Chelsea Clinton: Donald Trump ‘degrades what it means to be an American’

Chelsea Clinton signs copies of her new book 'She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History'

Chelsea Clinton has a new book out: She Persisted Around the World, a follow-up to her bestseller She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World. Chelsea has had a variety of jobs, and I guess “author” makes as much sense as all of the other careers at this point, especially considering that no matter what she does or doesn’t do, people will yell at her or about her no matter what. So of course, people were yelling about Chelsea’s interview with The Guardian, where she promoted her book and ended up talking in-depth about how far America has fallen under Donald Trump (seriously, it’s bad, please send help). I didn’t care for this Guardian piece because the writer wouldn’t stop making judgy asides about how Chelsea comes across as wonky and professorial rather than coming across like someone homespun and “from the heart” (ie, a moron). You can read the full Guardian piece here. Some highlights:

Whether she believes in Michelle Obama’s idea of “going high” when they go low: “For me, maybe because I’ve had so much vitriol flung at me for as long as I can literally remember, people saying awful things to me even as a child, I’ve never found it productive, personally, to engage in that way. To retaliate with crass language or insult someone personally – I just don’t think I’m built that way…. I know they’re talking about me. I just think that the way they’re talking about me, to me, to my face, online, is a reflection on them and not about me. The savagery that is directed at me, sometimes it’s because I’m just the person that they happen to see and recognise, and they’re angry, and so that anger kind of spills out. Sometimes they’re mad at me because of something that my mum or dad did, or something that my mum or dad never did – but they have been fed the narrative that they were trafficking children, or drugs, or some other heinous crime.”

She used to ignore the negativity & meanness, but not anymore: “Now I’ve come to feel differently, because I think that the way that our president and many people around him have not only mainstreamed hate, but mainlined it, is so deeply dangerous.” Her eyes fill with dismay as she cites the rising reports of bullying in schools catalogued by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. “Not just the hundreds but now thousands of instances in schools across America, where children are citing the president as they’re demeaning a little girl, or they’re chanting ‘Build a wall’ in an attempt to demean and degrade brown children. So the reason, now, I no longer ignore it when people say hateful things to me on the street or on social media is, I think we have to shine a light. I think those of us who have platforms to do that have to say this is wrong and unacceptable, so we don’t normalise it but try to detoxify what has been unleashed. Because if we don’t, we leave a vacuum. And I think the darkness fills that vacuum.”

Whether she thinks British people should protest Trump’s visit to England: “Well, I’ve been to multiple protests since the election. Charlotte’s been to at least three, maybe four. Aidan’s been to one. If I lived in Britain I would show up to protest, because I don’t agree with what he’s doing to degrade what it means to be an American.”

Whether Ivanka Trump is “complicit.” “She’s an adult. She can make the choices for herself. I mean, she’s 36. We are responsible for our choices. In 2008 I was really proud to support my mum – but I disagreed with her fundamentally on a few things, particularly her then opposition to equal marriage rights for LGBTQ Americans. I never defended that position, because it wasn’t what I believed was the right thing to do.” With the exception of Barron – “He’s 12; let him be 12, please” – she has no sympathy whatsoever for Trump’s children. “They’re adults who’ve made the decision to work in this administration.”

Whether she would have taken a government position if her mom had been elected: “I think the president should be able to hire whoever he or she thinks are best qualified. I do not believe that many of the people that he has hired have been qualified to do the jobs. Not only do I want an administration that isn’t venal, corrupt and focused on making life harder for millions of Americans, I also want a competent administration. So for me, the larger question is the collision of cruelty and incompetence and corruption that we see across the administration.”

[From The Guardian]

She goes on and on, in an extremely thoughtful and thought-provoking way, to discuss how her thoughts have changed on deeds-versus-intentions, and how even if she disagreed with policies of Republicans presidents, she always believed that the Bushes’ intentions were always to help the country, to help citizens, to help rather than hurt. She says she no longer feels that way about Trump and his supporters, that we do have to judge them by their intentions as well as their deeds. If you read the whole piece, she clearly explains her thoughts – she’s a careful, thoughtful person and at no point did she misspeak. She really believes that Trump is “degrading what it means to be an American.” And she’s right. But the Deplorables still spent all of Sunday screaming into the void about Chelsea anyway.

Chelsea Clinton signs copies of her new book 'She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History'

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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60 Responses to “Chelsea Clinton: Donald Trump ‘degrades what it means to be an American’”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    Trump degrades what it means to be a human being. The f–ker is still whining about Hillary and Obama . Then follows it up with a statement saying he’s gotta stop doing that because he’s got better things to do. Where were those better things a year and 1/2 ago?

    • Kitten says:

      ..and then an hour and a half later, Tweets about Fake Mainstream Media. Yawn. I still can’t believe that anybody pays attention to his boring-ass rants other than his rabid base. It is literally like watching an old man yell at the sky every day. Honestly, my grandma who died of Alzheimer’s and spent the last 10 years of her life repeating the same made-up stories over and over again was still more interesting than this redundant old fool. Also, my grandma was funny, loving, and more humanity in her pinky than this worthless shitstain.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Kitten don’t dismiss Trump’s ramblings. He’s going on and on about the democrats and how they are meddling and colluding. It’s no coincidence he’s doing this with the midterm elections coming up. I foresee a future where elections gets suspended because “we need to investigate those liberals.” And his base won’t blink. And the GOP will be complicit.

        This sh*t is not boring; it’s terrifying. It’s too normalized.

      • Algernon says:

        @ Rapunzel I truly believe if they try to suspend elections, there will be riots in the streets. At a cousin’s graduation recently, even my hardcore Trumpet relatives were uncomfortable whenever politics came up. They’re deep into Fox News, so they think everything is a conspiracy, but my young cousins who will be voting for the first time this fall were openly enthusiastic about it and roasted the oldies who tried to talk Fox News at them. It made for a rough weekend, but was also encouraging because these kids will fight for their right to fix what their parents (and grandparents) broke. I think we’re in for a lot of electoral scrutiny, because it’s clear there wasn’t just propaganda but outright tampering last time, and I bet gun nuts show up to “patrol” and intimidate people, but between the SCOTUS trying to fix what they screwed up by depowering the VRA and feisty young’uns, I think we’ll be okay this fall.

      • Kitten says:

        Nah you know what’s terrifying? The fact that Trump has waged a war on the “Deep State” and sent every career civil servant (read: dissenting voice) to the turkey farm. He’s now surrounded by only yes men and has not one single divergent or moderating voice to provide balance.

        Wouldn’t it be cool if MSM was reporting on THAT and not his Twitter “falsehoods” (God forbid they call them lies) or his incessant parroting of unsubstantiated, delusional conspiracy theories that he gets from Faux News?

        Wouldn’t it be cool if MSM was as outraged about the war on female bodily autonomy and the fact that it is very possible that abortion will become illegal in 39 states if Trump’s SCJ nominations repeal Roe V Wade?

        Wouldn’t it be great if MSM reported on the impact of his policies on the every day lives of the most marginalized people in our communities instead of 50 articles about how he disrespected Vets on Memorial Day?

        So yeah sorrynotsorry I will continue to ignore the myriad of articles that are generated every time he rants and raves on Twitter. His Tweets are not as powerful as MSM makes them out to be: the people who hate him will continue to despise him and those that are loyal will continue to be riled up by his incessant lies. His Twitter is a means for him to control the narrative and I refuse to f*cking entertain that shit. I’m not going to be a pawn is his quest to distract and manipulate.

    • gate666 says:

      of course hillary had no problem accepting donations from him in 2008.

      • llc says:

        Of course, at that time, he was a Democrat. He was prochoice and kept his racism and bigotry carefully under wraps. That was before the birther, refund Planned Parenthood, etcetera garbage.

      • Jan90067 (aka Imqrious2) says:

        2008 he was touting himself as a liberal Dem to curry favor with NY society. Reading is your friend. Try it

      • Lonnie Tinks says:

        TRUMP WAS A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT IN 2008. Sorry for yelling, but you seem like the type of person who responds to all caps.

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    EZ is currently shrieking on twitter again about the ‘russia witch hunt’ against him, 6 tweets so far this morning.

    She’s right; he, his administration and the GOP are demeaning what it means to be American and what it is to live in a free and democratic country. The screws are turning on him and his family hence all the screaming about fake news, I really believe he wants to be King and will do what it takes to stay in power.

    • Darla says:

      Oh gawd. I haven’t hit twitter yet. He’s so disgusting. It’s terrifying that this thing is President and wields so much power.

      • Kitten says:

        You’re not missing a damn thing. Just the same old nonsensical lies and deflections. It’s all the poor old f*cker has left.

    • Esmom says:

      So true. His “Happy Memorial Day” tweet had to have been one of the worst. To demand, on one hand, that NFL players stand for the anthem and on the other hand not even know how to observe a solemn national holiday with decorum (and no self-promotion) is just horrifying and disheartening. I’m numb.

  3. lightpurple says:

    If you don’t follow Chelsea on Twitter, do yourself a favor and start following her now. She is a national treasure. Yes, she can be wonky and professorial because that is her training and education. She is brilliant and takes the time to be quite thorough in her evaluations. But she is also kind, compassionate, hilariously funny, and truly embodies Michelle Obama’s philosophy of “when they go low, we go high.” She does respond to some of the trolls but her responses are hilarious. And an hour ago, she just took out Roseanne Barr.

    • Darla says:

      I just saw Barr’s very recent tweets where she calls Valerie Jarret the offspring of apes. How does ABC tolerate this?

      • Jenns says:

        She pulled the same crap on Twitter before her show revival, but deleted all the evidence.

        I’m glad she tweeting this crap again so people can see who she really is. Disney and ABC needs to answer for this.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, she is a treasure. And people need to stop with the “professorial and wonky” as an insult. I’ll happily take that every. single. time. over the ignorance that passes for legit discourse these days.

    • NoShame says:

      We need to stop using wonky as an insult. Wonky is a person who reads and takes a deep interest in important issues. Wonky should be something we all aspire to be.

    • Kitten says:

      Just started following her.

  4. RBC says:

    Chelsea knows about being bullied. The nasty and disgusting things that were said about her when the Clintons were in the White House made me so angry. She was a child!
    Now she is taking on those same bullies, only now they are in the White House

  5. Nicole says:

    I mean I don’t agree but sure. Not saying what she says here isn’t great and well spoken. But I’m sick of white people pretending that America wasn’t founded on slavery and genocide. Like tr*mp isnt bringing forth crap I’ve seen and heard my entire life. ICE separating children from their parents? Exactly what they did during the slave trade and trail of tears. This IS America but a lot of y’all were content to go with the status quo until you were forced to see otherwise.

    • Char says:

      This is the vision of people outside USA, I hope you guys can make a change now that you see the truth.

      • kate says:

        It’s the vision of many people inside the US, mainly white people. People of colour, especially Native Americans and African Americans, have been seeing the truth all along.

    • kate says:

      My god thank you. Trump is following on the tradition of presidents destroying families of colour. People who believe “this is not america” are white and have never spoken with a Native American or an African American person.

    • K says:

      100% correct. Previous, fondly regarded, US administrations (plural) have ruined my native country. And plenty of other countries too. Trump is the perfect distillation of America (and Americans) writ large for some previously cocooned Americans to finally see that which other less fortunate countries have seen for decades.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Nicole- How is Chelsea supposed to acknowledge any of what you just said? If she did she be destroyed by all the MAGAt’s on social media. I’m sorry but I think that’s an unrealistic expectation for you to think that Chelsea would say anything so negative about America. She literally can’t because it would just fuel the fire.

      Everything you said is true sure but Chelsea has to be diplomatic. I don’t think it’s fair to fault her for not going into the ways in which America sucked before Trump. She’s in a very difficult position. Plus it would be accusing her father of doing things wrong.

    • Aang says:

      And let’s remember that the refugees at the border are mostly indigenous people and they ought to have a special right to move about the continent unimpeded by colonialist imposed borders. This policy of separating families is just a continuation of the genocide against natives that began with Columbus.

  6. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    The writer of the article seriously needs to stop and think why Chelsea talks the way that she does. She has been criticized about everything from her hair to her teeth. Her parents’ faults are constantly thrown in her face-especially her father’s infidelities and her everything about her mother is up for debate for some people. I get exactly why she is so cautious and careful with her words cause no matter what she does someone will attack her. One of the things I noticed about this interview is how she seems numb to it. Grown ass adults have been personally attacking her since she was what, thirteen years old and she just seems so resigned to it. She is still an accomplished woman just like her mother but it damn.. She deserves better.

    I follow her on twitter and she seriously is one of the most kind, thoughtful, and intelligent women that I follow. She retweets gross things people send to her and replies sometimes wth kind and gracious responses. More than some of those trash pandas deserve. I think I will start reporting every tweet that I see. The bullying needs to stop.

  7. Ninks says:

    Why did they need to change Mom to Mum?

  8. kate says:

    Chelsea was horribly bullied as a child by adults who should have known better.
    Here is John McCain in 1998: “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father.” Remember that when the Washington DC political and media cicles try to paint him as some kind of Maverick-like, above reproach, old school Republican. He is a sexist piece of shit (ask his first wife).

    • QueenB says:

      McCain has always been a horrible person. I never understood liberals liking him.

      • Betsy says:

        Probably because that five year stint in captivity in Vietnam did incalculable damage to him and because occasionally he shows glimmers of being different from your average GOP nutcase. But, yes, I find his politics odious.

      • Velouria says:

        I think people “like” him more nowadays because they’re comparing him to Trump, who is straight up smelly unwashed ass. He can make anybody this side of Hitler or the Kim family look good. I bet Cheney and Bush 2 Iraqi Boogaloo can’t believe their luck.

    • Tw says:

      Thank you. God, our memories are so short.

    • Darla says:

      Sigh. But they have already geared up the hagiography machine in anticipation of his death. It’s going to be a complete white wash.

    • Kitten says:

      JFC that is abhorrent. Way to keep it classy, Maverick.

    • Christin says:

      And he chose Sarah as a running mate. That alone speaks volumes about judgment.

    • Anastasia says:

      And Rush Limbaugh called her “the White House dog.” HORRIBLE people. Horrible. I wouldn’t agree with insulting any child of any politician, no matter how much I disagreed with them!

  9. Natalia says:

    “Donald Trump degrades what it means to be an American.”

    Well that goes without saying!

  10. Lala says:

    Chelsea is her Mama’s Daughter…and when I hear journalist describe her…and her Mama as wonky and professional…I want to…SCREAM!!!!!! Why is this country so hell bent on being “anti-intellectual?!?” You want your public servants to be wonky and professional…because if you DON’T have that…you GET WHAT WE CURRENTLY GOT AS POTUS!!! I always thought the reason why Bill & Hillary worked so well is because…she is the “wonk”…and few current political folks can be more “homespun” than Bill…and that made a perfect blend with their brilliance being the glue that holds it together…They were awesome parents to Chelsea and it shows in everything about her!

    • Betsy says:

      This here.

      I’ve spent years getting lightly chided and mocked for being, in the word of my classmates, ”a brainiac.” Why is that bad? Why shouldn’t Chelsea be studious and wonky? (And why is Paul Ryan similarly applauded for being “wonky” when he’s just a belly button?) More people should be!

      • Esmom says:

        Belly button, lol. I never understood the “wonky” label applied to him because he is not. I think he gave it to himself, tbh. And I agree that more people should be! Especially when it comes to public policy, ffs.

    • Kitten says:

      ITA completely.

    • Anastasia says:

      THANK YOU!!!!

  11. adastraperaspera says:

    Chelsea is doing some social justice heavy lifting. She really seems to give a damn. Glad she is lifting up the Southern Poverty Law Center stats.

  12. Betsy says:

    I was walking along the Main Street of my Minnesotan home town this weekend and a boy with his his friends in some broke-ash truck flashed a white power symbol at me. (I’m white, for the record). I won’t pretend America wasn’t racist – I’m not stupid – but Dotard sure seems to have uncapped some filthy well of hatred.

    • Natalia says:

      This. And dont kid yourself QueenB, liberals Dont like him. When I lived in AZ I learned just how much so many veterans hate McCain, for good reason. The VA evil disaster is something they’ve known about and been affected by for many years.

      Dont believe the hype or those disgusting campaign photos of McCain with veterans. He could have done something about the VA in Phoenix but he didn’t.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah I get it: racism has ALWAYS been here, but in Trump America they are emboldened, granted a powerful platform, and allowed to shape and form the policies of our country. A racist IS ruling the USA with an iron fist. I think it’s important to acknowledge how deeply ingrained systemic racism is in our country. But I think it’s equally important to be honest about the difference between a country that went from having a black POTUS for 8 years to now having an unabashedly racist POTUS.

      Things HAVE changed. Things were far from perfect before, but they have unquestionably gotten worse. When you have a POTUS that spends all day every day “othering” PoC and immigrants either via his bully pulpit or via unimaginably cruel policies, I think we can confidently say that yes, things have gotten much, much worse.

      Also, I think sometimes we forget how much 9/11 stoked Islamophobia and xenophobia in this country. When Obama came into office he really tried to create/enact policies that would eventually lead to more stability in the Middle East. We now have a POTUS who wants the opposite. Islamophobia is alllll over Twitter every time I log on. I am truly fearful for Muslim Americans…the amount of hate they face is horrific under Trump America.

      • Betsy says:

        You always say things very well, Kitten (lol, I used to, but screaming in the background of my life disrupts my concentration). I’m not a minority, and I think I have about the average level of evolutionarily pre-programmed ability to sort people into categories, but I’m not racist. I had no idea how much was festering there. I knew it wasn’t gone and I am most certainly aware that the US was founded with racism baked right in (the big, purposeful genocide seems to have come later as Old World diseases did much of the work of depopulation on the east coast), and sexism of course the silent oven in which it all baked up.

        This level of vitriol is…. it seems new to me.

      • Kitten says:

        Hahaha thanks, Betsy, you are too kind. And I can only imagine what it’s like trying to type with little ones demanding your attention, yet you always do a great job :)

        It’s so important that we listen to PoC who are incredibly frustrated with white people who are suddenly recognizing racism now that it’s right in front of our faces and no doubt it would have behooved us to have listened more closely to PoC voices in the past, but I think people are starting to wake up.

        I very distinctly remember a conversation with my mom after Obama was elected the first time and her near-ecstasy at the idea of a black POTUS (“racism is dead!”) and only to have that elation quickly dashed when I showed her photos of the racist effigies and disgusting racism leveled at both Barack and Michelle. We’ve known about the shootings of unarmed PoC since Rodney King, but Trayvon Martin was a reminder that this is happening way more often than we were aware of.

        The things that I’ve learned over the past fifteen years about the lasting impact of school segregation, the outrageously high incarceration rate of non-violent black offenders, the utter lack of representation of PoC in visible roles in government and the media, the subpar health care that WoC are forced to endure, the gerrymandering of predominantly black counties, and so many other systemic issues, are things that I think a lot of us weren’t talking enough about before Trump.

        That being said, under President Obama we didn’t have an administration that was actively attempting to make these systemic issues worse. We didn’t have a leader who speaks to American citizens in coded racism and racist dog whistles. I don’t think you can underestimate how much his hateful, bigoted commentary gives permission to racists. They have a leader who sanctions and encourages hatred to anyone who is non-white and he happens to be one of the most powerful men in the world. It is intoxicating and emancipating to people who felt silenced or dismissed during Obama’s 8 years. It is bad–really bad–and I don’t think we’d be here if we had Clinton. Structural racism would still be a huge problem, but we wouldn’t have someone in the Oval Office saying “that’s ok, be sure to bump their heads when you round them up in the paddy wagon” or calling NFL players SOBs or saying Nazis are “very fine people”.

  13. felixswan2 says:

    Please stop with the whitewashing and romanticization of the Bush presidency.

    • LV487 says:

      she [Clinton] always believed that the Bushes’ intentions were always to help the country, to help citizens, to help rather than hurt.

      A bit clueless, that one.

  14. Amelie says:

    I’m going to assume her friendship with Ivanka is over. The fact they were even friends really boggled my mind.

  15. otaku fairy says:

    “Not just the hundreds but now thousands of instances in schools across America, where children are citing the president as they’re demeaning a little girl, or they’re chanting ‘Build a wall’ in an attempt to demean and degrade brown children. So the reason, now, I no longer ignore it when people say hateful things to me on the street or on social media is, I think we have to shine a light. I think those of us who have platforms to do that have to say this is wrong and unacceptable, so we don’t normalise it but try to detoxify what has been unleashed. Because if we don’t, we leave a vacuum.” I agree with this. On some level, ‘just ignore it’ and ‘don’t feed the trolls’ are understandable responses. But you also don’t want to teach racists and other types of deplorables that what they’re doing is something other people have to just get over or ignore if they don’t like it.

  16. Mumbles says:

    I thought the Guardian reporters’ observations were spot-on. You can be intelligent and smart without sounding programmed and canned. Look at Obama for an example of that – super-intelligent but never sounded pre-programmed or like he was talking down to people. Clinton’s answers to some of the questions sounded rote, memorized – and when you actually analyse them, not saying a lot of anything.

  17. jferber says:

    She is absolutely correct and may I add, brilliant, compassionate, humane and wonderful. Of course, she is a proxy for her mother (more so than for her father), so the hateful right-wing will attack her on principle (the principle: she is Hillary’s offspring). There is deep sexism in these Trumpsters. While Hillary was First Lady, I once saw scrawled in dirt across the back of a truck, “Hillary Clinton is a lesbian, communist c-nt.” Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that I shall not forget, “Madam President, my ass,” naturally referring to Hillary. Toxic, festering and malevolent; these are the qualities of the people who elected the -sshole.

  18. Cathy says:

    Glad to see the subject of former friend Ivanka was raised in the interview. Chelsea could have been a lot harsher in her response but took the high road. What a difference between the 2 – Chelsea is smart , genuine and truly a woman of integrity. Ivanka has no integrity and lacks substance and backbone. Plastic Barbie is a title she wears well…

  19. Happy Smiley says:

    Dear Chelsey,

    your parents have done a good job degrading the US blue collar workers, too.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      No, blue collar workers did well under the Clinton’s. Don’t let the Berniebots or Trumpers fool you. Trade agreements are GOOD for the American worker. NAFTA provided hundreds of thousands of jobs.