In an early example of online right-wing disinformation targeting a high-profile woman, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the subject of a chain email that turned into mass postings on social media.
This early-onset disinformation campaign featured six statements in a “quiz” format, all of which were taken out of context and reproduced on right-wing blogs as well as in email forwards, and then used to supplement further narrative attacks on Clinton’s politics:
A little history lesson: If you don’t know the answer make your best guess Answer all the questions before looking at the answers. Who said it?
1) “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”
A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above
2) “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.”
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above
3) “(We)… can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”
A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above
4) “We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own… in order to create this common ground.”
A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D None of the above
5) “I certainly think the free-market has failed.”
A. Karl Marx
D. None of the above
6) “I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched.”
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above
(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005
Be afraid. Be very, very afraid and vote
Anybody (woman) that would vote for her just because they think it’s time for a female president has got to be out of their lunatic mind!
- “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”
This remark was taken from a Clinton appearance at a Democratic Party fundraising event in June 2004, according to Associated Press:
Headlining an appearance with other Democratic women senators on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is up for re-election this year, Hillary Clinton told several hundred supporters – some of whom had ponied up as much as $10,000 to attend – to expect to lose some of the tax cuts passed by President [George W.] Bush if Democrats win the White House and control of Congress.
“Many of you are well enough off that… the tax cuts may have helped you,” Sen. Clinton said. “We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”
- “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few… And to replace it with shared responsibility, for shared prosperity.”
This remark was taken from a May 2007 appearance Clinton made at the the Manchester School of Technology in New Hampshire, where she promoted what she called a nine-point “progressive vision to aid the middle class” and address income inequality.
“They call it the ownership society, but it’s really the ‘on your own’ society,” Clinton said. “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few and for the few, time to reject the idea of an ‘on your own’ society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a ‘we’re all in it together’ society.”
- “(We)…can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”
- “We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own… in order to create this common ground.”
- “I certainly think the free-market has failed.”
These remarks were taken from Clinton’s appearance on a June 2007 episode of the CNN program “The Situation Room” alongside Barack Obama and John Edwards, both fellow senators at the time; the three candidates were both campaigning for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Clinton was responding to a question from Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities USA.
“You have spoken a lot about our need to work for the common good,” Sullivan said to her before asking, “In an age in which there is, oftentimes, narrow and excessive individualism, how will you speak to our country about the need for sacrifice, restraint, when it comes to the critical issues of taxes, gun control, health care, and energy consumption?”
I think we could reach that agreement, and then we would have to start doing the hard work of deciding what we were going to do to make sure that they were not uninsured, because an uninsured person who goes to the hospital is more likely to die than an insured person. I mean, that is a fact.
So, what do we do? We have to build a political consensus. And that requires people giving up a little bit of their own turf, in order to create this common ground.
The same with energy — you know, we can’t keep talking about our dependence on foreign oil, and the need to deal with global warming, and the challenge that it poses to our climate and to God’s creation, and just let business as usual go on. And that means something has to be taken away from some people.
Later on in the program, Clinton was asked about abortion by the Rev. Joel C. Hunter, identified as the senior pastor at Northland Church, “one of the largest churches in Florida.”
“I come from the part of the faith community that is very strongly pro-life. I know you’re pro-choice, but you have indicated that you would like to reduce the number of abortions,” Hunter said before asking, “Could you see yourself, with millions of voters in a pro-life camp, creating a common ground, with the goal ultimately in mind of reducing the decisions for abortion to zero?”
“Yes. Yes,” Clinton responded. “And that is what I have tried to both talk about and reach out about over the last many years, going back, really, at least fifteen years, in talking about abortion being safe, legal, and rare. And, by rare, I mean rare.”
We have so many young people who are tremendously influenced by the media culture and by the celebrity culture, and who have a very difficult time trying to sort out the right decisions to make.
And I personally believe that the adult society has failed those people. I mean, I think that we have failed them in our churches, our schools, our government. And I certainly think the, you know, free market has failed. We have all failed.
We have left too many children to sort of fend for themselves morally. And, so, I think there is a great opportunity. But it would require sort of a — a leaving at the sides the suspicion and the baggage that comes with people who have very strong, heartfelt feelings.
- “I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in [the] entire economy that they are being watched.”
In this case, Clinton was talking about the oil industry during a September 2005 speech in Elmira Heights, New York. As the Washington Post reported at the time, Clinton accused oil companies of “manipulating energy markets” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in our entire economy that they’re being watched,” she said. “I think human nature left to itself is going to push the limit as far as possible, and that’s what you need a government regulatory system for: to keep an eye on people to make the rules of the game fair, to make a level playing field and not give anybody some kind of undue advantage.”
Update 9/6/2022, 4:41 p.m. PST: This article has been revamped and updated. You can review the original here. — ag