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Hillary: Stifling Progressive Change

I’ve been thinking about why I’m so strongly turned off by Hillary Clinton. I think it’s because she’d set back the new progressive groove that’s just getting started and cut off progressive change at the knees.

Social change is cyclical; it comes in waves. The last Progressive Era followed the Gilded Age’s tenements and wage slavery. The 1960s followed the racially oppressive, consumerist 1950s. Change begets change; when things go too far they snap back the other way.

I think that’s where we are right now. And that’s good news considering how many progressives were learning Canadian immigration laws only three years ago. But you can’t stumble the web and not be pleased with the new progressivism that’s starting to take form.

So now’s the time to start snapping back. But a second Clinton presidency might be the worst thing to happen at the worst time.

Think about it: She’s on record for attacking Bush’s Iraq strategyfrom the Right. She supported the Patriot Act, an act of utter political cowardice. She’s out-Bushed Bush on Iran. She co-sponsored a flag-burning amendment in a blatant appeal to “look conservative,” I guess. Given Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” that sold out progressives time after time in the 90s (and led progressives like me to Ralph Nader in 2000), it’s not hard to imagine things will be any different for Clinton Act Two.

I think this BuzzFlash editorial says it well:

We American people want what most of the people around the world want … a life without constant strife given to us by our own governments. We want peace. We want our country back. We want our military back. We want our National Guard back. We want our jobs back. We want our democracy back. Eight hundred bases around the world does not represent a flourishing democracy.

Moving to the Center might be smart politics. But it’s poison for progressive change. And it would bring a curtain down on any new movement even before it gets its feet started. You can argue that it was the nutty neoconservatives and their wild-right policies that got the Left to start waking up out of its generational doldrums in the first place. The last thing we need now is a moderate to suffocate change in the cradle.

There is change in the air. I have no idea if Obama will go beyond his progressive talking points, but we do have Hillary Clinton’s record to know exactly what she’d do, and I haven’t even discussed the corporate money filling her coffers. We need a president that at the very least will keep things moving forward. Sorry, but that’s not Hillary.

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March 7, 2008   |  Filed Under Political   |    Permalink

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