenty years ago, let alone today, was unheard of.

It should be noted that this was also the famous speech where Hillary declared: “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

This was pretty cutting edge stuff for the 1990s. And especially for a First Lady. Back then, if you were the president’s wife, you shared your favorite cookie recipe with Family Circle magazine, and gave speeches about the important of volunteering. You sure as heck didn’t stand up to dictators and homophobic bureaucrats at the UN. And even today, First Ladies simply don’t do it.

Hillary did.

That’s Hillary Clinton. The real Hillary Clinton. The Hillary Clinton many of us got to know in the early 1990s, when her husband first ran for president. Hillary the fighter. Hillary the liberal. Hillary who the Republicans hated with a passion because, for all intents and purposes, she was far to the left of her husband. That’s Hillary Clinton. And that’s why the GOP hates her to this day.

And Hillary did it again in 2011, when she went to the United Nations, a rather conservative and sclerotic place — I could could count the number of open-gays I met in my UN agency last year on one hand; and forget about openly-trans people, they didn’t exist at all. Hillary told the UN they’d better shape up on gay and trans rights. It was a perfect reprise of her 1995 Beijing speech. But instead of breaking the glass ceiling for women, she was doing it for LGBT people.

Here’s a snippet of Hillary’s UN speech on LGBT rights:

“Well, in reality, gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world. They are all ages, all races, all faiths; they are doctors and teachers, farmers and bankers, soldiers and athletes; and whether we know it, or whether we acknowledge it, they are our family, our friends, and our neighbors.” She then went on to state that “Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality.”

This is also the speech in which Hillary declared that gay rights are human rights:

“Like being a woman, like being a racial religious tribal or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are gay rights.”

To appreciate how important that last paragraph was, you have to understand that homophobes in Africa like to claim that homosexuality is a western invention — contagion — that is being imported into Africa by white people. No real African would be gay, by their logic, if the West hadn’t poisoned their minds. Hillary took that bigotry on directly, and beat it to a pulp.

And even look at Putin himself. The reason Russia’s leader is using both Donald Trump and Jill Stein to try to defeat Hillary is because Hillary stood up to Putin in 2011, and he’s never forgiven her. Contrast that with Trump’s pro-Putin love-fest.

So now you know why so many of us are so incredulous when younger progressives lecture us about how “bad” a liberal Hillary Clinton is. Hillary Clinton has been speaking truth to power for our four decades. And she’ll continue to do so as president of the United States come January.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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8 Responses to “While Trump coddles Putin, Hillary knows how to handle dictators”

  1. Jon Scholl says:

    I have to say this is interesting this was then but right now we have to focus on the future people! Hillary’s mind has been damaged,

    Hillary’s Press conference/

    Hillary Clinton’s mental break down – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMhmrZHxlBQ

    From watching the Press Conference Hillary Clinton, has clear signs of mental break down from comparing this from the proof we have here: http://www.prisonplanet.com/experts-hillary-is-a-sociopath-and-could-have-brain-damage.html

    New Hillary Clinton Scandal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qKAuoCppH8

    Clinton still struggling with questions

  2. Annejpatton2 says:

    <<l:i. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::::!!bz1022a:….,..

  3. basenjilover says:

    Let’s just say she “kicked” butts. There, that should solved the problem.

  4. goulo says:

    Sure, I knew it was intentional, but still… it felt (to a lesser degree) like praising something Obama did by saying it was “mighty white of him”, even if intended ironically as a dig at the white supremacy of many Trump supporters.

    But agreed, this is a tangent. :)

    On point, it occurs to me that even though some right-wingers resented Hillary Clinton for daring to say such things about China, nonetheless if a male conservative had similarly criticized China in the same way at the same time, they’d have surely praised him for standing up to the authoritarian regime, yada-yada.

    (Kind of the opposite of Trump supporters now: for years, conservatives (rightly) criticized Putin, but now Trump loyalty dictates that conservatives be happy with Trump for praising Putin…)

  5. emjayay says:

    The Politico article is enlightening.

  6. Unless it’s intentional, which it was. It implies she’s more manly than Trump, who has run his whole campaign on how manly he is. There are layers of irony there.

    And there no such word as personhandled. :-)

    eye on the prize, folks…

  7. goulo says:

    “Manhandled” struck me also as an unfortunate/inappropriate word choice (especially given the feminist pro-woman message of the China story)…

  8. hilde beest says:

    “Manhandled.” Shouldn’t that be “Personhandled?”

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