On the face of it, the title of this article is pure bull crap.
She’s not a reality TV star pretending to be Presidential.
She’s not the top choice of racists and white supremacists everywhere.
And you’re right. She’s none of those things.
If I’m being honest, there are plenty of things Clinton has over Trump.
Moreover, she has been instrumental in pushing forward progressive policies. She championed healthcare reform when it was unpopular to do so. Without her work, it is doubtful we’d have the little reforms we have today. Trump, on the other hand, hasn’t lifted a finger to help the American people accomplish anything – unless you count ogling half naked women on the Miss Universe pageant or getting excited over which D-list celebrity he was going to “fire” on The Apprentice.
However, there is an area where both candidates have significant overlap.
If you remove the names and the personalities, if you ignore political affiliation and past history, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton begin to look very similar.
Who does Trump represent? The 1%.
Who does Clinton represent? The 1%.
It’s really that clear.
In fact, in 2008 Trump famously donated to Clinton’s Presidential campaign. He is exactly the kind of person who wants someone like Clinton in the Oval Office. She would look out for his interests.
Her campaign is financed by Wall Street. Trump IS Wall Street. She was paid exorbitant fees to give private speeches to bankers and stock brokers. One would not be shocked to find Trump in the audience.
Yes, there are differences. One can’t imagine Clinton talking about women with as much arrogant deprecation as Trump. One can’t imagine her suggesting we deport millions of people, that we put all Muslim’s under surveillance, or that many Latinos are murderers and rapists.
But that is exactly what makes her worse. Trump looks like a little dictator (which he is.) Clinton does not.
She appears to be the middle ground. She appears to be the sane candidate – and in some ways she is. But in many of the most important ways that count for Americans living from paycheck-to-paycheck, she isn’t a compromise at all. She’s nearly the same thing.
Imagine two shelves holding poison in a child’s playroom. On one is a purple bottle sporting a skull and crossbones under the word “Poison.” On the other is a bright pink bottle with a smiley face under the word “Candy.” Which is worse?
In my opinion, this is why we desperately need Bernie Sanders in the race. He is an actual option between the corporatist campaigns of Trump and Clinton. He actually gives voters a choice.
In his decades in the House and Senate, Sanders worked tirelessly for the 99%. He voted against the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. He was an open critic of Alan Greenspan insisting the Federal Reserve Chairman was only represented “large and wealthy corporations.” He passed more amendments than any other congressperson getting through amazing amounts of legislation. He worked to overhaul the Veterans Administration and audit the Federal Reserve System.
And we’ve seen how energetically the Democratic establishment is fighting to keep Sanders off the ballot. During the primaries, they’ve tried every dirty trick in the book to suppress votes from their own party to ensure Clinton is the only choice in the general election.
It’s unprecedented. Voters like me who might have supported Clinton had she won the primaries fairly have been completely turned off by the Democrats. How can we support a candidate that we’re told we must vote for? Shouldn’t the Democrats be courting our votes, not forcing them?
This just goes to show the need for a third party. The Democrats have been largely overtaken by neoliberals – what we used to call Republicans. Likewise, the GOP has been overtaken by the worst extremists possible – fascist populists of which Trump is a clear representative.
Who is left for progressive voters? Can we really support a neoliberal like Clinton?
No. The only way for progressives to win is to keep Sanders in the race through the general election. Virtually every poll says he would trounce Trump. Many – but not all – polls likewise say Clinton would beat the Republican front runner, but is that even a contest? If both candidates represent the same constituency, it’s not really a choice.
Few things would be worse than a Trump presidency. He would immediately go after our brown-skinned brothers and sisters. He would make things much more difficult for our sisters, mothers and daughters. And he would crash the economy and engage us in disastrous wars of choice across the globe.
A Clinton presidency on the other hand would not be so obviously apocalyptic. She would continue and worsen neoliberal policies strangling our public institutions. She would continue to privatize our schools and enrich the testing and charter industries. She would continue to lock away the poor and minorities while enriching the private prison industry. She would bolster weak environmental regulations while opening back doors for oil and gas companies to rape our planet. And as the majority of people drown in debt, she would wag her finger and blame the poor for their circumstances without offering a lick of help.
In short, Trump would be a mega-nuclear explosion. Clinton would be nuclear radiation – a silent killer. That’s worse. One kills all at once. The other does so slowly by degrees.
This is not a choice any American should be forced to make.
Fight to keep Sanders in the race.