By Brian Wojtalewicz
Nephew Ben and his wife Christy are heading to their Nevada caucus in a few days, and Ben asked why I was supporting Bernie Sanders. It’s a combination of electability and policy issues.
I fear that the texts of Hillary’s paid speeches to Wall Street and drug industry executives will get revealed when she is running against one of the Republican crazies, instead of against Bernie Sanders. There is a reason she won’t reveal these texts. These executives don’t pay hundreds of thousands of dollars because they want to hear your views on foreign policy. They want to buy you. Hillary’s simply taking their money sits wrong with me.
As to policy, Hillary cites her husband’s administration like it was the North Star. Yet they knowingly removed the thin, flimsy handcuffs of the Wall Street greedmongers. Clinton’s new Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, pointblank told Labor Secretary Robert Reich and others in the new cabinet that the rich “are running the economy and make the decisions about the economy.” The Clintons obviously agreed. Goldman Sachs former co-chair Rubin unquestionably won their favor inside the Clinton White House, and the beseeching of Reich and others was shoved aside. The Clintons partnered with the notorious Texas Republican Senator Phil Gramm in leading the charge to remove the Glass-Steagall Act, a key statute that held the greedmongers of Wall Street at bay ever since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The opposition of Bernie Sanders and other Democrats in Congress was overridden.
On the environment, Hillary has only campaigned against the global warming threat once she got into this race and faced Bernie, who was sounding the alarm years before. Hillary even supported the Keystone Pipeline before Bernie challenged her.
It’s clear to me that Hillary will be an enabler of the empire-warmaking machine that our USA has become. She successfully advocated the bombing of Libya over the objections of defense secretary Gates, and now we have another disaster of instability, destruction and slaughter of innocent people. Who of us trusted Bush and Cheney’s claims that we had to go to war in Iraq? Bernie didn’t. Hillary did or pretended to, and voted to give the Bush-Cheney regime approval to conduct an illegal war against a country that had never attacked us. And I refuse to trust any politician who speaks glowingly of war criminal Henry Kissinger, who is responsible for the deaths of millions of human beings.
Yes, Bill Clinton’s administration shifted the federal budget from deficit to surpluses, but big reasons for that shift were the cutting of education spending by 24%, science by 19%, transportation by 10% and income security for the poorest citizens by 18%.
Did Hillary try hard to do something about health insurance during the Clinton Administration? Yes, but she always included the insurance corporations as part of the structure. Bernie wants them out. During the fight for Obamacare, when so many of us wanted a true public option (allowing us to bypass the insurance corporations), I sure don’t recall Hillary backing that. Now that so many Americans are with Bernie on demanding a Medicare-for-all system, which would truly provide coverage to every American, and save us trillions of dollars over our childrens’ lifetimes, Hillary has the gall to falsely accuse him of wanting to reverse the positive things that Obamacare has brought. She knows better. It’s a typical distortion attack that we are so used to seeing out of right-wing candidates.
Hillary claims that Bernie is just “pie in the sky” and could never achieve his goals with the Republican control of Congress. Unquestionably, Bernie and the American people will have a tough time turning a bought-and-sold Congress. But Hillary would be better at working with Congress? The right-wing and the so-called “moderate” Democrats would not only buck her policies, too many of them personally dislike Hillary over the battles fought in the last 20 years, much more so than Bernie.
This nation has been stripped of millions of manufacturing jobs, starting with the infamous NAFTA trade agreement that the Clinton’s wholeheartedly supported, giving the back of their hand to the unions. The mega-corporations won and the little people have been continually screwed ever since. Hillary worked toward the new proposed trade nightmare, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), before she realized that Bernie’s campaign was serious. Now she claims to oppose it. I simply don’t trust her, and believe she’ll work to pass it if she is in the White House.
Another reason I find it hard to trust Hillary is the Clintons’ habit of stabbing supporters in the back. The young Clintons won the governorship of Arkansas with tremendous backing from the teachers and other unions, only to have Hillary, as Bill’s head of an education commission, stab them in the back by supporting a teacher testing program. Peggy Nabors, the president of the Arkansas Education Association back then, wrote a 1983 letter to her members, saying the Clintons’ program was “a radical departure from what educators or the makers of standardized test themselves believe is appropriate or fair.” The Clintons’ were supported in this testing campaign by Arkansas business corporations, along with a dark-money non-profit group that was funded by Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Then there was Steve Smith, a personal friend of the Clintons and Bill’s closest advisor other than Hillary in the early years. He left in Clinton’s first term as Arkansas governor when Clinton reversed his pledge to protect Arkansas’s forest, after Clinton had one meeting with the state’s timber barons. Ask yourself, are the Clintons really about doing good, or seeking power?
Hillary claims she can accomplish incremental change, because “she knows how to get things done.” In reality, this means the drug, fossil fuel and military industrial greedmongers stay at the trough and throw crumbs to us a little differently. The truly great presidents, the transformational ones, like Lincoln and FDR, went big. They took big risks, took our country where it had never been before, where many Americans wanted to go, and inspired many more to follow. Bernie is so right, we need a political revolution.
Do I want to see a woman in our White House? Certainly. I think Elizabeth Warren would be wonderful. In the meantime, why not take a bold, powerful step to take our country back from the gutting we have been subjected to by the forces of greed, war and pollution?
Finally, like the dangerous Trump, Bernie Sanders is so much more capable than Hillary of gaining and harnessing the populist anger of many independent and even Reagan-voting Americans out there. We have a better chance of winning with Bernie.