It’s weird that you title the article in a way that makes us (the readers) think you’re about to cast doubt on Bernie’s integrity, and then spend most of the article writing that Hillary isn’t as bad as we think she is. But you know what? Let’s dive in:
Intro: First of all I disagree with your premise, that Bernie uses Wall-Street as a single-note rallying cry. He mentions Wall Street a lot, but a greater theme of his campaign was disenfranchisement of the middle and working class. In the 70’s it was popular to say that anyone could be president (regardless of their economic background). Not that it was true then, but people genuinely believed it. No-one believes that now.
- No, paid speeches do not make Hillary Clinton beholden to Wall Street. Even money in general doesn’t. It works the other way around. She receives money from Wall Street because their donors are absolutely certain that she isn’t a threat. Her being paid to give speeches isn’t that big of a deal. Receiving $675,000 for three secret speeches is a problem. In one transcript leaked by Wikileaks, she mentions how politicians sometimes have to have a ‘public’ and ‘private’ positions on particular issues to avoid making the public nervous.
- See point 1. This American Life did a great podcast on political fundraising and lobbying called “Take the money and run for office.” Politicians more frequently approach lobbyists for money, not the other way around, and have to spend a sad percentage of their time in office fundraising.
- Obviously Wall Street isn’t 100% evil, and I haven’t heard anyone arguing that it is the root of all evil either. A bit of a straw man to say that the alternative is ‘getting rid’ of Wall Street either. Anyone who’s seen the documentary Inside Job knows the financial sector holds a disproportionate amount of influence over the US Government, the US economy, and by extension, the world economy. The derivatives market is still largely unregulated, the global derivatives market being estimated at $1.2 quadrillion. Ten times the size of the planet’s GDP. Furthermore The Dodd-Frank Act was watered down to the point of absurdity, there is nothing stopping the same financial crash of 2008 from happening again, and big bank execs know they’ll never be held accountable. That is wrong.
- The link you posted of Hillary’s plan to reign in Wall-Street warrants another article-sized response. It contains some good points, like oversight of shadow banking and high-frequency trading, but overplays the impact of Dodd-Frank and contains no past examples of initiatives Hillary has taken to reign in Wall-Street.
- No dammit, see above.
I don’t fall in with the crowd that thinks Bernie Sanders is some political Jesus, the fanaticism of some of his supporters irks me and is far too reminiscent of Ron Paul supporters. I also agree that sometimes Hillary has been unfairly slandered, this ‘Clinton body-count’ malarkey is a load of fear-mongering. It was hard to find sources about her emails not from sleazy right-wing websites. But Hillary is accountable for the contents of her Wikileaks emails. Don’t try to make Hillary come across as a reasonable and Sanders as dishonest and full of rhetoric only. He should have been the nominee.
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