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Democratic Conservatism En Vogue

If it wasn’t clear before, the debate in New York made it plain. The New York primary debate was between a traditional Democrat, Senator Bernie Sanders, and a traditionally liberal Republican, Secretary Hillary Clinton.  Remarkably, unfortunately, the Clinton campaign for president has made conservatism en vogue in the Democratic party.

For context, the left leaning party of the United States is trying to select a candidate with a right wing record.

She’s pro war. She voted for the Iraq war, was a strong advocate for the toppling of Libya, and was involved in the military Honduran coup. All of these ended in failed states with thousands of civilians dead. Iraq alone resulted in the deaths of 500,000 civilians. Undeterred from prior failure, she wants a no fly zone in Syria, which would require ground troops that could suck the country into another Middle Eastern conflict. Only in politics where consistently poor decisions and worse outcomes is considered experience.

She’s pro fracking which undercuts any notion of addressing climate change. During her time as Secretary of State, Clinton sold fracking around the world. Some of the countries changed their laws to introduce the technology. We should dispel the notion that fracking is clean energy. Fracking is disastrous to the environment, causing water contamination, earthquakes, and methane leaks – methane being 25 times worse than carbon.

She’s pro-Israel to the degree of giving a blank check to their violence. She wants to give them more guns, more billions. Even after the last incursion into Gaza that killed 1800 people, 80% of which were civilians, Senator Clinton couldn’t bring herself to say it was an overreaction. There’s also something strange about a ‘liberal’ candidate giving full unwavering support to a radical right wing government. It would be like Hillary giving unwavering support to Dick Cheney.

She’s pro Wall Street and Corporate America. Hillary Clinton and Obama pushed a scandalous secret trade deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership. The treaty would literally give up U.S. sovereignty to a multinational tribunal. The deal is so disastrous, it wasn’t supposed to be released until 4 years after it was in effect. Clinton now says she’s against sections of it, but leaves more than enough room for her to change her mind as president.

Campaign finance reform.  While Senator Sanders was marching with the Verizon workers and attending their strike recently, Hillary received hundreds of thousands of dollars, in addition to several donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. She’s expected to raise 2 billion dollars for the election, much of it from immense sums of money from wall street and corporations.

The list could continue, but these are undoubtedly right wing positions. At least they were a few months ago before Secretary Clinton entered the race. She is now the face of the Democratic party establishment.  To her credit, she has won the votes of millions.  Yet half of the actual Democratic electorate is giving a sharp rebuke to the establishment’s choice.  

Essentially, the more Sanders talks, the more Sanders clarifies the distinction between what the democratic party was and what the democratic party currently is.  Sanders is changing minds.  He’s speaking to the electorate the democratic party has left behind and that realizes, in a clear and honest way, the Democratic Party has lost it’s soul.

Hillary Clinton is just the latest example. For 30 years, the party has been trapped in an existential quagmire politic of serving two opposing masters.  The first being the political momentum of past lions in the party, like FDR, JFK, LBJ (domestically). The second being corporate and wall street monied interest that they’re dependent upon to invest in their political campaigns. Based upon a Princeton study that shows we no longer have a democracy, it’s not a leap to say the later won.  It’s also not a leap to insist, based on Hillary Clinton’s record, not rhetoric, she’s chosen the later.