On Tuesday night, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared herself to the famous Paul Revere, a silversmith who (according to legend) warned the Americans in Lexington and Concord that “the British are coming!” Clinton said she was a “Paula Revere,” warning about the impact of Russian meddling in U.S. elections — not just last year, but going forward.
“I am saying as clearly as I can — I feel like I’m a bit of a Paula Revere, I’m trying to send an alarm about this,” Clinton told Stephen Colbert on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” She added, “I don’t think anybody can with a straight face say that the Russians did not set out to influence our election and they did so.”
Clinton predicted future attempts to influence American elections, as well. “I think they will be back in 2018 and 2020 unless we stop them,” the former secretary of State said.
“You’ve got to understand what Putin’s strategy is: he really doesn’t like democracy,” the former first lady added. “He thinks it’s an inconvenient, messy process, and he doesn’t like us. He wants to destabilize our country, sow doubt about our democracy.”
Clinton also referred to recent revelations where Russians bought Facebook ads and reportedly created fake online personalities to influence the election. “These latest revelations where you had Russians pretending to be Americans, you had fake Americans with fake news and fake stories and fake demonstrations, that wasn’t just because he’s bored and has nothing to do. He wants to undermine how we see each other, how we respect each other, how we support our institutions and our society.”
While the former secretary of State may be correct in suggesting that Putin aims to sow dissension in America, her hands are far from clean. Not only did she refer to Trump supporters as “deplorables” and warn that any attempt to cut Planned Parenthood funding would lead to a misogynistic dystopia like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but she also even twisted the meaning of George Orwell’s novel 1984 to support the American equivalent of Big Brother.
Even her Colbert interview became rather petty. Citing an alleged “grudge” that Putin had against her, Clinton added that his anger came “partly because I’m a woman, which does seem to get him a little bit agitated.” She even accused the Russian leader of “manspreading” in her presence — oh the horrors!
Interestingly, Clinton’s comparing herself to Paul Revere is an utter twisting of history. Not only was Revere only one of multiple riders that fateful night, but it is almost certain he never said anything like “the British are coming!”
One of the major reasons the American colonies rebelled against King George III and Parliament in 1776 was because the colonists had always seen themselves as Englishmen — British citizens with all the “rights of Englishmen.” While Revere did warn about the coming of British troops, he would have said, “The regulars are coming!”
Revere was not warning about a foreign foe but about the rightful — if suddenly abusive — military authority over the colonies. The citizens of Lexington and Concord did not see the British soldiers as an invading force, but as an abusive government. Only later did Americans look back on this moment and put the words “the British are coming!” into Revere’s mouth.
Unlike Revere, Clinton is warning about the effects of a foreign power attempting to sabotage the American electoral system. She may be “a voice calling out in the wilderness,” but she is not the brave rider going through Lexington and Concord.
But what’s a little twisting of the story of “Paula Revere” compared to reading support for the government into 1984? At least no one can accuse Clinton of not being creative.
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