Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weak Arguments About Hillary's Qualifications

It looks like this election is just about decided now. We are headed towards the outcome that looked inevitable all along: a Hillary Clinton landslide so that finally, Donald Trump can crawl back from under the rock where he came from to begin with.

However, all of this brouhaha over the behavior of the idiotic King of Orange very conveniently allowed Hillary Clinton and the Democrats to avoid some very unsavory headlines of their own, had they been forced to confront a more serious political opponent. When you have a clown drawing all of the attention to himself, it really was up to Hillary to just point out to people how bad of an idea it would be to elect that guy as president. The problem with this line of argument is that it does not justify voting for Hillary. 

One thing that has absolutely irritated me during this most obnoxious election season in recent memory is the notion that because Donald Trump is such a damn horrendous candidate - and loudly draws attention to his own pathetic behavior, to boot - that this makes Hillary the "good guy."

Frankly, that could not be farther from the truth. 

The scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton are well known, and I am not referring to Benghazi, which was a ridiculous, largely fabricated assertion that she was somehow responsible for the tragic events that took the lives of American diplomats in a destabilized and volatile country that was going through a revolution. 

No, that was overblown, but many of the other scandals involving Hillary and/or the rest of the Clintons are not at all overblown. First of all, the Republicans have a point as far as Bill Clinton's own indiscretions and deplorable behavior when it comes to his marital infidelities. I did not feel that this was a big deal back when he was president, and felt that it was actually meant as a distraction issue, more than anything. Yet, the way that the Clintons and their supporters now talk about Trump's own lewd behavior makes the hypocrisy glaringly obvious. Would you feel comfortable leaving your own teenage daughter in the presence of Donald Trump or Bill Clinton? 

Next, we go to the email scandal, which got bigger and bigger as it got along. What stuck out for me, more than the behavior that got reprimanded as extremely careless and detrimental to the nation, was Bill Clinton's meeting with Loretta Lynch on the tarmac of a Phoenix airport, which was quickly followed by all potential charges against Hillary Clinton being dropped. That was extremely fishy, and makes the Clintons look like they are above the law. The rules that apply to the rest of us do not apply to them. 

There are the shady connection with defense contractors, the missing sums of money from the Clinton Foundation, the Whitewater deal, the hundreds of thousands that she received from Wall Street firms as speaking fees, the millions that she received from Wall Street banks for her campaign, And let us not even get into her judgment, which has allowed her to completely reverse her beliefs on healthcare, where she once advocated for a single-payer, universal healthcare system, but now wants much slower change (and let's not forget the millions that she gets from the healthcare industry, not coincidentally). Or the vote for war in Iraq. Or the vote for the PATRIOT Act. Or the vote for the bailout. Or how she had a hand in drawing up the unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and held it up as the "gold standard" of trade deals, even though she mysteriously stood opposed to it once it became a political liability.

Now, I should mention that got me on this particular topic today was a Facebook post from a friend who mentioned that she (my friend, that is) is "officially" done with the "she's so flawed but she's the lesser of two evils" argument. This post goes on to suggest that she holds Hillary as a virtual rock star.

The problem with this argument is that she is more than "flawed,"and that holding her up as some kind of savior or rock star is letting her off the hook for a great many wrongs. In short, this attitude is what is eroding democracy. Hillary Clinton is much more than merely "flawed," she is downright corrupt. After all, she "won" the Democratic nomination by asking for, and receiving, help from the Democratic party establishment. The problem is that these practices are illegal. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz is only the most famous name and face of this absurd interference with the Democratic process, as there were plenty of others. She fell on her sword, yet was generously rewarded for her work by none other than Hillary Clinton herself, who quickly made her an honorary member of her campaign before the dust had settled on the allegations against Wasserman-Schultz. That's pretty transparent. Of course, there were numerous cases of voters being taken off the voting lists and/or being turned away on election day, as well as numerous voting places that were closed for the Democratic primaries. Also, numerous state primaries were closed to Democrats only, despite being funded by the general public, which seems pretty damn anti-democratic. All of this added up to an illegitimate win, marking Hillary in the same class as another notorious election "winner" in 2000, George W. Bush, who lost the general election and had the right people in the right places to nonetheless assure his "victory." Yes, George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton both benefited from being political insiders with the right connections to assure that the democratic process could be thwarted if it happened to be an inconvenient obstacle to higher office. 

It frustrates me that her fans seem to think of her as truly the best person out there for the job of president. Not only do they not acknowledge any of these serious "flaws," which seem to me to be better classified as not just major character flaws, but as downright conflicts of interest that should disqualify her from her relentless pursuit of the highest office in the land. Frankly, I am still not convinced that Donald Trump ever seriously wanted to be president in the first place, and his absurd and over-the-top campaign could not have been better suited to make Hillary appear as the "safe" and "stable" choice.

The Clintons are, essentially, what Republicans should be, in terms of their political stance. It truly is a statement of where we are as a country that the corporate agenda has pushed the country so far to the right that any insinuations that someone is "liberal" is seen as a stain, and that the word itself is viewed almost like a bad word. Donald Trump might have represented the closest that this country has flirted with outright fascism, and surely it is the closest such instance in recent history, but the Clintons represent the far more subtle, and perhaps far more dangerous, slow strangulation of democracy, and the triumph of corporate supremacy and the oligarchy. That is why the scandals involving the Clintons (other than the sex scandals, that is) matter. Because these scandals serve as evidence of just how easily powerful and highly influential politicians can be swayed, and can be made to do the bidding of their corporate masters. Unfortunately, the Clintons have managed to be particularly effective and influential in how they manage to twist facts around, and to package the harsh reality of a corporate agenda in more pleasant packaging for the American consumer. 

Honestly, I cannot even see what it is that people like about her. Decades ago, it was more understandable. But in this day and age, with a very long track record to go on, how is it that people can overlook the numerous times that Hill and Bill bent the rules to make sure that they would come out on top? After all, they are supposed to be public servants, but they really do not know the meaning of that. How do you get as rich as they have gotten when you supposedly devote your life to public service? How do her supporters not ask more questions about all of the scandals, the investigations and the shady deals that seem to follow the Clintons around like dark shadows everywhere that they go?

Here is the link to the post that got me on this topic today:

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