“In the years to come,” she warned Wellesley College graduates on Friday, “there will be trolls galore—online in person—eager to tell you that you don’t have anything worthwhile to say or anything meaningful to contribute.” But if the former Democratic nominee made one thing clear at her alma matter—where she once gave the student commencement address—it was that she can be quite the troll herself.
Reflecting on her own class of 1969, she said, “We were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice after firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice.”
Clinton criticized President Donald Trump more explicitly, too, calling his budget “a con” and “an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us—the youngest, the oldest, the poorest, and hard working people who need a little help to gain or hang on to a decent, middle-class life.” She further trolled Trump over his inauguration trutherism and lamented the “full-fledged assault on truth and reason” in America. “When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society,” Clinton said. “That is not hyperbole. It is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done.”
Clinton is adopting the language of the Trump resistance, and indeed there are indications that she wants to be a key figure in that movement. As a national political reporter for Politico tweeted:
Clinton shouldn’t be a central resistance figure. What losing presidential candidate, after all, has ever returned to lead the opposition? Not John Kerry, not Al Gore, not Michael Dukakis. The Democratic Party is right to be elevating its younger rising stars. But clearly she still feels the pull of politics, and who’s going to stop her from giving speeches and interviews whenever she pleases? The Bernie Sanders wing of the party might want to wish her away, but only she has the power to decide that.