Could Hillary Clinton’s history making as a first female President be a self-inflicted wound?
This editorial just in from long-time Face Activities member, Gill:
In a speech last night before a roaring crowd of supporters, Hillary Clinton recognized the significance of the moment at hand. Addressing the enthusiastic convention goers, she shouted:
“According to the news, we are on the brink of an historic…unprecedented moment.” (BBC)
And she’s absolutely right. Her recent electoral victories place her in an excellent position to win the Democratic Presidential Nomination, making her the first female candidate to achieve this milestone in a major political party–a true historical moment.
Of course, Bernie Sanders strongly disagrees, pointing out that her strength is based on Super Delegates, who pledge their loyalty, but don’t vote until the July convention. And loyalties can change.
These are interesting and exciting times. But we shouldn’t revel in the energy and novelty of the moment, at the expense of good judgment. We shouldn’t base our excitement on the mere possibility of an historical first. Instead, we should base our excitement on her potential for achievement. We should base our excitement on the good job that we anticipate she will do as president. Let’s remember that her main duties will be critical to the success of the country. They include foreign policy, domestic policy, national security, and working successfully with congress. Her gender, male or female, has little to do with success in these important endeavors.
We must make sure we don’t vote for Hillary merely because she’s the first woman in her position, but rather because she’s the best qualified candidate, male or female, for the job. And let’s not forget that being President is very difficult. In some ways it’s the worst job in the world, with so much stress, so much responsibility and so much at stake at home and throughout the world. So we must choose wisely.
On the campaign trail Clinton has said she’s a lot like Bernie Sanders, and they vote the same on many issues. But we should remember that Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy positions are totally different from Bernie Sanders’ more flexible and novel approach.
We should be aware that Hillary Clinton is easily influenced by special interests. According to Bernie Sanders, she has very close connections to wall street, and to Saudi Arabia. She’s also very protective of Europe. Remember when the U.S. jumped in and uncritically protected European interests in the 1960s, after the French failed in Indo-China? We blindly trudged into a conflict that mushroomed into the Vietnam war, dividing our nation terribly, and leading to the tragic loss of 60,000 men. Ironically, one can argue Russia was the real winner of Vietnam.
Under pressure from Europe today, President Obama’s administration effectively destroyed Libya, and the chaotic situation in Iraq and Syria is the result of this same pressure from European countries on U.S. foreign policy.
Hillary Clinton is part of the establishment, and when you are part of the establishment, it’s hard to change your views. Bernie Sanders is outside of the establishment, though experienced in government. He’s never been part of the Washington Democratic machine. Sanders is more innovative and willing to take the country in a new direction, while Clinton is more conservative, and cautious with implementing big changes, that we need to shake things up and move us forward. We should consider that our nation is stuck, and needs big changes and innovation to begin to move us along.
Who ever wins the Presidency must have a very special quality to succeed, that’s also unrelated to gender. The winner needs to be a true leader as President, in the best sense of the word, which involves innovation and the willingness to take calculated risks, in order to change many decades of establishment politics. If the winner is not a leader, he or she won’t make headway, in the way that President Obama has failed to make headway, despite his best intentions, following his generous and non-punitive deal with Wall Street early in his first term.
In the specific case of Hillary, if she can’t achieve fantastic results, her novel status as a history making first female President will serve as a self-inflicted wound. What kind of leader will Hillary Clinton be?