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.
As 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.
War—Hillary 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.