Who, one might ask, better to understand, advocate, and take action on US interests around the world than the former Secretary of State? Doesn’t Ms. Clinton’s background as past head of the State Department for Barack Obama round out her other training in domestic affairs as the perfect US Head of State, better described in our hawkish-lexicon as Commander-in-Chief? Isn’t that the way our forefathers did see the proper, and noble, political training demanded from anyone who aspires to become president of this nation, the United States of America?
Our blue-blood presidents in those early decades were fully credentialed as secretaries of state: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams, all received their “diplomas” in foreign affairs… that is, until a populist hero-general from Tennessee, with humble beginnings and questionable grammar skills, Andrew Jackson, decided that the corrupt Democratic-Republican Party was a political ameba ready to split. So he denied a second term to John Quincy Adams, and ended the presidential ambitions of Henry Clay.And that brings us to Hillary Rodham Clinton… today’s historical reincarnation of the 1820’s Henry Clay. Both senators-carpetbaggers, Henry for Kentucky and Hillary for New York… and their political affiliation, Democratic-Republican, couldn’t seem more apropos, if in jest. In the left-right political spectrum, Secretary Clinton wants us all to know, particularly Goldman Sachs and the other folks in Wall Street, that she proudly, and evolutionarily, is totally middle-of-the-road; and not a progressive revolutionary like that senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who wants change to take place “too fast.”
But as harshly as we may judge Henry Clay for his wheeling-and-dealing with Quincy Adams, he did redeem himself as “The Great Compromiser,” a title far less applicable to Hillary Clinton today, where most major decisions she has taken on her own, or even in concert with Husband-Bill, have been “Right-leaning but very wrong,” from her bellicose affirmation of the Iraq War, to the many ill-conceived international trade agreements in careless globalization, to the punitive legislation which has resulted in the incarceration of way too many black American males. Yet, we are led to believe that this diverse and multitudinous political involvement for four decades has given her the experience to take the helm, sail the ship of state.
But experience, like judgment, comes in two flavors: one, ‘relevant-sound’ and the other, ‘mistake-prone.’ And for our palate, Hillary’s judgment and experience have proven to have all the major ingredients that accentuate the dreaded second flavor: mistake-prone.
And that mistake-proneness Hillary Clinton has shown throughout much of her political career found major echo in her last assignment as US Secretary of State. Although we must admit Barack Obama has had reasonable success in domestic matters, against an uncompromising “trash-and-burn” attitude of a Republican-led congress, that success has not been matched in foreign affairs, not during Clinton’s tenure at State. Perhaps the answer lies in the reality that US presidents must walk a tenebrous path of a rigid foreign policy set in place long ago by the US ruling elite, and guarded by the Pentagon-Congress-State Department Cerberus. But, at the very least, she could have provided some help to Obama, instead of the calamitous, sometimes buffoonish, advice she provided on both the Russia-Ukraine conflict, instigated by the US; and the Middle East fireworks’ propagation, lit up by Bush-43’s ill-advised invasion of Iraq.
Yet, mistake-proneness in both judgment and experience do not appear to have made a major dent in Hillary’s political following, whether in the leadership of labor unions, where those in charge go against the membership-grain; and where minority-racial leaders, in their selfishness, seem to dismiss what’s best for the people they lead… or these people would be championing their cause with Bernie Sanders by a margin of 80 percent instead of the 20 percent he now gets from Blacks and Browns. Whether it’s lack of knowledge or lack of vision… the sad result is the same.
As much as we may be willing to condemn Hillary’s snail-paced, rationed progressivism, ideologically as well as pragmatically, at the end of the day the progressive wing of the Democratic party will be faced with the same dead-end brick wall at the polls, allowing the Democratic political machine to have its way. Yep, the sempiternal choice between two political evils placed before us, and our hope that we choose the least harmful! And that brings us to that unavoidable adjective in our political lives. It almost comes as a death sentence, to the spirit at the very least: inevitable, or predictable, or certain to happen; a foregone conclusion, a sure thing. As if death and taxes weren’t enough to bear, our political fate, we are told, rests in the crowning of Hillary Clinton.
And I’m thinking: no; Democrats don’t deserve Clinton’s inevitability; Americans don’t deserve Clinton’s inevitability; the world does not deserve Clinton’s inevitability.
© 2016 Ben Tanosborn
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