Hillary Clinton’s anti-feminist & anti-progressive agenda will never have my support

Hillary Clinton’s anti-feminist & anti-progressive agenda will never have my support
by Pauline Park

Hillary Clinton’s supporters depict her as a courageous feminist trying to advance a daringly progressive agenda in the face of Republican opposition; the truth is actually quite the opposite: Hillary is an anti-feminist who has always pursued an anti-progressive agenda from her earliest days as a ‘Goldwater girl.’

To begin at the beginning: Hillary grew up in the lily-white upper middle class Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. It is important to point out that Barry Goldwater was not only the Republican nominee in 1964, he was the most right-wing Republican nominee of his day, part of a conservative movement that used his candidacy to take over the party and transform it into the GOP we know today, so far right-wing that Northeastern liberals like Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javitz and Claiborne Pell could not win nomination to run for any statewide office today, even in New York or New England. In 1964, while Bernie Sanders was on the front lines of the civil rights movement, Hillary Clinton was supporting the Republican presidential nominee who was ridiculing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and calling him a ‘communist.’

Of course, the question is not where Hillary Clinton started out but where she has ended up and where she has been along the way, and her role as First Lady of Arkansas and the United States needs to be taken into account in a comprehensive assessment of her record. Hillary supporters lash out at those who would examine that record as ‘sexist,’ but as First Lady, Hillary was not a purely decorative element in her husband’s administration in Little Rock and later in Washington, D.C.; she was a very public figure and cast herself as an active policy-maker in both administrations; and in fact, the whole rationale for her campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2000 was that she had been a key decision-maker in the Clinton administration; and so what Hillary did in Little Rock and later in Washington in her husband’s administrations are very relevant.

I would just point to her crucial role in advocating for the 1994 crime law that helped accelerate the mass incarceration of people of color — especially African American and Latino men — as well as her public advocacy for the welfare reform legislation that further impoverished millions of poor women and children, disproportionately people of color. As Michelle Alexander has pointed out, the Clinton administration

capitulated entirely to the right-wing backlash against the civil-rights movement and embraced former president Ronald Reagan’s agenda on race, crime, welfare, and taxes—ultimately doing more harm to black communities than Reagan ever did… Bill Clinton presided over the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history… He supported the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine, which produced staggering racial injustice in sentencing and boosted funding for drug-law enforcement. Some might argue that it’s unfair to judge Hillary Clinton for the policies her husband championed years ago. But Hillary… not only campaigned for Bill; she also wielded power and significant influence once he was elected, lobbying for legislation and other measures… In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals… Bill Clinton championed discriminatory laws against formerly incarcerated people that have kept millions of Americans locked in a cycle of poverty and desperation. If you listen closely here, you’ll notice that Hillary Clinton is still singing the same old tune in a slightly different key. I am inclined to believe that it would be easier to build a new party than to save the Democratic Party from itself. (Michelle Alexander, “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote,” the Nation, 2.10.16)

The support that many people of color have offered Hillary Clinton in the course of the 2016 presidential campaign is all the more curious when one considers her use of language that some would call racist, as Marc Charles wrote in April 2016,

Hillary Clinton is using terms like ‘off the reservation,’ and reassuring people that ‘We don’t need to make America great again. America never stopped being great.’ This type of behavior demonstrates she does not understand the systemic racism and blatant oppression that has been endured by people of color throughout the entire history of this nation,” writes Mark Charles, adding, “Unfortunately, the dialogue that is taking place this election cycle is not about broad-based equality or ending racism. The conversation we are having today is about the type of racism we want to settle for” (Mark Charles, “A Native Response to Hillary Clinton’s ‘Off the Reservation’ Comment,” Native News On-Line, 4.30.16)

Is it sheer ignorance of the history of race and ethnicity in the United States? Or was the ‘off the reservation’ comment a racist ‘dog whistle’ as when Hillary asserted that she had a broader base of support than then-Sen. Barack Obama, citing an Associated Press article

that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again,  and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me. There’s a pattern emerging here (Richard Prince, “Hard Working… White Americans,” Maynard Institute, 5.8.08)

The pattern that many people of color saw was that of a privileged white woman casting herself as the champion of white Democrats unwilling to vote for an African American. “Was Hillary channeling George Wallace? Hillary’s reckless exploitation of racial division could split the Democratic Party over race  — a tragic legacy for the  Clintons,” wrote Joe Conason (ibid).  Hillary also aggressively pushed the Republican ‘welfare reform’ bill that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996 that plunged hundreds of thousands of families  — disproportionately African American women and children — from poverty into even deeper poverty as part of a cynical attempt to out maneuver Bob Dole and the Republicans in the lead up to the 1996 election, which Clinton won handily and most likely would have easily won even if Clinton had not signed the crime bill and welfare reform bill into law.

If Hillary supporters rail at those who criticize her policy-making role in the Clinton White House, they refuse to acknowledge the fact that she would never have been considered a credible candidate for the Senate seat of the retiring Daniel Patrick Moynihan had she not claimed to have been a key policy-maker in the Clinton administration. Neither Clinton had ever lived in New York before, and so Hillary was rightly called a ‘carpet bagger’ for moving to Chappaqua just to be eligible to run for the Senate in 2000 with the blessing of Pat Moynihan. Whether former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani could have beaten Hillary we will never know, because he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, leaving the feckless U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio from Long Island to go down to defeat in November of that year.

My own interaction with Hillary came in the form of a request that I and a group of transgender activists made to meet with her before the election and then again after she won in November; her staff refused both requests, even declining to offer a low-level staff member to meet with us to discuss transgender discrimination issues; the second time around, of course, we were not just voters, but constituents of the newly elected Senator, whose refusal to meet with us or even explain her refusal to meet with us alienated not just me but the mostly African American transwomen who were part of our group as well. The fact that Housing Works, one of New York City’s largest social service providers to people living with HIV and AIDS, was part of the group requesting the meeting, seemed to have no impact whatsoever on the willingness of Hillary’s staff to meet with us.

Just as important in creating a lasting impression with me were Hillary Clinton’s responses to questions posed by Lesbian & Gay New York (‘LGNY,’ since renamed ‘Gay City News’) to her in an interview in 2000. Paul Schindler, the newspaper’s editor, asked me if I could suggest a transgender-specific question to pose to the Senate candidate; I suggested that he ask her if she would commit to supporting full transgender inclusion in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the federal hate crimes bill. Taking my suggestion, in an interview on Oct. 4, Schindler (Paul Schindler, “Hillary Clinton Talks to Paul Schindler, 2000“) asked the Senate candidate,

“Do you think the goal of broadening the language for ENDA or broadening language in the hate crimes protection act to include gender expression and gender identity, do you think that’s a practical goal at this point politically?”

To which Hillary responds, “I think we need to try to move ENDA forward. I think ENDA is such an important legislative goal. I think it’s within reach and I think it’s a vehicle for widening the circle of rights and freedoms and responsibilities and I would really focus on trying to get that passed.”

“In other words, no effort at this point at amending?”

“I don’t see at this point that that would be in the best interest of moving the agenda forward.”

After another go around on this question, Schindler then asks, “One of the things that the transgender community points to is that, for example, on hate crimes in New York State, the entire coalition for hate crimes held out to have gays and lesbians included in it. We would have had a hate crimes bill in New York long ago if it had only been for religion and so forth. But everyone hung tough on that. But what the transgender community is saying now is, ‘Wouldn’t that approach be appropriate for them as well?’ in other words, don’t do it piecemeal, include everybody and then move forward.”

“Well no one who’s a leader in the gay and lesbian community has asked me to do that. I think there’s an understood recognition of the political reality. So for me it’s a priority to try to get ENDA passed, which is what I will work on.”

Transgendered people suffer pervasive discrimination, transgendered people of color in particular, and it was shocking to me to see Hillary dismiss transgender discrimination altogether in her comments in her October 2000 interview with LGNY; what was especially appalling was her response to the question about supporting inclusion of gender identity and expression in ENDA and the hate crimes bill: “no one who’s a leader in the gay and lesbian community has asked me to do that.” Well, it should not be up to gay and lesbian gatekeepers to decide whether transgendered people should be protected from discrimination and all the more so given that the gay and lesbian ‘leaders’ Hillary talks to are wealthy and powerful members of the gay political establishment, many of them millionaires and almost all of them white and at least upper middle class.

Even when she caught onto the increasingly common and more inclusive usage of ‘LGBT’ community, as senator and later as secretary of state, Hillary almost never addressed transgender discrimination as a stand-alone issue apart from the broader LGBT umbrella.

It is worth pointing out that Hillary not only supported the discriminatory bill that became known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993 but also the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that Clinton signed into law in 1996 — the only legislation specifically institutionalizing discrimination against LGBT people ever signed into law by any president in US history. And Hillary not only supported that legislation but aggressively defended it for years with language that far exceeded what was necessary to justify DOMA purely in terms of political expediency.

Hillary only came out for same-sex marriage when she began her second campaign for president and after Obama himself had come out in favor of marriage equality, and he only did some when it became clear that he would have a hard time raising money in the LGBT community for his 2012 election campaign if his administration was still supporting DOMA.

And as late as May 2016, when Hillary was almost assured of winning the Democratic presidential nomination, she refused to respond to a questionnaire from a transgender advocacy organization; as Kevin Gosztola reported on May 24,

Trans United Fund received a call from a Clinton campaign representative a full two weeks after the campaign had committed to complete the survey, explaining that the survey was ‘too long’ and the campaign did not have the appropriate resources to complete it in a timely manner. The Sanders campaign completed the questionnaire completely and on time (Kevin Gosztola, “Transgender Group ‘Perplexed’ At Why Clinton Won’t Fill OutQuestionnaire,” Shadowproof, 5.24.16).

As Gosztola put it so trenchantly, “For a ‘frontrunner’ Democratic presidential candidate, who has cast herself as the inevitable nominee, it’s hard to comprehend how the campaign could not have found time to answer some questions important to trans people.” Hillary has been at best a follower, not a leader, when it comes to LGBT rights, and for most of her career, an opponent of LGBT rights.

Of course, there are those who not only insist upon but demand that women support Hillary simply because she’s a woman, though it is difficult to see why simply being female alone should compel anyone’s support; after all, Carly Fiorina ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 but got no support from Gloria Steinem, Madeleine Albright, Joan Walsh or the legion of pseudo-feminists moving in lockstep behind the Clinton machine. The truth is that most women who come to power not only in the United States but in other countries around the world do so through a masculinist discourse of power, Margaret Thatcher being a case in point; Ronald Reagan famously called her ‘the best man in England.’ I lived in London for two years during a crucial period in Thatcher’s career; I was there when she declared war on Argentina over the Falkland Islands (‘las Malvinas’), with profound consequences for the United Kingdom as well as for Argentina, and the prime minister was compared by the British and world media to Boadicea (Boudicca) and other warrior queens of yore. But Thatcher’s direction of the war was far from heroic; in fact, her order to sink the General Belgrano was arguably a war crime. Thatcher also branded Nelson Mandela a ‘terrorist,’ despite his heroic efforts to challenge South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime.

One could mention many other women who have risen to the highest office in the land, including the first female prime ministers of Israel and India; Golda Meir denied the very existence of Palestinians, including Palestinian women, and Indira Gandhi forcibly sterilized poor men and women, hardly orthodox feminism.  There is an ironic parallel between Hilary and Park Geun-hye, who served as acting First Lady of the Republic from 1974-79 when her father was president, the dictator Park Chung-hee, who was assassinated in 1979, later going on to become the first woman elected president of the Republic of Korea in 2012. A contemporary of Hillary’s, Park alienated large sections of the Korean public with her war on labor and her authoritarian style of rule, proving through her behavior and her policies that the first woman elected president of a democracy can be both anti-feminist and profoundly anti-progressive (Hankyoreh editorial, “Democracy sorely missing from Park’s inaugural address,” 2.26.13).

Closer to home, Carly Fiorina withdrew from the Republican contest after failing to et even one percent in the New Hampshire primary in January; but before her withdrawal, neither Gloria Steinem nor any other Hillary supporter suggested that women should support Fiorina’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination despite the fact that she is just as much a woman as Hillary Clinton; Steinem’s lack of support for Fiorina speaks as much to the inconsistency and contradiction of the ‘feminists’ supporting Hillary as to the rigor of their feminism. In fact, Gloria Steinem was rebuked by feminists across the country for declaring (with no evidence whatsoever) that the only reason young women were supporting Bernie Sanders in droves was because they were looking for dates with young ‘Bernie Bros’; if Donald Trump had said that, he would have been rightly excoriating for such a deeply misogynist assertion.

The first woman elected governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin is anything but a feminist, and she became something of a national laughingstock for her bizarre pronouncements as John McCain’s Republican running mate in 2008. But Palin is a woman, and at no time has Steinem ever proposed support for Palin’s election either as vice-president or as president; it is difficult to see how either Carly Fiorina’s election as the first woman president or Sarah Palin’s would be any less ‘historic’ than Hillary Clinton’s. Nonetheless, Madeleine Albright went so far as to say that “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women,” condemning women who voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries to everlasting hellfire and damnation, a curious theology to affirm; but Albright did not support Sarah Palin for vice-president in 2008 or Carly Fiorina for president in 2016, so it is difficult to see how Albright could escape eternal torment in the flames of hell any more than any other woman who supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton’s record on women’s issues is appalling by any standard. Hillary she supported Barack Obama’s mass deportations of Latino immigrants, deportations so enormous that La Raza dubbed him the ‘Deporter in Chief.’ Obama deported more than twice as many undocumented immigrants as George W. Bush and by some counts, more than all previous presidents combined. Hillary did not begin to distance herself from these deportations until she began her campaign for president (Betsey Woodruff, “Hillary Clinton’s Child-Deportation Flip-Flop,” Politico, 3.11.16). In a March 10 Democratic presidential debate, Hillary declared that as president she would not deport children,  prompting Betsey Woodruff to write,

Clinton struggled mightly to communicate last night that deporting children is bad… Just two months ago… Clinton defended the practice of deporting children… and less than two years before that, Clinton argued passionately that undocumented children in the United States be subject to deportation… she told Christian Amanpour that children fleeing from violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala shouldn’t be able to stay in the U.S. (Betsey Woodruff, “Hillary Clinton’s Child-Deportation Flip-Flop,” Politico, 3.11.16).

Speaking of Honduras, as secretary of state, Hillary supported the 2009 coup d’état that overthrew the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. The coup that Hillary supported brought a brutal military dictatorship to power and has made Honduras one of the most violent countries on earth, and as secretary of state, Hillary continued to support the junta despite its persecution of women, feminists, artists, LGBT people, indigenous people, environmental activists and political dissidents of all kinds, and she persuaded Barack Obama to resume US aid to Honduras despite the fact that the resumption of such aid was a violation of US law as well as a breach of international law.  In March 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated almost certainly on the orders of the junta (“Remembering Berta Cáceres , Assassinated Honduras Indigenous & Environmental Leader,” Democracy Now, 5.4.16). A leading environmental and indigenous rights activist, Cáceres held Hillary personally responsible for the violence and repression under the junta (“Before Her Assassination, Berta Cáceres Singled Out Hillary Clinton for Backing Honduran Coup,” Democracy Now, 5.11.16).

But the coup in Honduras was not the only one that Hillary supported as secretary of state; she also supported the coup d’état in Egypt, which has proved to be a disaster for the country (Yahia Hamed, “Egypt’s coup has plunged the country into catastrophe,” Guardian, 3.16.14), plunging it into a miasma of corruption, brutal repression and despair. As in Honduras, Obama and Hillary resumed US aid to Egypt in direct contravention of US law, which prohibits continuing aid to a military junta brought to power in a coup.

It was in neighboring Libya that Hillary had her biggest impact as secretary of state, but it is not a legacy that she is eager to talk about. While Republican members of Congress have focused obsessively on Benghazi, which was so obviously a disaster for which Hillary was fully responsible as secretary of state, they have missed the forest for the trees. It was the Libya intervention as a whole that was the real catastrophe, and one which Hillary is primarily responsible, pushing Obama into the ill-fated war against his better judgment. The Gaddafi regime’s attacks on innocent civilians in eastern Libya certainly provided a rationale for a no-fly zone of some sort, but Hillary’s US/NATO intervention repeated the folly of Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq (which she aggressively supported), decapitating the regime and leaving a power vacuum which al-Qaeda and ISIS (‘Da’esh’) have filled.

Other than turning Libya into a failed state, it was in Bahrain that Hillary had perhaps the biggest impact. As secretary of state, Hillary approved the brutal crackdown on the popular uprising against the despotic Bahraini regime in 2011 in which the dictatorship even arrest, imprisoned, tortured and murdered doctors and nurses who tended to the wounded pro-democracy activists who participated in the uprising.

Next door, Hillary encouraged Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen in a war that continues to this day with the full support of the Obama administration, with Saudi fighter jets dropping bombs on hospitals, schools and houses and apartment buildings in Sana and elsewhere in Yemen (“As Saudis Continue Deadly Bombing of Yemen, Is Obama Trading Munitions for Riyadh’s Loyalty?,” Democracy Now, 4.21.16). An International Business Times investigation  revealed an astonishing conflict of interest on Hillary’s part:

Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IB Times analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure… represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term. The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143% increase in complete sales to those nations over the same time  frame during the Bush administration (David Sirota and Andrew Perez, “Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department,” International Business Times, 5.26.15).

Not insignificant is the fact that these regimes are all undemocratic to say the least, including Saudi Arabia, one of the most despotic regimes on earth, whose record on human rights is appalling; Saudi women cannot vote in national elections and are not even allowed to drive; and LGBT people have been executed by the regime for same-sex relations and crossdressing, according to human rights organizations. One need also note that Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights not only did not improve during Hillary’s tenure of secretary of state but actually worsened.

Hillary Clinton’s supporters claim she is the most qualified person ever to run for president, but her support for Israeli apartheid and genocide disqualifies her entirely in my view. In a letter to fellow Methodists considering support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, Hillary denounced BDS as ‘anti-Semitic’ and declared, “We must never tire in defending Israel’s legitimacy” (Maggie Habermas, “Hillary Clinton Criticizes Group Advocating Boycott Against Israel,” New York Times, 5.10.16). Michelle Goldberg aptly called Hillary’s speech at the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention on March 21 ‘a symphony of craven, delusional pandering’ (Michelle Goldberg, “Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC Speech Was a Symphony of Craven, Delusional Pandering,” Slate, 3.21.16), in which Hillary declared, “We have to be united in fighting back against BDS,” equating BDS with ‘anti-Semitism’ (Ryan Teague Beckwith, “Read Hillary Clinton’s Speech to AIPAC,” Time, 3.21.16), this, despite the fact that the governments of Sweden, Ireland and the Netherlands have officially recognized BDS as legitimate and constitutionally protected speech (Kevin Squires, “Ireland latest EU state to defend BDS,” Electronic Intifada, 5.28.16).

While Donald Trump and Ted Cruz spoke at AIPAC and mouthed the usual Zionist machine talking points as Hillary, she alone among all the presidential candidates speaking at AIPAC specifically named the BDS movement as the enemy, and a candidate who specifically and explicitly slanders the movement for justice and human rights for all in Israel/Palestine with false allegations of anti-Semitism has fully disqualified herself as a candidate for any public office, let alone that of president of the United States (Steven Klein, “America Must Tell Israel: Annexing the West Bank Is Our Red Line” (Ha’aretz, 5.8.16). While Bernie Sanders’ pronouncements on Israel fall far short of what they could and should be, it is worth noting that he is the first major party presidential candidate to publicly criticize Israel at all in the course of a presidential contest (Jason Horowitz and Maggie Haberman, “A Split Over Israel Threatens the Democrats’ Hopes for Unity,” New York Times, 5.25.16); contrast that with Hillary’s shilling for apartheid Israel, her open support for the Israeli war of genocide in Gaa in 2014 and her declaration that destroying the BDS movement as a priority of her presidency, and there is simply no rational argument for any progressive to support Hillary over Bernie.

Even beyond Hillary Clinton’s colossal failure as secretary of state and her outrageous support for Israeli apartheid and genocide is the issue of her character, and her willingness to subvert the law and lie repeatedly about her many violations of it should be troubling to anyone who thinks that the character as well as the judgment of a president matters. Hillary is the only secretary of state ever to have set up a private server secretly in the basement of her house in order to evade clear State Department rules and then attempt to mislead the public about the subterfuge. On May 25, the Inspector General of the State Department issued a report, declaring,

At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act (Julian Hattem, “Watchdog: Clinton, top aides did not comply on records policy,” The Hill, 5.25.16)

Destroying government documents is a serious crime and repeatedly lying about such behavior is an indictment of Hillary Clinton’s character, even if it were the case that every single one of the 32,000 e-mail messages that she destroyed was about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding planning, which is of course a completely implausible assertion.

(A.J. Vicens, “State Department Inspector General Finds Hillary Clinton Violated Recordkeeping Rules,” Mother Jones, 5.25.16).

As Amy Chozick put it so trenchantly in her May 25 news report for the New York Times, “Voters just don’t trust her,” noting that

After months of Mrs. Clinton’s saying she used a private email for convenience, and that she was willing to cooperate fully with investigations into her handling of official business at the State Department, the report, delivered to Congress on Wednesday, undermined both claims (Amy Chozick, “Emails Add to Hillary Clinton’s Central Problem: Voters Just Don’t Trust Her,” New York Times, 5.25.16)

Far from being a partisan Republican ‘witch hunt,’ the report was issued by the inspector general of the State Department, an Obama appointee and one-time subordinate to Hillary Clinton, reporting to Congress that Hillary refused to meet with him and the State Department staff conducting the review; her campaign’s statement issued after the report was widely reported on in the media was that she was waiting to be interviewed by the FBI; but that is of course absurd on its face because the FBI has never precluded her from meeting with the inspector general’s office and one would imagine would strongly support the former secretary cooperating with it.

Hillary is now viewed rightly by an overwhelming majority of Americans as dishonest and untrustworthy (Jeff Jacoby, “In Clinton, Americans Don’t Trust,” Boston Globe, 5.31.16). Part of that perception may be because of her corruption. Since leaving office as president and secretary of state, Bill and Hillary Clinton have cashed in on public office in a way absolutely unprecedented in American history. Hillary alone has received more than $22 million in speaking fees, while Bill Clinton “has earned more than $132 million in speaking fees, in addition to book royalties and other income. The Clintons’ most recent financial-disclosure forms show that he earned nearly $2.7 million in fees for speaking to audiences that included financial-industry firms, after she announced her candidacy,” writes Amy Davidson (Amy Davidson, “Bill Problems: As Donald Trump attacks both Clintons, it’s like 1992 all over again,” New Yorker, 6.6.16). Can you imagine George Washington or Abraham Lincoln raking in $132 million in speaking fees after leaving office? Or Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson?

One of the most disturbing facts about Hillary is that she is bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. As Charlie Cray wrote in a report for Greenpeace,

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign (‘Hillary for America’) has received $147,840 in direct contributions from 65 fossil fuel lobbyists and $2,502,740 in bundled contributions by fossil fuel lobbyists. Combined, the total direct and bundled contributions from 65 oil/coal/gas lobbyists to Clinton’s campaign is at least $2,650,580 (Charlie Cray, Fossil Fuel Lobbyists’ Contributions to the Clinton Campaign, Greenpeace.org, 4.22.16).

Despite the overwhelming evidence of Hillary’s dishonesty and corruption as well as anti-progressive politics and sheer incompetence, her supporters insist that we all have an obligation to support her for the Democratic nomination and if she wins that, vote for her in the general election. And this is one of the most curious aspects of the Hillary Clinton campaign: is the binary opposition being constructed by her supporters as well as those of Donald Trump, both of whom use the other as a bogeyman with which to frighten wavering voters. But the fact is, we do not have a national election for president but rather fifty state elections (plus the District of Columbia, etc.) in which voters elect representatives to the electoral college. Of all the states, New York is one of the ‘bluest,’ reliably Democratic in every election since the Reagan landslide of 1984; so the argument in favor of Hillary, already weak, looks even weaker when one looks at the bluest and reddest of the states. While it is true that Trump’s unusual if not to say bizarre candidacy may well scramble the red/blue picture that we have been used to for the last few decades, the fact is that no one thinks that 2016 will be a 49-state blow-out like 1984 or 1972. In such circumstances, the demand by Democratic partisans that progressives support an anti-progressive candidate such as Hillary Clinton becomes even less persuasive for those living and voting in the ‘safest’ Democratic and Republican states.

Polls show Hillary beating Trump by margins of 80%-20% or even greater, so the notion that my vote for Jill Stein on the Green Party line would throw the election to Trump is simply absurd. One could point out the illogic of that logic by arguing that a vote for Jill Stein is not only not a vote for Donald Trump but is in fact a vote against Donald Trump as well as Hillary Clinton. I intend to vote for Jill Stein in November not merely as a ‘protest’ vote but as an expression of my values and the principles of progressive politics that are at the heart of my own activism and life’s work. A vote for Hillary Clinton would be nothing less than a betrayal of progressive principles and the social justice that I have been pursuing for over twenty years now.

Pauline Park led the campaign for the transgender rights law enacted by the New York City Council in 2002 and participated in the first US LGBTQ delegation tour of Palestine in 2012; she keynoted the Queer Korea Festival preceding the Seoul Pride Parade in 2015, the largest event in the history of the LGBT community in Korea. Park did her M.Sc. in European studies at the London School of Economics & Political Science and her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

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