First, because it's 2016 and politics, here is my obligatory Trump comment: I'm not much worried that he'll be evil. All the anti-Trump comments that call him Hitlerian or racist aren't convincing. Blowhard - that's more convincing. Which leads me to my real worry. I don't think he'll be evil, I think he'll just be a bumbler.
On to the regular post. I had conversations this week with three women I have worked with a long time. One is 64, one is 62, one is 59. They all follow politics only somewhat, certainly not as closely as I do. They are liberal but not fanatic; above-average in intelligence; they are among my more trusted people to talk to about work issues, both the clinical info and the assessments of how to work around the difficulties of specific individuals. My impression over time is that they believe the conventional wisdom of the mainstream media, however it filters down to them. As I said, however, they are not fanatic. One is deeply involved in her grandchildren, another with her cats, the third with redecorating the lake cabin. Politics is not usually their thing. DWTS or choir is their thing.
I have said kiddingly that Hillary could strangle a live kitten on TV and her supporters would leap to describe how the kitten deserved it. I actually now think that is closer to true than is funny. All three introduced the topic of Trump, not really related to anything else happening. There's nothing much wrong with that, it seems to be what everyone is doing. But the conversation turned very quickly to how under attack Hillary is, that people are screaming that she's a liar, and how well she is keeping her dignity through all that.
A little probing reveals that they do not believe that any of the accusations are true, or if true, very small. These are just 25 years of exaggerated charges put forward by the Republicans (said in just that way, y'know?), and she has proven under intense questioning that they are untrue. I said to one that I didn't think hours of evasion and refusing to answer questions proved innocence - and learned a few minutes later that she had not actually read about those hours of grilling, just heard the news stories and remembered the pictures of her looking defiant. And how proud she felt. I didn't press it.
In general I just let them go on. I wanted to hear what they had to say, without my pushing it in any way. Their identification with her is entire. Her husband's bad behavior, even sexual assault, was either A) more Republican lies, or B) more evidence of what the poor woman has had to put up with. All the attacks on Hillary over the years are because Some Men fear strong women. They are indignant that people still attack her, and that young women just don't understand how important this is. They are furious. Social workers are fond of ongoing snippy remarks, but they are not fond of contention and confrontation. Except maybe now.
Today's was the worst, and I decided to not just shrug it off. This is a level of fanaticism that exceeds the Trump supporters, or the Ron Paul supporters last time, or anything I can recall. It exceeds what I thought I was seeing last time she ran, in 2008, though I admit my memory is largely impression on that score.