Hillary's 'magic mirror'

The former Democratic presidential candidate is projecting some not so realistic ideas in her Atlantic piece, as if looking through a magic mirror.

September 19, 2018
By Don Sucher

In the centuries-old Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Snow White," we are introduced to an evil witch who expects the world to see her as fair and beautiful, no matter what the mirror shows. So fixated is she on her own self-seen beauty that she even expects her mirror to lie for her. Yes, lie to her, to hide her haggish appearance and make her look radiant, beautiful, and bright.

Fairy tales catch hold of the human imagination because they often, in a truly magical way, reflect truths with a disarming honesty. All this in the form of a story. Thus, the idea of a mirror lying – presenting a total falsehood as "truth" – makes for an especially powerful tale. It's a tale being told once again in the latest web edition of The Atlantic, penned by Hillary Clinton, where many people's favorite witch reveals her own lying mirror.

The cover piece, titled "American Democracy Is in Crisis," was initially written by Mrs. Clinton as an afterword for the paperback edition to her post-election fantasy novelette (as at least some of its readers saw it), What Happened, and then edited a bit for The Atlantic's short story/essay format.
In her story, Hillary's "magic mirror" obeys her command – at least to her own eyes. But its lies are not seen by anyone who is not himself bewitched. Anyone with clear and honest eyes will quickly see the truth.
Let us then look into her magic mirror, at the tale she tells, together, first through Hillary's eyes as revealed in her Atlantic piece, then, again, with eyes of youth – eyes that are honest and of innocent intent.

Hillary's first "vision," as does any good fairy tale, has an evil monster at the heart of its story. Here that monster is – surprise! – President Trump. Her story is truly a tale – one that presents a picture of "unspeakable cruelty" that the Trump monster has, first, "inflicted on undocumented families arriving at the border." Oh, that evil, evil Trump!

Of course, in Hillary's magic mirror, there is no vision of families in the pre-Trump era – that of the Obama administration – being separated from their parents on a regular basis or of children who have no understanding of American society – not even of the language commonly spoken here – being shipped out to locations throughout the land. No, nor of those of their number who brought with them the plague of MS-13 gang violence.

In Hillary's magic mirror, there is no reflection of the pained faces of American parents who saw their children macheted to death by their new "classmates." Hillary's mirror is required to skips such things. In its vision, she, and the administration she served, are innocent. But the vision of Donald Trump reflected in her magic mirror is distorted, crude, and ugly.

Vision two in Hillary's magic mirror reflects an "ideal" that is "enshrined in two powerful principles." It is a vision of a world where "not even the most powerful leader is above the law." It's a world where "all citizens are due equal protection under the law." What a lovely picture!
But as we'd expect from a witch queen's mirror, even that lovely image is completely distorted. For in it, we see Robert Mueller as a crusading saint. In its story, there is a mean, ugly, and tyrannical "orange-haired" monster who interferes with his honest investigation.
Well, such is to be expected in a fairy tale. Is it not?
The third vision the witch queen conjures from her magic mirror is that of evil Russian hordes corrupting an otherwise fair and honest election and of monster "Trump's complete unwillingness to stop it or protect us." Scary, scary stuff! (But too old a story to any longer frighten the children.)
The magic mirror's forth vision calls forth a new fighter against the same dastardly villain: the Washington Post – on a bright white steed – going after that same dastardly Donald and all his evil lies.
Trump, her mirror friend tells her (and us), "has made 5,000 false or misleading claims while in office and recently has averaged 32 a day." Imagine that! What a story it tells!
The wicked "lies," as in the best fairy tales, are left almost entirely to the reader's imagination.
But readers' imaginations are up to it! We all, for instance, know that Trump promised lower taxes. That he promised fewer dangerous illegals crossing our border. Less "red tape" and fewer paperwork blockades to the creation of American businesses. Fairer trade deals. Less of America's monies going to nations that oppose us. Hillary's mirror expects us to know that none of that has happened. (Yes?)
Such, I suppose, is a magic mirror's ability to fool the eyes. Well, they seem to fool Hillary's, anyhow – and, one might suppose, those of The Atlantic's readers.
Vision five from Hillary's magic mirror is particularly scary. It reveals "unprecedented conflicts of interest" and includes in its vision "Republican organizations [that] do business with Trump's companies or hold lucrative events at his hotels, golf courses, and other properties." Oh, the horrors!
But being that hers is a "magic mirror," there are no scenes that show migrating uranium. Nor are there visions of funds passing into the Clinton Foundation's bursting bank accounts. Nor are there visions of the Haitians still waiting for promised housing for which the donated funds have somehow disappeared.
In any good fairy tale – especially one told by a magic mirror – the coming fears and horrors toward the story's end escalate, coming faster and faster and faster. Here Hillary's magic mirror, with its rapidly passing scenes, does her will.
We in quick succession see visions of "Immigration and Customs Enforcement ... running wild across the country." Of federal agents "confronting citizens just for speaking Spanish" while "dragging parents away from children." After tales such as this, and some more of the same, the tale reaches its conclusion.

Every good fairy tale needs a happy ending. Hillary's magic mirror conjures one that surely must delight her and all her Atlantic readers – one where "fantastic candidates" are "running all over the country, making their compelling cases every day about how they'll raise wages, bring down health-care costs, and fight for justice." That exciting end, her mirror tells her and us, is coming soon – "if they" – her dream minions – "win." "They'll do great things for America."

What a fairy tale! What a vision!

The only thing missing from Hillary's fairy tale is perhaps the most essential ingredient – one that was in the old Brothers Grimm tale: a mirror that won't lie.

Alas, Hillary would never allow for such a thing from her mirror.
Readers need not feel too bad. For while Hillary may not be willing to include a truth-telling mirror, she seems happy to give us another part of this tale: the poisoned apple.