The political theater in Philadelphia is over, and “liberals” have received their marching orders: we’re supposed to put our faith in a pro-war, pro-Wall Street, pro-fracking, pro-TPP, pro-incarceration former board member of Wal-Mart. We are even supposed to be grateful, to have such a “qualified” candidate who will save us from the scourge of Donald Trump.
Long gone are the days of hope, optimism and a better tomorrow. Fear alone will drive Americans to the polls in November.
We really are witnessing something spectacular. In 2008, Obama rode a wave of ecstatic enthusiasm for economic equality at home and a more sane foreign policy abroad. Obama offered concrete promises that Americans rallied behind:Pulling out of Iraq, closing Gitmo, renegotiating NAFTA, holding Wall Street accountable ― the list goes on and on.
Of course, few if any of the promises were kept. Troops are now being sent back into Iraq; instead of renegotiating NAFTA, Obama is now pushing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, “NAFTA on steroids”; Gitmo remains open as detainees, held without charge, continue to wither away; not a single Wall Street crook has seen the inside of a prison cell; the ever-growing gap between rich and poor ― inherited from Bush ― continues to grow. It’s been an underwhelming eight years, to say the least.
But good heavens, at least Obama recognized that Americans were hungry for change. What is Hillary offering us?
There is a popular myth that Bernie Sanders has inspired Hillary to shift to the left. It’s utter rubbish. In June she was asked to “name one policy area where she has been influenced by Bernie Sanders. She is unable to do so, but thanks Sanders for his ‘passion.’” How reassuring.
As one Huffington Post commentator wrote back in February:
Even putting aside the Clinton ties to Wall Street and her embarrassingly destructive policies for poor people and the shrinking middle class, my No.1 fear (and many of the people who I know who are voting for Bernie) is that we’re putting in another War Hawk, someone even worse than Obama, who by the way dropped more than 23,000 bombs on predominantly Muslim countries in the last calendar year.
If Clinton has proved anything over her last couple years in the political spotlight, it’s that she is ready to be more aggressive, more violent and more unforgiving in her military worldview than any “liberal” president we’ve had in recent memory.
Let’s be clear here: Even on domestic issues ― economic justice, bank regulation, welfare, the War or Drugs, just to name a few ― Hillary does not have a promising track record. And on foreign policy, she is a complete disaster. There’s a very good reason why Robert Kagan and other prominent neocons support Hillary ― and are even fundraising for her:
The way they described Clinton’s foreign policy vision suggested that if elected president in November, she will escalate tensions with Russia, double down on military belligerence in the Middle East, and generally ignore the American public’s growing hostility to intervention.
“If, as I hope, Hillary Clinton is elected, she is going to immediately be confronting a country that is not where she is,” he said. “She is a believer in this world order. But a great section of the country is not and is going to require persuasion and education.”
Sloat agreed, arguing that “it’s dangerous” for people to draw anti-interventionist lessons from Libya and Iraq.
What an incredibly revealing statement. Hillary is pro-war, which the neocons love; the fact that most Americans are tired of pointless, illegal wars will “require persuasion and education.” How’s that for hope and change? Or “better together”?
There’s nothing pragmatic about voting for Hillary out of fear of a Trump presidency. We’re getting a raw deal either way.