Now that the Republican Benghazi ruse has unraveled, what is Hillary really about?
In the first week of September, the Clinton campaign declared that it wanted to start showing a Hillary Clinton that had more heart and humor. During the past month, Hillary has applied this new found strategy by doing the “Nae Nae” on Ellen, taking a selfie with Kim Kardashian, and being interviewed by Lena Dunham where the interview turned towards a conversation on Lenny Kravitz’s penis. Huh?
When there are so many important issues to talk about, talking about a scandalous wardrobe malfunction and taking selfies might be the least appropriate move for a candidate. This is specifically true for Hillary Clinton, who wants to be the president who addresses the problems that “keep you up at night.”
Yet, one must further ask: Why has Clinton decided to take this approach? In part, the obvious answer is: Bernie Sanders.
When Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s voting records are compared, it is not hard to tell who is the real progressive candidate. It is no secret that Sanders opposed the war in Iraq, disastrous trade deals such as NAFTA, and was a supporter of LGBT rights when Clinton sided on the right with all these issues.
Now that Hillary Clinton has “evolved” on these issues, her integrity as a progressive is still questioned due to her ties to big business. Clinton was often reluctant to give her opinion on the Keystone Pipeline XL or the Trans Pacific Partnership, two issues that are heavily opposed by the progressive movement. While she denounced the former following heavy pressure from activists and environmental organizations, she has tried distancing herself from the TPP, which she helped negotiate as Secretary of State. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders who has no ties to big business has stood up vocally and harshly against these two unpopular issues.
Which is why when compared with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton must deflect attention from the fact that she has never been the solid progressive that Democratic voters have been waiting for.
As somebody who is connected deeply to the current system, Clinton faces the reality that a lot of progressive voters are asking for extreme change to address the extreme conditions of oppression that exist in our society, something that she cannot be counted on for sure due to her economic connections.
In contrast, Sanders is an Independent senator who has never received donation from private corporations and has fought his entire life to change the system, occupies a unique position of being a Washington insider with an outsider’s ideology and pragmatism. He is a legislator who knows how to play the game of politics while still maintaining the special position of having never been sucked into the money saturated economic nature of Washington D.C. , giving him the complete freedom to have been the unrelenting progressive voice in the United State Congress for more than 20 years.
Hillary Clinton’s bumpy road is not going to get smooth with a change to her image or attitude. Progressive voters know where she has stood in the past and are aware of her reluctance to call out certain plans like the TPP, which will cost the American people their jobs. But more importantly, she represents the breed of centrist Democrats that have often acted fast to give up the good fight due to their connections to big business that have often been in the way of creating a better American way of life.
During the French Revolution, the leaders of the revolution were faced with the dilemma of either killing their former despotic king and queen, or having mercy on their former rulers. The Jacobins, the more radical faction of the revolution, decide that it would be best to end the oppressive monarchy by killing the maximum symbols of oppression, the King and Queen of France.
The rise of Bernie Sanders and Clinton’s inability to keep her mainstream advantage, is an indictment by progressive voters that seeks to cut off the head of the centrist Democratic party that has often been too willing to act within the system of oppression, instead of shaking it up.
What better way for progressives to judge the centrist Democratic party than to cast a vote against a prominent member that tells them with the force of a guillotine, “We no longer need you.”