“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card,” said Donald Trump last month. And then the Grumpy Witch of the Midwest came along in a twinkling of GMO corn showers and earnestness and handed a women’s card to Donald Trump, since Trump thought it was such a helpful thing to have. While she was at it, the brown-haired fairy in low-heeled shoes handed Hillary Clinton a man card. This is the ballad of Donaldina Trump, madcap heiress and train wreck, and the distinguished if problematic statesman Hillaire Rodham.
Hillaire Rodham, or Hill, as his friends called him, grew up in Ohio, did well in law school, professional life, toed the line as a senator and secretary of state. People supporting Bernadette Sanders, the elderly but charmingly fiery rival candidate, did make hay of the fact that Rodham had campaigned for Barry Goldwater when he was 16, but the mainstream media hurried to remind everyone that Rodham had then gone to college, had a political awakening, campaigned for the progressive candidates in 1968 and 1972, registered Latino voters in Texas with his then-girlfriend, the scandalous Southern belle Wilhelmina Clinton (whom Rodham divorced in 1983), and then helped purge the nation of Richard Nixon during his uneventful but respected service on the Watergate Committee. Neither the very early right-wing nor later left-wing campaigning apparently defined Rodham, a solidly status-quo candidate and a widely admired policy expert. He had much to be forgiven for by 2016, but unto those who are distinguished men, much is forgiven. Republicans felt very comfortable with this centrist candidate, despite his early civil-rights work and support for reproductive rights. On the rare occasions when people talked about his appearance, he was compared to Robert Redford, another weathered blonde with a confident demeanor and piercing blue eyes. This was thought to help him with the women’s vote.
When did the Grumpy Fairy hand Donaldina Trump the woman card? Say it came at birth, since fairies have retroactive cursing powers. Donaldina was never more than a dutiful redheaded daughter who got a dowry, a clutch of trophy husbands, expensive divorces, credit cards from all the major department stores, and some coverage in the society pages. She was not set up in business by her father and seized no real-estate business deals—since there were none for feckless young women to step into in the 1960s. She engaged in no branding of herself as some sort of Genghis Khan of commercial opportunity—since female Genghis Khans are not much admired. She was instead institutionalized and medicated for constant angry outbursts and megalomania. Narcissistic personality disorder with delusions of grandeur and poor self-control, her chart read.
The Strump, as tabloids nicknamed the publicly lecherous aging heiress, or Trumpestra, for her stridency and tantrums, was widely mocked. “It’s as though Paris Hilton ran for president,” Breitbart opined, for the two did have reality-TV careers and real-estate inheritances in common. The Donaldina’s odd looks and odder hand gestures received major media coverage, and The Washington Post ran a series of articles on whether her hair color was faded tangerine or washed-out carrot and whether she should have sued her hairdresser for the strange immobilized mass atop her puffy, pouchy, orange face that was forever bunching up into odd expressions that stand-up comics loved to imitate. Her appearance also begat an entire series in The New York Times on spray tans. Ann Coulter did reach out to her to offer beauty tips, but the two got into a fight about whether women should ever accuse anyone of being a rapist. The Donaldina had never held elected office and was treated as a sort of circus act when she announced her presidential candidacy. She did not get $2 billion of free publicity from the media, but she did get a lot of late-night standup jokes about her stocky, aging body, her face, her sexual boasting, her temper, and her tendency to say things so factually challenged that George Stephanopoulos quipped that Donaldina made Sarah Palin seem like Angela Merkel. She was forever being called hysterical, and all the men on the TV show Meet the Nation’s Men spent a Sunday morning advising her on how to talk into a microphone and what tone of voice befits a lady. Ladies should not be angry, any more than they should be orange. The Donaldina never polled above single digits. She blamed her woman card, but everyone mocked her self-pitying refusal to take responsibility. Mean girls finish last.
And thus did the charismatic progressive reformer Elbert Warren, senator from Massachusetts, become the 45th male president of the United States.