Saturday, November 21, 2015

Why Support Hillary When She Does Not Stand For What I Believe In?

A lot of people that I know who would identify themselves as progressives have been pulling strongly for Hillary, and doing so to the point that they actually make fun of anyone not with them, including those, like myself, who lean more towards Bernie Sanders. If you listen to them, the only possible reason that anyone would not be a supporter of Hillary Clinton is if they are sexist, and would go to any lengths to avoid seeing a woman become president.

Not true in my case. I would love to see a woman as president. In fact, Elisabeth Warren would likely have my vote if she ever decided to run for president, being one of the few Democrats that would force me to scratch my head with my own policy of adamantly refusing to vote for a candidate of either major party for any national office.

So, yes, I would like to see a woman become president, and think that it is long overdue. However, that does not mean that it would be desirable to see Hillary specifically become the first woman president, just because she is a woman with a realistic shot at being elected president.

The problem that I have with Hillary is the same problem that I had with her husband, Bill: she's far too tied to the whole political machinery of the country. That means that she is willing to say anything and do anything to be elected to higher office, just like her husband. The Clintons can talk the talk of progressive ideas and values, but their political record sure shows something else.

Bill Clinton was often referred to as "Republican light" during his days in the White House, and too often, he did things that were specifically meant to look good on paper, but without any real value. Case in point, he could rightly claim to have paid 60% of the national debt, which sounds absolutely awesome in a speech, right? The only thing is that he did this by taking out short term loans, which means that the country does not actually owe less money, only that they essentially transferred the balance elsewhere. Neat trick, but that is the kind of thing that earned his reputation as "Slick Willy." Another thing that he "achieved" during his presidency was a strong track record regarding environmental legislation. However, here too, you have to be careful to go beyond the mere facade of what he is trying to convince you of, and recognize that a huge chunk, if not even perhaps the majority, of that lofty and impressive sounding environmental legislation came in the last three days of his presidency. That's right. He had eight long years in the White House (2,920 days), and he only really got serious about the environment in the last 72 hours of his presidency, creating strong environmental legislation that he knew perfectly well would be done away with immediately once the man who replaced him took office.

Hillary is the same kind of political animal, and she is showing this kind of opportunism now. She suggests that no one has a stronger track record on progressive issues than she does. Yet, she went from being an activist in the cause for a fairer healthcare system for the country, to being richly paid by them, and essentially now being a spokesperson to advance their interests. She recently criticized Bernie Sanders for his plan for a universal, single-payer healthcare system in the model of literally every single other industrialized country in the world, claiming that it is a far too liberal idea. She has also grown more hawkish, using aggressive rhetoric to show that she would put boots on the ground and implement a solid plan to defeat ISIS in Syria. When Sanders attacked her for being so richly funded by the huge Wall Street firms that advance the cause of the billionaires of America, she acted angry, and defended herself by saying that she had helped these big boys out in their hour of need after the 9/11 attacks. That sounds like a very, very politically scripted kind of response, using the code word "9/11" or "September 11" as shamelessly as Guliani did in 2008, and suggesting an activism on her part while essentially brushing over her overly friendly relations with these elitist corporations that define the very worst of what America has become.

She gets angry, and then voices what sounds to some, surely, as a reasonable explanation, even a heroic one. Hillary saved the day after September 11th, preventing a potentially disastrous economic collapse. That sounds a lot better than she is in bed with a whole bunch of "too big to fail" corporations who are richly funding her campaign in order to continue receiving the extensive benefits from tax loopholes and friendly tax policies benefiting them for decades now, at the expense of regular people, particularly the middle class. And then, of course, she acts outraged that the middle class is disappearing. But only when it suits her. That is the problem with the Clintons: they sound like liberals when it is politically profitable to do that, and then they sound like conservatives when it is politically profitable to sound that way. At every instance, they sound like the masterful political opportunists that they are, and thus assuring that a presidential term under Hillary will be very much more of the same.

In, short, Hillary represents big money interests, and everything that she says and does seems to suggest a more subtle approach to advancing those interests than any of her Republican counterparts. Even her anger sounds manufactured and heavily scripted, because it is politically profitable to sound angry and outraged. Yes, that is electable. But is that leadership? Is that the kind of president that we really want in office?

For my part, the answer is no. We need better, and we deserve better.

Hillary Clinton is on wrong side of everything: Stop telling me I have to vote for her because of the Supreme Court  by H.A. GOODMAN, November 11, 2015:

No comments:

Post a Comment