Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hillary Relying Al Gore To Appeal to Millennials on Climate Change

You know, it is looking increasingly like Hillary is going to win. There was a time when I would have dreamed of Democrats winning the White House for three straight terms, since I had seen the Republicans do exactly that in the 1980's.

Yet, my enthusiasm has been tempered considerably by the reality of this situation. About the only good thing that came from the Trump-Clinton race this year is the knowledge that one of them will be going away for good. The bad news is that one of them will get the highest office in the land. The most enthusiasm that I can muster about Hillary likely winning it is that she is probably - probably - not quite as bad as Trump. Still, I say that with some reservations, knowing full well that she has connections, that she promised to go to war once she became president, that she has intimate defense contractor ties that should disqualify her from being president, and that, being a Clinton, she seems to be a pathological liar. It's just their thing.

We really could have used somebody with integrity. For a while there, it looked like we might have that, too. But Bernie Sanders had too much going against him - most especially the Democratic party establishment. Had Sanders won (which I think he would have done against the weak candidate now officially cast as the Democratic nominee without the interference of certain people in positions of power who obviously used their influence to affect the results), then we might have finally had a leader in the White House with an ounce of integrity, and who would have put country before themselves and their political ambitions.

Instead, we have Hillary. Many people are excited about this "change," and feel that this is a sign of progress. With a woman being in charge, surely the country is moving forward in a positive direction, no?

Well, not really. After all, Hillary Clinton is going to push forward the corporate agenda that has been increasingly dominant within the American political landscape for decades now. She is not an agent of change, but an agent of the stale political pragmatism that makes lofty sounding speeches advertising enormous accomplishments, even while the actual feel is one of not much going on. This was very much in evidence throughout the Bill Clinton years when, according to him, the economy of the nation was incredibly strong, when he managed to pay off 60% of the national debt, when there were sweeping laws that greatly strengthened environmental standards in the country. That was their version of "forcing the spring." 

A closer look, however, will show that the 60% of the national debt that he boasted of was actually paid off by taking out temporary loans, which is to say that the country, in a very real sense, owed exactly as much as it had before. Just smoke and mirrors. Same with his environmental record, where a huge chunk of the most impressive legislation came in the final three days of his eight years in office, knowing full well that his successor would waste no time doing away with these measures. It was a political gimmick, to make it seem like the Clinton administration did far more than it did, and then being able to make George W. Bush into the bad guy when he did away with these "new" environmental regulations. Oh, and let us not forget the prison reform, which helped to create the "for profit" political system that has seen this country now with more prisoners than any other country in the world. 

It is a tired and old political game, and people have grown sick of this kind of falsehood posing as legitimate leadership. I think that people had grown sick and tired of it particularly after the feeling of being scammed by the sham invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, while being fed the standard lines of fighting for Iraqi freedom, while corporations exploited the oil profits there instead. Also, perhaps even more than the Iraq invasion, people grew very skeptical about the system, political and economic alike, following the near collapse of the economy and the "Great Recession" that followed. CEO's and elite board members went right back to the same practices that had come so close to bankrupting the country in the first place.

And so, right now, Hillary supporters are all giddy about the prospects of a woman being elected president. I see popular videos of celebrities reprimanding people who express skepticism towards Hillary Clinton, with one even going so far as to dismiss concerns about her trustworthiness as "ridiculous."

However, I look at all of the campaign promises that candidate Bill Clinton made, and how far too often, President Bill Clinton did not come through on them. I see the role that he and then First Lady Hillary Clinton played in things like healthcare reform, on paying off the national debt, the environment, establishing the modern for profit prison system, and on generally empowering (rather than fighting) the elitist pro-corporation takeover, and then I look at Hillary Clinton herself since she left the White House (after claiming to be broke once they left it), and her waffling on issues, her support of the Iraq invasion, or the PATRIOT Act, of the bailout, of getting paid a ton of money by the healthcare big leaguers that she used to fight, and how she is getting piles of money from "too big to fail" Wall Street firms, and I worry. Nor do I think it wrong to worry, regardless of how many celebrities reprimand me for doing so. After all, to my mind's eye, this is not a game, where you pick your party or candidate, and ride that horse come what may. This is the running of a country we are talking about here, and we are supposedly electing the best and most qualified public servant to run that country. Both of the major party candidates have big question marks on their record, and it is our job, as informed citizens who vote, to hold their feet to the fire. It worries me that so many of her supporters seem keen on giving her a pass very quickly and easily, as if the only role that they need to play regarding their country is to get her elected, to finally say that they have a woman president, and then let her alone to her agenda, which has always seemed shady to me.

Maybe I am wrong, but my opinion is that she, like Trump, should be scrutinized severely for these failures (as I see them, anyway), so that she feels more pressure from the citizens that she is supposed to represent and act in the name of, rather than going with the convenient political flow, and/or growing far too cozy with moneyed interests.

Let us remember that Hillary Clinton, if she is to be the leader of the land, is supposed to be brave, and not scared to take sides on an issue. She hesitated for a long time before coming out against TPP - the same TPP that she helped to write, and which she did once suggest was the "gold standard" of trade deals. Let us remember that she is in favor of fracking, even as she qualifies it as only the responsible type of fracking, and that she has not taken a position on the Native American protests against the pipeline in Standing Rock. People let her get away with it, time and time again, that kind of waffling, or sitting on the fence. That is why I worry.

Because the first President Clinton was known for making lofty speeches making certain accomplishments that were semi-impressive at best sound instead like the "gold standard" of what we should be doing, and where this country should be headed to. Yet, at the end, the question that we always ask of presidents is not an easy one, that being are we better off now then when they took office in the first place (be it four years ago or eight years).

Right now, the country has recovered somewhat from the disastrous Bush years. Yet, many people live on unlivable wages, many are losing their benefits, or do not have adequate benefits. The country is getting cleaner, but not fast enough, and Hillary waffles on this issue. The country has Obamacare, but there are criticisms from both left and right about Obamacare. There are many, many questions and uncertainties facing the nation, and it seems a good question to me whether we should simply hand over the reins to yet another member of the old political ruling class - one who takes tons of money from those corporate elites who seem to have undue influence over too much of the government.

Hillary Clinton makes me worry about the direction that the country seems to be heading in, but nowhere near as much as the people who never seem to question her judgement or her actions, and who moreover go to such lengths to criticize people like me when we do question. Yes, that troubles me more than anything that the Clintons or Bushes are saying or doing these days. 

Clinton Using Al Gore To Attract Millennials On Climate Change Issue October 6, 2016

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