Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hillary Clinton, Money, and Social Climbing

(This comes out of a heated discussion with some Clinton supporters on Balloon Juice.)

The problem the line of argument made in defense of Hillary Clinton's acceptance of millions from the bankers is that it is far too much like Citizens United. No, there is no smoking gun. No, it is not believable that that money and the related social connections had no influence on the Clintons and supporters of Hillary Clinton have to tie themselves into knots defending them.

I am reminded, too, of aristocratic politics. The Clintons, starting from humble beginnings, have joined the rich and powerful: vacations with Henry Kissinger, daughter marrying a bankster (talk about access!) What else am I to think if not social climbing and loyalty to their adopted class? It seems that along with the return of 19th-century disparities of wealth has come the return of 19th-century class conduct and relations.

Does this mean that all the Clintons' acts are negative? No, of course not. And it is easy to imagine that President Trump, Cruz, or Kasich would be much, much worse. But neo-liberal economic policy is only good for the very wealthy and brutal anti-democratic foreign policy is … come to think of it only good for the very wealthy, too. Anything the rest of us get from a Clinton Presidency will come from condescension.

Which is better than nothing. But I would rather have someone who was of all the people.

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