Despite the egregious and outrageous things that have come out of the mouth of Donald Trump over the duration of this presidential campaign, there are actually people – Democrats – who think Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the same. Or that Hillary is worse.
Now that we are coming down to the wire in this once in a lifetime election, this former Bernie Sanders supporter (who still, by the way, supports the Vermont senator and his vision for a new Democratic Party and a more socially responsible country) feels compelled to answer some of the derogatory things regarding Hillary Clinton that I see on a daily basis, posted by otherwise rational people.
One of the things that really gets me is when someone writes in all caps: SHE’S NO PUBLIC SERVANT! HOW DOES A PUBLIC SERVANT AMASS A FORTUNE OF $20 MILLION????
Well, I’ve got an answer for that. Yes, both Bill and Hillary have been paid some hefty speaking fees and during the primary season, I pointed out that I wasn’t comfortable with Hillary’s Wall Street ties. I’m still not. I’m not comfortable with Obama’s Wall Street ties either – but I still like Obama. However, I would venture a guess that a large share of the fortune the Clintons have accumulated since leaving the White House has to do with the fact that both of them authored books – a lot of books – that have done very well in the marketplace.
This list from Amazon shows eight books with Bill Clinton credited as the author. Wikipedia lists Hillary as the author of six, one of which is now being pre-sold and will be released on September 26, the day of the first debate.
That’s a lot of books; and a lot of people purchased them. As an author, I dream of having book sales that would be just a fraction of what the Clintons have accomplished. I’d be sitting pretty!
You know, there’s nothing wrong with being wealthy. It’s only a bad thing if you lie, steal and cheat people out of their money to do it. Sort of like what Donald Trump does. No, actually, exactly what Donald Trump does.
Another thing that flummoxes me is blaming Hillary for policies Bill put in place during his administration. Of course she would come out and defend her husband’s policies. Has there ever been a first lady who went out there and said the agenda her husband was trying to put forward was toxic? No. And, to be honest, did they even realize that some of what he did – like the tough on crime measures he put into place – would turn out to mean mass incarceration and lives ruined for offenses like possession of marijuana? I rather doubt it.
Thing is, both Bill and Hillary have come out and admitted the mistake. Now that’s something you will never see Donald Trump do (or any other Republican, for that matter). Trump and those GOP toadies who follow his deplorable lead see it as a sign of weakness. I see the ability to own up to mistakes and/or bad decisions as a sign of strength, a sign that the person who is admitting to the mistake is willing to take responsibility and correct that mistake. How many times have we howled in outrage when a lie is reported in right-wing media without being corrected, even when the falsehood is made abundantly clear? But Hillary admits she made a mistake with her vote on the Iraq war, and she is condemned as a war-mongering neocon (not even neoliberal) who will lead us into World War III. Meanwhile, Donald Trump can’t understand why we can’t use nukes if we have them, and nobody is very concerned.
This whole thing about the Clinton Foundation is another ridiculous fiction made up out of thin air by the right wing noise machine. Research done by FactCheck.org found that approximately 89 percent of its funding goes to charity and the foundation directly conducts most of its charitable works. Now Donald Trump, on the other hand, has been found to illegally use funds from the Trump Foundation (which he has not contributed to in over 8 years) to pay off business debts.
I don’t agree with Hillary on fracking. (Same goes for Obama and for the governor of my state, Jerry Brown.) However, she, along with the others I just mentioned, doesn’t view climate change as a hoax; she understands the need to transition to renewable energy and will implement policies to achieve that goal. So while we don’t see eye to eye, I see a path forward. With Trump, the only direction is backwards.
In closing, I’d like to say to everyone who thinks Hillary is the devil incarnate and worse than Trump (yeah, I’m talking to you, Jill Stein), instead of whining and complaining because she’s a flawed human being just like the rest of us, why don’t you look up the things she has accomplished in her over 40 years of fighting for women and children and workers? Why not acknowledge her part in getting the government under George W. Bush to fork over the funds needed by the first responders in the aftermath of 9/11? Why not look back and remember how hard she fought for universal health care and was demonized by Republicans for having the temerity to be a First Lady who involved herself in politics? And when she lost that battle, did she give up? She did not. She went to bat and got health services for 8 million children.
Is Hillary perfect? No. Are you? If not (and I suspect you aren’t), then perhaps it might be instructive to remember that admonition “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Hillary isn’t a life of the party kind of gal. She’s a policy wonk – a political nerd, if you will. And she never gives up. Not when you call her names. Not when you tell lies about her. Not when she loses an election to Barack Obama. She picks herself up, dusts herself off and finds ways to be of service to her country. I kind of like those qualities in a president. Don’t you?