Who is Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton isn’t so much the lesser of two evils as the evil of two lessers. Neither she nor Trump nor the two of them together would capture the imagination of a semi-aware audience.
This is not to sneer at Americans. There is no reason to believe they are any more ignorant of the nuances of electoral politics than, say, the Irish. Despite the bumbling betrayals, cowardice and monumental incompetence of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, according to the polls, they still command majority support. So a little less laughing at Americans, please.
In the US, the most common observation on the presidential campaign is that each of the front-runners is heartily hated by a majority of the people, Clinton as a liar and a greed-fuelled fraud, Trump as a toxic clown.
Clinton is hugely popular in the Republic and in Nationalist areas of the North. Her husband, pudgy sax-abuser Bill, convincingly accused of groping and rape, is credited with a crucial role in the “peace process.”
Clinton herself has repeatedly lied about her own role. Campaigning against Obama in 2008, she claimed at every stop on the campaign trail that during a visit to Belfast she had brought together Catholic and Protestant women had never previously spoken to one another. Against all the odds, she had pointed the way to a non-sectarian future.
The yarn was false from start to finish. The women concerned were part of the same cross-community group, had been working together for years. The gathering Clinton was referring to was a regular meeting of the group to which Clinton had invited herself.
The most significant fact about this episode was that, far from denouncing her for using the “peace process” for personal political advantage, Nationalist parties fell over one another to insist that she had merely misremembered. Self-evident balderdash. But not a single mainstream newspaper or commentator in Ireland called attention to her contemptible behaviour.
She has been and will be “good for Ireland” is all the excuse they offer, as if this outweighed her obeisance to Wall Street in return for bungs from bankers and hedge-fund hooligans, her kill-crazy approach to America’s wars, and attacks on the victims of sexual assault by people she approves of.
Her true self came through in her grinning response to Gadaffi being sodomised with a bayonet at the side of a road and then beaten and knifed to death. Whatever anyone thinks of Gadaffi, this was a war crime, brazenly televised for all to see.
Clapping her hands and laughing for the cameras, Clinton chortled, “We came, we saw, he died.” Interesting phraseology. At the time, the Obama administration was vehemently denying that American troops had set foot in Libya.
Odd that the Provos who had eagerly grabbed all the guns that Gadaffi would give them, didn’t have a word to say about this. Or maybe not so odd.
On the eve of the Arab Spring, Clinton described Egyptian dictator and torturer Hosni Mubarak as “a family friend.” For once she was telling the truth.
A Right-wing neo-liberal war-monger in hock to the one percent, she’s has largely gotten away with, partly because there is no party to her left with a chance of winning and breaking the dominance of the Republican-Democrat duopoly. A vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein, they say, would really be a vote for Trump. That’s her strongest card.
The other main factor is the betrayals of “alternative” parties and their delivery of votes to candidates they had previously vigorously attacked. Bernie Sanders is now out on the stump appealing to his supporters to back Clinton.
Clinton will get money out of politics, he says by way of excuse, either the stupidest remark in US politics since the last time Trump opened his mouth or, alternatively, a deliberate untruth.
The underlying truth is that if you don’t break definitively with capitalism, you’ll end up in the camp of whichever capitalist gang seems the least offensive. Thus is the system sustained.
If she wins, working class people will continue to bear the brunt of the capitalist crisis, while US wars around the world are likely to escalate. This is not a reason to vote for Trump. But it’s a reason not to vote for Clinton.