Jun. 11th, 2016


This is a good article, but I'm not sure if makes a strong case against *progressive* criticism of Clinton. It makes a strong argument to Clinton being better than Trump, and that Republican objections to her (at least relative to Trump, or Jeb Bush) is logically unsound. Full marks there.

It makes a strong overall case for Clinton being more honest than most politicians, and experienced, and being unfairly punished for being a woman - and this applies across the political spectrum. Again, well done.

But it seems to be trying to coast on that to "and democrats should love her too." When it claims that "The fact that these views [from left and right] could not possibly apply to the same person does not seem to give either side pause," it fails to take pause itself and consider that, for people on the left, she might be uncomfortably centrist relative to other options. And in this, this article, like many other articles, falls into the trap of false appeals of progressive unity,

For a lot of people, myself included, the evaluation comes down to what policies Clinton will implement *as compared to other alternatives on the left.* She's in favour of abortion access and has a stance on gun control that is in line with the bare minimum for most countries, and these are plusses. But on other issues, how does she stack up against alternatives like Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein (and, fingers crossed, Elizabeth Warren for VP - who is like the political frame of Sanders and the experience of Clinton combined) - not to mention the #1 Clinton alternative above all - Hillary Clinton as she stands with a few simple campaign modifications. And in this realm, Clinton (or current-Clinton) is not as strong as the alternatives, and, worse, she, and the media that supports her, seems to show little interest in addressing her own shortcomings:

1. For example, while this article makes a strong case for the value of speaking gigs, it fails to explain why, despite her "looking into it" she won't make their content public. This seems trivial, and it pales compared to Trump (while also raising the question of who would pay Trump to speak for them, and who would trust someone who makes that decision with any other decision) but it's suspect within the larger context. Like Clinton, it also fails to address where her campaign money is coming from - a problem that Sanders and Stein do not have. Admittedly Stein doesn't have a lot of money and has 0% chance of winning, but the fact that this correlation is normal points to how much we've gotten used to the system of legalized bribery that is "campaign contributions." This is fixable. Yet she won't fix it.

2. For me, this article, like Clinton, fails to address the idea of political dynasties and the concentration of power along class and blood lines that comes with them. I'm willing to give Clinton a cautious pass on this *because* she is a woman and until now she simply could not have run for president and won. If she could have done so in the 90s, Bill would have been first husband and that would have been as good a presidency if not a considerably better one because I think she's a better option than Bill, and I don't think the Republicans could have spun the VP sleeping around into the fiasco that The Sex Trials became. But if were she Bill's brother or some other male relative, I'd want her off the ticket. Still, as it stands, for a country in the midst of a runaway class system to choose a president who further cements an aristrocracy strikes me as a problem. Yes, again, she's "not as bad as Trump," but how does she stack up to other options, including a reflective verison of herself.

3. Most glaringly, this article, like Clinton herself, fails to address her comfort with the status quo of American militarism - which is a HUGE drawback as the US's joyful habit of blowing its riches on an army drives the globe to waste national resources on arming up, diverts money away from things we actually need, kills a lot of innocent people, and perpetuates imperialism. Consider the US "military status quo" campaign policy reframed: "We're in debt and have an ongoing healthcare crisis, so let's keep spending one sixth of our budget on war despite the fact that it's kind of weird for a country with 5% of the population to have 35% of the global war budget, then use our army for spurious reasons, then watch what happens when everyone else realizes that if they don't follow our example, they might get invaded, if not by us, then by someone competing with us." What kind of a political system - and what kind of a candidate for "most powerful person on Earth" - lets this fly unchallenged?

All I want from Clinton is a small amount of movement on #1 and #3, and perhaps, in an ideal world, an acknowledgement of #2 (easily framed as "at least I'm not Bush - ha ha") and I'll take time off from work to come and campaign for her. I don't think this is much to ask. Until then, I resent this and other articles' (and, for that matter, every other worldly instance of) disingenuous appeal to progressive unity - i.e. "Anyone who doesn't shelve their concerns and get onside is motivated by and helping The Other Side." I believe that I can't, and shouldn't, trust a leader who lacks the ability to listen to simple obvious criticisms and make minimal change.

As a US citizen, I will still vote for her. I acknowledge that the US Presidential election is anomalous compared to most of my decision-making as in every other case, from groceries to voting, I have at least two viable choices that are "Not Trump." Here this is not the case, and I agree with the article that she has that going for her. But, in my opinion, she is by her own ongoing choices, demonstrating that she is not a "good" president. Merely an okay one. And if she loses votes because she is too inert to address simple, gender-egalitarian, valid, and rational concerns, she will have brought that on herself.



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