Activism, opinion, Policies

Hillary Clinton is a Threat to Progressivism

What makes Hillary so much more dangerous to democracy and the progressive movement in general –far more than any Republican candidate– is that some people, people who still consider themselves Democrats, will begin to accept things that they simply would not otherwise accept from any Republican.

They will accept the fact that she sends us to fight in unjustified wars. They will accept the fact that she doesn’t go after the financial institutions and lobbyists that are destroying the middle class. They will accept horrible trade agreements that profit the rich and take away millions of jobs. They will accept it, and they will rationalize it. They will argue ferociously about it and say things like “yeah but republicans did this too! Republicans did it even worse!!” And all the while, they will forget that two wrongs have never made a right.

How do I know this will happen? Because they’re already doing it. They’re already rationalizing these things right now. They make excuses for her Iraq war vote. They discover reasons to justify why she’s been bought off by the banks. They ignore the blatant election rigging that has been well-documented throughout the entire primary cycle. They find excuses for the justified criticisms of her record rather than holding her accountable for these failures of judgement…And that’s how progressives will finally have lost. That’s when we become no different than Republicans.

At least with a Republican president, people will have the courage to fight against these things. They won’t rationalize them simply because the person they voted for had the right letter in front of their name. At least with a Republican president, people will protest, they will march, they will rally, they will write letters to congressmen. At least if a Republican becomes president, people will undoubtedly be reminded of why it’s important to participate in democracy.

While everyone worries about worst case scenarios if Hillary loses in the general and a Republican becomes president, they’re completely ignoring the bigger time bomb:what happens if she were to actually win the presidency in 2016? If Hillary becomes president, mired in scandal and starting out with one of the lowest nationwide approval ratings of any candidate running (even among voters from her own party), she will effectively be able accomplish nothing for four years. Democrats, in a repeat of 2014, will likely lose even more seats in congress. And without a candidate willing to challenge her incumbent bid in 2020, will lose the White House as an increasing number of Independent voters (the biggest voting bloc in the entire country) come to tire of Democratic politics as usual, and her numerous (even if unfounded) scandals.

“Yeah but she will get to name a Supreme Court justice.”

Let’s think this through for a moment. Right now, Merrick Garland is a moderate nominee around whom some have serious doubts as to his willingness to overturn Citizens United. Obama (who nominated Garland) is considered even more liberal than Hillary. That being said, Hillary likely nominates one, maybe two other moderate-to-conservative-leaning justices, all of whom being selected under the influence of her proud conservative roots and ties to companies like Walmart and Goldman Sachs. These justices, who will likely have little interest in getting money out of politics, would also probably reflect Clinton’s stance on toxic energy policies, her support of fracking, and her comfort in taking millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry.

If that’s not bad enough, during her four years the country loses even more precious time with essentially no specific movement on climate change, disastrous trade agreements like the TPP and NAFTA which she’s supported, reckless and costly foreign policy decisions like the many she’s already made thoughout her career, to go along with scandal after scandal which serve only to distract the public discourse from addressing the most important issues of the 21st century.

Liberals who are worried about losing to a lame duck candidate like Trump need to start asking themselves a few questions: what happens when Democrats effectively lose even more seats in Congress in 2018, and give up the White House in 2020? What happens when the Democratic Party becomes even more splintered as remaining Clinton backers continue to argue with Bernie progressives who have become completely fed up with saying “we told you so.”

 

1 Comment

  1. An excellent article. I can think of other issues that I would add to that, but the ones mentioned are very valid food for thought. Do we just keep voting for the lesser of two evils and hope that some day we can see change? I won’t be around that long. I want it now—not for myself, but for my children, grandchildren, and other human beings.