It was reported late last week that NBC’s Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox News, would be interviewing InfoWars founder Alex Jones for a segment on her new program, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.” Kelly has come under fire for her decision to interview Jones, and with good reason: Jones is a loon, and he should not be taken seriously by anyone.
If you’re unfamiliar with Alex Jones, let me first say I envy you. Jones has built quite a reputation for himself as a peddler of conspiracy theories, and it’s likely you’ve heard some of his greatest hits before: Sandy Hook was a false flag attack, 9/11 was an inside job, planes are spraying a mind-control substance to keep the population docile, and so on. He was also sued by the maker of Chobani yogurt for his (later retracted) claims that Chobani was “importing migrant rapists” to work in its factories. Megyn Kelly’s prior affiliation with Fox News — coupled with the fact that Jones hasn’t unleashed a rant about how the mainstream media is out to discredit him and suppress “The Truth” — indicate that the interview will be a puff piece. And that sucks, but really, did we expect better from Megyn Kelly? Or that Alex Jones would agree to an interview that paints him in a negative light?
At any rate, plenty of media outlets picked up the story, and there was an abundance of outrage about Kelly’s decision to give a platform to a lunatic like Jones. And yet, there was one person whose contribution to the discussion was apparently more valuable than most: Chelsea Clinton.
Clinton registered her objection to the interview on Twitter, and various media outlets including The Hill (“Chelsea Clinton Blasts Megyn Kelly For Alex Jones Interview”), AOL (“Chelsea Clinton Lashes Out At Megyn Kelly For Booking Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones”), and The Daily Mail all fell over themselves to report it as news. Chelsea Clinton’s opinion of Megyn Kelly’s show is not news. In fact, Chelsea Clinton’s opinion of anything is not news. So why are media outlets treating it like it is?
The Democratic Party has been sharply divided in the wake of the 2016 election. Centrist or “establishment” ideals are wildly unpopular with the more progressive wing of the party; meanwhile, progressive ideals are unpalatable to older and/or more moderate Democrats, who believe socialism is a pipe dream. As a result, liberals have found themselves searching for their next spokesperson, someone who can help unify the two wings of the party. And for some reason, Chelsea Clinton’s name keeps popping up.
This is not to say that Chelsea Clinton doesn’t have a right to comment on current events — she absolutely does, as does anybody else. But of all the opinions available, Chelsea Clinton’s are consistently thrust into the spotlight.
You might argue that Chelsea Clinton is a public figure; therefore, her take on events is naturally more noteworthy than that of some guy on Twitter who nobody (aside from his followers) has heard of. Fair enough. But she’s only a public figure because of who her parents are — she hasn’t really done anything noteworthy on her own.
Sure, she’s written two books (one called “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going!” and a children’s book called “She Persisted,” released a few weeks ago). Perhaps I’m being overly cynical, but I find it suspicious that Clinton announced the forthcoming publication of “She Persisted” about a month after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s infamous comments regarding Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Besides her writing career (which might be less charitably described as an obvious attempt to monetize feminism), what else has Chelsea Clinton done? Nothing. She’s worked for consulting firms and for her parents’ nonprofit, she’s done some work as a talking head on NBC, and…that’s about it. Yet despite her assurance that she’s not running for public office (at least, not “right now,” as she coyly — and annoyingly — qualified), the media and some members of the public seem to regard her as one of the leading voices on the left. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why.
It’s safe to say by now that the general public is tired of hearing from Hillary Clinton. As frustrating as the 2016 election was, and as quickly as things have deteriorated in American politics since Trump’s inauguration, the past is the past. The exact cause of death for Hillary’s presidential ambitions remains unclear: some believe James Comey’s letter was to blame; some think Hillary should have campaigned harder (or at all) in Michigan; some believe it’s because she wasn’t a compelling candidate; some feel that she should have embraced some of Bernie Sanders’ more progressive policies to capture part of his base; and some (like Alex Jones) believe that Hillary’s loss was the result of the truth-seeking American public putting an end to the murderous Clinton dynasty. With the exception of the last one, Hillary’s loss in November is probably a combination of factors.
Most people are tired of hearing from Hillary Clinton, but swapping her voice out for Chelsea’s is a waste of time.
Chelsea Clinton’s opinion is no more important or worthwhile than mine, or yours, or anybody else’s. That her parents both had successful political careers does not mean she was born with some mystical political wisdom. She is, for all intents and purposes, an average citizen. She is not involved in politics in any meaningful way; if she were, she’d simply be a younger version of her mother: a centrist Democrat whose willingness to compromise might have been valuable in the past, but is of no use in a partisan environment that has lost the spirit of cooperation.
If the Democratic Party wants to survive, it needs to rebuild from the ground up. It needs to establish a policy and messaging strategy that resonates with the ideals of the younger elements of the base. It needs to identify — and support — individuals who can energize people not only to vote for them, but to encourage others to vote as well. It needs to stop putting its thumb on the scale and artificially pumping up the “safe” voices (like Chelsea) while ignoring what its base actually wants from its representatives.
Hillary Clinton is the past. Let’s stop pretending that Chelsea Clinton is the future.