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The Democratic Party continues its illicit love affair with presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when asked about then Senator Clinton’s vote authorizing President George Bush’s disastrous and murderous invasion of Iraq, said this: “Elections are about the future. They’re not about what happened 13 years ago. They’re about the future, and that’s really what people want to hear.” Yes, this is the same Mrs. Pelosi who took the possibility of the impeachment of Mr. Bush ‘off the table’, because the evidence wasn’t there, she said, and she apparently had no interest in looking for it. So, as with Mr. Bush, with Mrs. Clinton we need not look at what she’s actually done, only at what she says she will do in the future. One is reminded of the abusive husband who, during the remorse stage, swears that he’ll never again strike his wife. No need to look at a long pattern of abuse; simply take his word that there will be no more.
Unfortunately, we must, as voters and potential victims of a Hillary Clinton presidency, look back, forward and to the present. And it is that alarming present, put in context by the not-too-distant past, that should give everyone pause.
Mrs. Clinton either has, or is expected to raise, upwards of $2 billion dollars to purchase a four-year lease to the White House. She might wish the public to believe that hard-working United States citizens, toiling at the shop or office every day, are scraping together $5.00 and $10.00 donations, all of which, in total, achieves that $2 billion. However, such is not the case. Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign is being financed by the same organizations that fund her and her husband’s charitable organization, and that list includes at least 118 individuals and companies that lobbied the State Department when Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. A look at some of them is more than a little interesting. Because the list is so extensive, we will just show oil companies and defense contractors. This list shows companies in those categories that both donated to the Clinton foundation (along with the amount given), and lobbied the State Department.
* Boeing: between $1 million and $5 million.
* Lockheed Martin: between $100,000 and $300,000.
* Duke Energy Corporation: between $1 million and $5 million
* ExxonMobil: between $1 million and $5 million.
* Chevron: between $500,00 and $1 million
* Noble Energy: between $200,000 and $500.00.
* Hess Corporation: between $100,000 and $250,000.
And, as a bonus, the top three contributors:
* Microsoft/Gates Foundation: at least $26 million
* Walmart: between $2 million and $11 million.
* Coca-Cola: between $5million and $10 million.
When looking at this list, Mrs. Clinton’s vote in 2002 authorizing Mr. Bush to invade oil-rich Iraq is not terribly surprising.
What do we learn from this list? Perhaps it is obvious that few people, and certainly not the intelligent, savvy and crafty Mrs. Clinton, will bite the hands that so generously feed them. We must also speculate on what commitments and promises the illustrious Mrs. Clinton has made to her very generous benefactors. As a senator, she was in a position to introduce, co-sponsor and vote for laws favorable to them. As Secretary of State, she could lobby governments around the world for such laws. One can only imagine the power she would wield as president of the United States to benefit those who helped her purchase that office.
And what of those people who are actually working from nine to five, paying rents and mortgages, struggling to determine how to pay for their children’s higher education without going bankrupt, and generally just getting by from day to day? Some of them will, indeed, contribute to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, believing, like Mrs. Pelosi, that we must look forward and install a woman in the White House. Will Mrs. Clinton look at those modest checks, and immediately to go work to improve the lives of those donors, when doing so might possibly offend some corporation that has given her millions? Will she advocate, as president, for a higher minimum wage, paid maternity and paternity leave, and a vacation policy similar to those in the rest of the industrialized world? Might this not have the potential to negatively impact Walmart’s or Coca-Cola’s bottom line?
Will Mrs. Clinton, receiving those small checks, consider the sons and daughters of the donors, who see the military as their only option, when jobs are scarce and educational opportunities out of reach financially, and do everything in her power to prevent war? Would this not, perhaps, cut the astronomical profits of Boeing or Lockheed Martin, companies that gave her as much as $5 million? And without war, how would the U.S. continue to expand its oil empire, thus enriching the many corporations that have donated millions of dollars to her charity and campaigns? No, with a re-election campaign a mere four short years away, Duke Energy, ExxonMobil and the others must not become displeased.
It is said that one can learn a lot about a person by the company he or she keeps. In this case, one can learn much about Mrs. Clinton by the companies that keep her. She would not, as president, be the employee of the U.S. citizenry, beholden only to them, and working in their best interests. Her main obligations would be to her generous benefactors, the people who put her where she is today, and seek to elevate her to the most powerful position in the world. They are not paying to do so for the good of the nation or the world. Their goal is to satisfy their wealthy shareholders, and purchasing a U.S. president is an excellent way of doing so. The White House goes to the highest bidder, and Mrs. Clinton is happy to solicit donations to the world’s most exclusive auction.
With no viable alternative, no Democrat with anywhere near the name recognition of Mrs. Clinton, and no one on the horizon able to match her huge and wealthy donor list, her nomination is all but assured. And the alternatives being served up by the Republicans, a rehash of the arch-conservative, misogynist, racist and homophobic group the country was subjected to in the long and ugly road to the 2012 nomination, do not offer a refreshing opportunity for positive change in the U.S. No, the inauguration of 2017 will usher in more of the same: war, poverty, decaying infrastructure, racial inequality, declining middle class, academic achievement far below that of global competitors, and higher education out of reach for most. Internationally, countries who oppress their own citizens but kowtow to the U.S. will continue with business as usual.
The nation whose leaders proclaim its ‘exceptionalism’ will continue to decay, as government officials work for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful. Anyone who sees Mrs. Clinton differently is deluded indeed.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).