Hillary’s Record Looks a Lot Like Trump’s Rhetoric

Whether those of us unable to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton are decried as privileged, petulant, tire fires, sexist (because only she deserves to be the first woman president?), or traitors, the common denominator is that even if she is a Neoliberal, corrupt, imperialist warhawk who hijacked the Democratic Party and can’t lock down a primary with literally every advantage you can think of, Mrs. Clinton is entitled to my vote because she is the lesser evil compared to the unthinkable that Donald Trump represents.

She may know better than anybody how to get things done, but I take issue with the presumption that Hillary Clinton is the lesser evil. So she’s not explicitly racist, anymore, and now she knows the word “intersectional,” but as I look at her record, I am disturbed by what she has “gotten done.” More alarming is that she does not learn from her mistakes; she continues making the same errors in judgment. And what scares me most is the blind support she has of every Democrat in office, compared to bipartisan opposition to Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not the same, I’ll concede. But they actually have quite a bit in common: refusal to release documents relevant to a presidential run, whether tax returns or Wall Street speeches; they’re both under criminal investigation, be it by the FBI or other federal officials; and, in fact, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share an address in Delaware which exists as a tax loophole for the wealthy. Secretary Clinton promises to end offshore tax havens for U.S. companies, but apparently fully approves of onshore ones. Hey, it’s something — compromise, am I right?

“I’m happy to put my record up against his comments, his rants, and his outright lies any time.” Let’s do it, Secretary.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is commonly used to distinguish the two candidates, the premise being that Trump opposes raising the wage, or even its existence, most of the time, and Clinton supports raising it, depending on what’s popular. As Secretary of State, however, she fought a minimum wage raise in Haiti from $0.22 per hour to $0.61 per hour.

Haitian workers had long been fighting for wage hikes; it was estimated in 2008 that daily basic living expenses for a three-person family add up to $13.75. In 2009, the Haitian Parliament unanimously passed a measure raising the wage to 62 cents per hour, $5 per day. But textile factory owners refused, conceding only a 9 cent raise to $0.31 cents per hour, $3 per day. After all, these were the factories in which American brands like Dockers, Nautica, and Hanes are made, and free trade deals are supposed to keep costs down. (Yes, your underwear was made by someone, likely a woman, whose daily pay might be less than what you spent on a gallon of gas.)

With American business costs at stake, the US Embassy, a branch of the State Department, backed the factory owners in this struggle and pressured the Haitian President, René Préval, who eventually negotiated the $5 per day wage for all industries except textile which maintained the $3 per day wage. A majority of private sector businesses in Haiti supported the $5 wage, but the American Embassy remained dissatisfied.

Aside from managing the principle force suppressing the Haiti wage hike, the State Department, Secretary Clinton and her husband also run a “charitable organization,” whose donors include Walton Family Foundation, Inc., The Walmart Foundation, and Walmart, a business which — in case you didn’t connect the dots — has a stake in keeping Hanes’s costs down.

This wasn’t even meant to be about corruption, nor was it very heavily researched. The Clinton Foundation also boasts generous donations from Bank of America, Gap, Exxonmobil, Saudi Arabia, Humana Inc., Goldman Sachs (obviously), even Hewlett-Packard; and it’s all in plain sight. Is that the genius of it all?

This is what we mean when we say her ties to Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry, and other lobbying groups trouble us — whether there’s a direct contribution to her campaigns or not, Mrs. Clinton and her husband don’t know anything other than corporatism.

Racism

Donald Trump’s racism is an ever-amusing talking point. He refers to “the Blacks” and “thugs,” obviously racist ways to describe Black people. Recently, he patronized a presumably Black man at his rally, repeatedly calling him “my African-American.” While we’re at it, Donald Trump is responsible for the whole birther movement against President Obama.

You already know where this is going — Hillary Clinton has yet to really apologize for calling Black youth “superpredators” as First Lady (de facto culture influencer). She also had a hand in promoting the 1994 crime bill — even if she didnt technically vote for it — which exacerbated the mass incarceration of mostly Black and Latino men as well as many other repercussions. Her praise for welfare reform? — The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. These were signed by her husband, yes, but she cannot take credit for the positive aspects of the 90s while washing her hands of all blame for the shortfalls.

If that’s too long ago, look to her 2008 presidential run. It was the Clinton campaign, which Donald Trump may as well have managed, that circulated the photo of then-Senator Obama in Somali garb, followed by this condescending defense:

If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely. (Maggie Williams, 2008 Campaign Manager)

Need I remind you about the 3am ad? It’s no coincidence that it was specifically played in southern states. She also fed into Islamophobia, a lot. In desperation, she suggested Barack Obama might be assassinated, even if unintentionally. Repeatedly, her surrogates have diluted feminism when they come up with blanket disapproval for her opponents’ supporters. There’s a reason that the backers of a Black man in 2008 were called “boys” while the supporters of a white man get referred to as “bros”.

Latin America

At the start of the campaign, Donald Trump said that Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug-dealers. Comically offensive, yes, but I didn’t take it seriously because obviously that would be the end of his campaign. Oh, how wrong we all were

Regardless, they’re words. And he’s in good company (depending on your definition of “good”). While serving as a senator in 2003, Clinton said:

“I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants. Certainly we’ve got to do more at our borders. And people have to stop employing illegal immigrants. Come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand in the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx — you’re going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work.” (Emphasis mine.)

She also pushed for a border wall (and only on the Mexican side).

Mrs. Clinton has a record that spans the whole of Latin America. In 2009, a coup d’état in Honduras planned to overthrow democratically-elected President Zelaya. The United States originally opposed it, along with the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization of American States (OAS). Zelaya, who supported LGBT rights, expansion of the morning-after pill, and social human rights movements (none of which are supported by the coup regime), got onto our bad side when he signed a cooperation agreement with Venezuela. So, Hilary Clinton facilitated the coup by shifting negotiations away from OAS into Honduras to give greater influence to the coup regime; such actions were opposed by every other country in the region. Honduran Feminist activist Melissa Cardoza tells what has since happened in the region:

As is well-known, she supported the coup d’etat in my country, which has sunk a very worthy and bleeding land further into abject poverty, violence, and militarism. She is part of those who consider only some lives to be legitimate, obviously not rebel women and women of color that live here and who do not, at least not all, fit in with imperial interests.

Having become one of the most violent countries in the world, with the world’s highest murder rate, children have fled the unsafe conditions we caused in the whole region. At the very least, we should give refugee status and take care of these children, right?— that’s what we do in America, I thought.

Instead, almost 60,000 of these children were detained by federal authorities and most were deported back to drug cartels and warlords. Secretary Clinton defended the deportations earlier this year in a debate, saying she had to “send a message”.

Take a minute to digest that.

There are problems in my country. The biggest problem is the gangs. They go into the school and take girls out and kill them. They were killing them in nearby towns, like in San Miguel. Sometimes girls are involved in gangs and other gangs kill them. Or sometimes girls are dating boys who are in the gangs and members from other gangs kill them. Or sometimes gangs hate a girl’s family and they kill her because of that. I used to see reports on the TV every day about girls being buried in their uniforms with their backpacks and notebooks…There was nowhere else I could go where it would’ve been safer.

Those are the children we deported.

The Nation gives a comprehensive record of the rest of her actions in Latin America. If I go on, I’ll short-circuit my computer.

Muslims and the Middle East

Among Donald Trump’s many unconstitutional proposals is a ban on Muslims coming to the United States. He also referenced the September 11th attacks and said “7/11”. Again, comically offensive. (Seriously, tell me you didn’t laugh at that.) Hillary Clinton would never dream of such a thing — it’s not politically correct. She prefers invading Muslim countries and bombing them on their own turf. Not just Iraq, either. Syria, Libya, Afghanistan. The former secretary of state says she regrets her vote for the Iraq war and it was a mistake, but she’s quick to capitalize — she is a White Feminist, after all. In 2011, she called it a business opportunity:

And so, it’s time for the United States to start thinking of Iraq as a business opportunity. And the sacrifice that the Iraqi people have made for your freedom, is one that we highly respect. According to the IMF, Iraq is projected to grow faster than China in the next two years.

You can’t make this shit up.


Donald Trump says, on some days, that he wants to do things that we would consider war crimes. Secretary Clinton has done things we should consider war crimes. And she keeps committing them, even after she apologizes for the last one, if she apologizes at all. When the Republicans pull this shit, the Democratic Party is quick to point fingers and blame voters for not electing Democrats. But if a Democrat does the same thing, or is even subject to fair criticism, the narrative becomes “Shut up or you might let a Republican win!” Clearly, there is nothing principled about choosing the “lesser” evil, which Hillary Clinton most certainly is not.

If you were wondering, my money’s on Jill Stein. But if you’re truly a fiscal conservative, then vote Libertarian.

In 2016, the long-accepted Lesser Evilism climaxes with a disturbing absence of a lesser evil for either of the corporate parties to push. A party that positions itself as “less bad” has no legitimacy in bullying anybody into voting for their candidates because said candidates might be slightly better for the marginalized (who are all voting for the lesser evil, obviously). How pathetic that the Democrats could not find a candidate less heinous than Donald Trump.