Jul 10

Enter Stage Right: the Clintons

In Brief—Put on your Wellingtons and join the author for a walk through the muck of small-time politics in Arkansas to the knee-deep muck of ego-driven ugliness of Washington D.C.


Tell a Bigger Lie and It’s Politics—

“Why in the world did you move to Sweden?”

I’ve been asked this question many times, and the answer has always been that I saw the United States moving steadily to the right years ago and didn’t want to live in a rightist state. There were other reasons as well, but this one led the list.

Bill:Hill in bgAs I write this, former president Bill Clinton’s wife, Hillary Clinton, a purported “liberal,” is striving mightily but clumsily to become the first woman president in the history of the country. However, before we take a closer look at her, Bill Clinton—or as he is known among those who have endured him, “Slick Willy”—comes under my microscope.

Bill Clinton changed his name to Clinton to honor his remarried mother. Impressed by John Kennedy and Martin Luther King and blessed by intelligence and oratorical skills, he entered into public life. Though he never finished, he was a Rhodes Scholar. He dodged the military draft by manipulation foreshadowing his later reputation as “Slick Willy.”

Overcoming defeat in his run for Congress, he shifted gears to become the Attorney General and then twice the Governor of Arkansas. It was there he learned the dark side of politics and embraced the death penalty.

As President, Clinton donned the mantle of fiscal conservatism a la Margaret Thatcher of England thereby producing three years of budget surpluses capped by his sponsorship of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that resulted in the loss of many American jobs. Please remember that only congress can pass laws even if the president wants them.

Clinton’s advocacy of the Omnibus Crime Bill led to many people of color being sent to prison, yet he is worshipped by many who simply don’t understand how injurious the law has been.

It is revealing that the well-received book “The Presidents Club” reveals that Bill Clinton was a good friend and admirer of Richard Nixon (aka “Tricky Dick”), who is better known as the only president to resign the presidency in disgrace.

This is an accurate albeit brief summation of the husband of Hillary Clinton who has said that “Slick Willy” will be put in charge of the economy in her presidency. Could this be the fox in the henhouse?

Enter Hillary Clinton—

Hillary Clinton comes from a conservative Republican family and was a supporter of failed presidential nominee Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater. This suggests a bone-deep belief in conservative principles despite what she has averred on the campaign trail.

Wall Street—It’s established knowledge that Hillary Clinton is fastened at the hip with Wall Street. Not only do the oligarchs support her but they lavish money on her for speaking to their members. Despite claims of transparency, she refuses to reveal what she said in those $200,000 speeches.

WarHillary Clinton supported Bush’s famously duplicitous war in Iraq. Contrary to President Obama, she supports more American “boots on the ground” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. She is equivocal on Ukraine in Russia’s backyard. To say she is a hawk is to understate it.

Hillary and Kissinger—Hillary Clinton is not only a good friend of Henry Kissinger but he is a valued advisor. Lest you forget, Kissinger is an accused war criminal who allegedly dares not travel abroad for fear of being arrested for his past war crimes. Despite his reputation, Clinton calls on him for advice.

Edward Snowden and Clinton—Eric Holder, President Obama’s former Attorney General, recently said the whistleblower Edward Snowden did a “public service” by releasing evidence of the United States government’s unconstitutional law-breaking.

In sharp contrast, Hillary Clinton has asserted that Snowden is “a traitor” who must return, be tried and put in prison. She undoubtedly knows that under the World War I era Espionage Act, with which Snowden has been charged, Snowden will not be permitted to assert the defense of his actions being in the “public interest.”

This is a glimpse into the mind and beliefs of the woman who may be the next president. While it’s possible that this woman is qualified to serve the people, we’d better think long and hard about where this may lead us. The good news is that Hillary Clinton is reported to be teachable… a learning experiment, so to speak.

America’s move to the right confirms my belief that although the Republican Party races to the right, both parties are complicit. Those who live in the United States must decide if what has come to pass will continue or if this is a turning point toward progressivism.

4 comments

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    • Kathy on July 10, 2016 at 17:41

    2016: the election from Hell.

      • Don Bay on July 11, 2016 at 07:08
        Author

      Aptly stated, Kathy. Being a political junkie and cynic, I don’t believe Trump will be the nominee. He’s smart enough to realize he’s not qualified AND he doesn’t want to be president. Will he step aside as he has hinted? The big question then becomes when. Will it be during the convention or after he becomes the nominee? My cynical instincts tell me that we may have a Republican president, but then I’m not Nostradamus.

  1. In 1971 I took a job in Canada. Though I went for the job, I was very much aware of “America, love it or leave it.” I hated the war and American violence. From 1967 to 71 I was teaching at the University of Washington. Many days there were wisps of tear gas in the classroom. Activists blew up two buildings on the campus. Student protests closed the freeway, and MLK and Bobby were killed. Prior to my time at UW I had been a Boeing engineer and it was a hotbed of conservatism. At UW I found my liberal roots.

    In Canada I had other American ex pats as colleagues and we often met to talk about Nam and Watergate and other things going on in I had done my military time in the US but very much understood those of my friends who were American draft resisters. I laughingly talked about the Canadian students who seemed so much more complacent than those in the US. But of course that was only a reflection on Canadian values.

    As I look back on the change in my life after I moved to Canada and became a dual citizen I am so glad to be Canadian, which is my real connection with the world. In Canada last year I campaigned for the most left wing candidates, and Canadians voted out the conservative Harper government.

    And as I look at what the US is becoming and has become I am so glad I left. America is degenerating into a racist, sexist, elitist, homophobic, etc. morass, and there seems to be no end to that decline, and I’m glad to be Canadian.

      • Don Bay on July 12, 2016 at 16:35
        Author

      Thanks for the history of your growth. With the perspective of looking at America from the outside, you have a clear understanding of what the future may hold.

      The Clintons—and of course Trump and the Republican Party—are road signs giving the direction America is heading in this increasingly complex world. Fingers crossed that the country can take the turns leading to a better, more progressive, future. Unfortunately, What we see now is a Republican platform that finds them glorifying an imagined past and a denial of a better future. It’s vital that we prevent the Republican vision from becoming reality.

      Assuming Hillary Clinton is the next president, we must make every effort to assure that she leads America on a path to a more progressive tomorrow.

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