This post was written by Connor Balough
Hillary Clinton has emerged as the Uniter of the Nation, ask any Republican or Bernie supporter what they think of the former Secretary of State and they will tell you the same answer: they hate everything about her.
Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat not linked to an FBI investigation. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, then you’re too terrified of Trump’s rallies to realize that Clinton could get indicted. Also, if you can’t fathom the possibility of Donald Trump winning, then keep in mind that most Americans don’t trust or like Hillary Clinton. A general election isn’t a popularity contest among Democrats. In 10 out of 10 national polls regarding favorability, Hillary Clinton has negative favorability ratings nationally in all 10.
Be very careful what you wish for, because most Americans have an unfavorable view of Clinton and Bernie Sanders already beats Trump by a wider margin. I’m only voting for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and I explain why in this YouTube segment. Most importantly, Democrats should remember that 33% of Bernie Sanders voterswill refuse to vote for Clinton in November, if she becomes nominee.
A group of 250 academics and activists calling themselves “Feminists for Clinton” praised her “powerful, inspiring advocacy of the human rights of women” and her “enormous contributions” as a policymaker.
Since then, NOW and other mainstream women’s organizations have been eagerly anticipating her 2016 candidacy. Clinton and supporters have recently stepped up efforts to portray her as a champion of bothwomen’s and LGBT rights.
Such depictions have little basis in Clinton’s past performance. While she has indeed spoken about gender and sexual rights with considerable frequency, and while she may not share the overtly misogynistic and anti-LGBT views of most Republican politicians, as a policymaker she has consistently favored policies devastating to women and LGBT persons.
Why, then, does she continue to enjoy such support from self-identified feminists? Part of the answer surely lies in the barrage of sexist attacks that have targeted her and the understandable desire of many feminists to see a woman in the Oval Office.
But that’s not the whole story. We suggest that feminist enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is reflective of a profound crisis of US liberal feminism, which has long embraced or accepted capitalism, racism, empire, and even heterosexism and transphobia.
Making Profit and War
All issues of wealth, power, and violence are also women’s and LGBT rights issues. For instance, neoliberal economic policies of austerity and privatization disproportionately hurt women and LGBT individuals, who are often the lowest paid and the first workers to be fired, the most likely to bear the burdens of family maintenance, and the most affected by the involuntary migration, domestic violence, homelessness, and mental illness that are intensified by poverty.
Clinton’s record on such issues is hardly encouraging. Her decades of service on corporate boards and in major policy roles as first lady, senator, and secretary of state give a clear indication of where she stands.
One of Clinton’s first high-profile public positions was at Walmart, where she served on the board from 1986 to 1992. She “remained silent” in board meetings as her company “waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers,” as an ABC review of video recordings later noted.
Clinton recounts in her 2003 book Living History that Walmart CEO Sam Walton “taught me a great deal about corporate integrity and success.” Though she later began trying to shed her public identification with the company in order to attract labor support for her Senate and presidential candidacies, Walmart executives have continued to look favorably on her, with Alice Walton donating the maximum amount to the “Ready for Hillary” Super PAC in 2013. Walton’s $25,000 donation was considerably higher than the averageannual salary for Walmart’s hourly employees, two-thirds of whom are women.
After leaving Walmart, Clinton became perhaps the most active first lady in history. While it would be unfair to hold her responsible for all of her husband’s policies, she did play a significant role in shaping and justifying many of them. In Living History she boasts of her role in gutting US welfare: “By the time Bill and I left the White House, welfare rolls had dropped 60 percent” — and not because poverty had dropped.
Women and children, the main recipients of welfare, have been the primary victims. Jeffrey St Clair at Counterpunch notes that prior to welfare reform, “more than 70 percent of poor families with children received some kind of cash assistance. By 2010, less than 30 percent got any kind of cash aid and the amount of the benefit had declined by more than 50 percent from pre-reform levels.”