You’re Not Voting For Hillary To Protect Me
Morgan Visser
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There are a lot of poorly constructed or shallow criticisms of Hilary Clinton. On the other hand, Hilary Clinton boosters paint those so-called misogynist Bernie supporters, woo Stein supporters, or ‘nihilist’ non-voters as those people, who “should” vote for Clinton, but are either too shallow, inflexible, uneducated or bigoted. On the other hand, we have the expected but suspiciously timed release of the content of Clinton’s bank speeches, which points to one of the more serious and substantial issues many have with her policies.

I don’t think anyone who has even slightly been paying attention is surprised about the latest outrage from Trump. Most figured already that he had likely perpetrated the type of sexual assault we found out he bragged about yesterday, and gotten away with it rather than ended up in prison with his reputation ruined. He likely has done much worse, and many of his words and deeds speak of a combination of fascism and populism.

However, if you listen to what Clinton said: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders … We have to resist protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade and I would like to see this get much more attention and be not just a policy for a year under president X or president Y but a consistent one” — is that it’s a recipe for intense and varied violences on the same level as Trump’s. It is, to be SURE, of a different quality, mechanism, and outlay, but what is so frustrating is that people who mock Trump supporters for their willful ignorance themselves seem to be unable to think out the future Hillary Clinton’s policies will lead the world toward.

Many people may not have heard of the critiques of the policies and institutions that get described as “free trade” or “open market” over the past 30 or so years. Please educate yourself about them, because we are in for more issues with Clinton if we continue on the path of free trade and open markets. This will affect people locally and internationally, small and large scale markets and communities. The problem is, unlike what the orange one said, the kind of violence, including sexual assault, these policies facilitate is abstract, distant, and something we’re all materially implicated in as “consumers,” and so more likely to downplay in acts of semi-conscious self-absolution (I would never hurt anyone!).

Short summary of the economic consequences of free trade: these policies destroy local economies that have grown up to serve the needs of the people who’ve developed them in the name of ‘readjusting’ production towards world-market commodity trading (mostly in poor countries and rural North American areas). What then happens is that the food and materials that were once produced by people for themselves disappear, or are literally dumped/destroyed, to obey trade deals that demand opening ‘local markets’ to products from other countries, and strike down policies designed to protect local production (described as barriers or protectionism).

What happens from this? People lose their livelihoods, their economic self-suffiency, and have to become low paid laborers to survive — often at the exploitative, dangerous factories producing goods under license by Western companies (always removed from direct responsibility for their conditions by several degrees for legal protection!) for export back to the West. Communities, entire ways of life and cultures are destroyed by the “freedom” of losing your ties to the places and practices that once defined them in order to float, liquid, on the labor market on which you are forced to sell your ability to work for periods of time. That’s not freedom, that’s slavery.

Thus, the policies Clinton advocates are themselves, historically and directly — — responsible for rape, assault, murder, ruin, misogyny, dislocation, forced abortions, child labor, environmental destruction and famine on scales that Trump, on his own, has never even remotely approached. Look up the writings of human rights advocates! Of course Trump would likely do the something similar. But his positions aren’t currently the typical American policy — economic, foreign, and otherwise — in a deeply institutionalized, 75-year old tradition of hegemony, Empire, and colonialist extraction.

This put people who find themselves unable to muster unquestioning enthusiasm for Clinton for these reasons in an awful position — Trump is a single explosion — immediate, visible, and gory. But Clinton advocates for policies that act like a bio warfare attack — slow, endemic and difficult to point to — which have brought us to the point where we can actually contemplate the loss of the world as such, in terms of geological epoch. Please don’t reduce or simplify all of those who point out this issue to a failure to appreciate Clinton’s career accomplishments or to a latent, unexamined sexism, or you risk you end up just as shallow as those you accuse of rejecting Clinton for those reason. Both are products of a system that favors ruthless, calculating, amoral people willing to ignore human rights in favor of the pet theories of a few elite experts. Voting for one of them is painful, to put it mildly.