We’ve had two decades to get to know former First Lady, former Senator and former Secretary Clinton. We look at that history and we understand something you don’t: she isn’t one of us.
First, a caveat: this article is not about all Clinton voters. Many of you support her candidacy for reasons I don’t agree with, but you do so in good faith, and I can respect that. Instead, I’m addressing a narrow band of people who have badly overstepped themselves by advancing a line that is ill-informed, offensive and dangerously corrosive, to both their cause and mine. This is for them, in hopes that we can begin fostering more educated conversations based on fact and mutual respect.
There’s an interesting new rhetorical wedge floating around in recent days. To wit: If you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter who’s unwilling to vote for Hillary Clinton if she secures the nomination, that’s privilege.
So, let’s make sure we fully understand the propostion:
- If you point out that Clinton enabled George Bush’s illegal war on Iraq, and that she’s accountable for everything that happened as a result, that’s privilege.
- If you, like me, aren’t willing to accept her apology because there was no excuse for the mistake in the first place, and further, you believe that this calls into question her judgment and her ability to distinguish between basic evidence and ginned-up neo-con smoke-and-mirrors, that’s privilege.
- If you point to her record as Secretary of State and note her central role in setting and stoking flaming grease fires in places like Syria, that’s privilege.
- If you point to her support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (which she may or may not have backtracked on – at this stage I’m not sure what she really thinks), that’s privilege.
- When you point out that she doesn’t think we need to bring back Glass-Steagall – which her husband helped kill and which paved the way for the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression – that’s privilege.
- Likewise, calling attention to her support – or maybe not – of the Keystone Pipeline, that’s privilege.
- If you point out that her support for marriage equality was preceded by 20 years or so of unambiguous opposition to it (and that she flipped only once the polls hit a tipping point), that’s privilege.
- If you call everyone’s attention to her recent AIPAC performance and suggest that she’s hawkish even by Republican standards, that’s privilege.
- If you remind people that she’s a big fan of war criminal Henry Kissinger, that’s privilege.
- If you point out that she supported the Patriot Act, that’s privilege.
- If you look at her recent praise of Nancy Reagan on AIDS and wonder what the fuck she was thinking, that’s privilege. I mean, it’s good that she apologized, but still, is this one where a presidential candidate should have to?
- If you look at her history and count up all the times her positions on important issues have changed, and that this often happens when the winds of public opinion shift, and that all of these cases are easily documented, that’s privilege.
- If you look at all the cash she’s taken from Wall St. and are suspicious about her commitment to getting the financial sector under control, that’s privilege.
- If you look at her claims to experience and success and insist on actual examples of real accomplishments, that’s privilege.
- If you elaborate on all the ways in which she is unarguably to the right of Richard Nixon, I suppose that’s privilege, too.