Hillary Clinton is the leading candidate to be the first female president of the United States. She is a former US senator and Secretary of State, and a long time and outspoken proponent of women’s rights.
But how did she get there? What does it really mean to be a feminist? Making it on your own? If so, Hillary Clinton, whose rise to power has been aided immeasurably by her husband, is no feminist icon. Prior to Bill Clinton’s election as US President, Hillary Clinton had never held any elective office, and her name had never appeared on any ballot. While Hillary trumpets herself as the defender of women and once made jest of the song “Stand By Your Man” she has, in fact, stood by her husband, a serial philander, in order to ride his coattails to the White House.
Hillary has also raised the trumpet as a defender of the poor against the depredations of rich capitalists, while taking major campaign contributions from men such as Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest capitalists.
If you wanted to find a real feminist, someone who made it more or less completely on their own, maybe the place to look is to a woman that Hilary Clinton surely loathes – the best-selling author and libertarian goddess Ayn Rand. Rand and Clinton have nothing at all in common, including the ways they made it to the top of their respective professions. Rand emigrated from Russia, alone, knowing virtually no one, with little English and less money. Eventually landing in Hollywood, she supported herself reading screenplays. She married a handsome young actor, Frank O’Connor, but Rand would remain the breadwinner for the family for their entire lives. O’Connor was a nice man but never made it as an actor and later essentially became a house husband, while Rand supported them both and took on very public roles to advance her philosophy. Her most important novel, Atlas Shrugged, features a heroine who single handedly runs a large railroad company, overcoming the many obstacles put in her way by often corrupt or incompetent men.
So who is really the feminist – the politician who rides her cheating husband’s coattails to power, and takes money from other rich men, or the author who makes it on her own and supports her husband?
It is in fact, Rand, with her creative vision of a market based society where people make the greatest use of their productive abilities, who has laid the framework for a society that can support the great wealth of people like Warren Buffet, and the endless ambitions of the Clintons. You may never have heard of Ayn Rand, but if the quietly productive people of America decide to shrug, then the whole hypocrisy of the Buffets and Clintons of the world will come tumbling down.