With one week to go in this year’s presidential election — an astonishing and depressing contest in which the two least-liked and least-trusted candidates in history are the two choices put up by our two main political parties — it’s time to look at why left and liberal people should not vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Obviously, nobody on the left or center left is going to vote for Donald Trump, but all too many are falling for the Clinton campaign’s main argument, which boils down to: You probably don’t like her, don’t trust her, and realize that she’s a greedy, entitled rich person, but she’s still better than Trump.
Honestly, is that a good reason to vote for Hillary Clinton?
I suppose, if we lived in a peaceful world, if the US were a peace-loving country instead of one that is wasting 55% of our federal taxes on military spending, much of it to terrorize or actually blow up people in other parts of the world — usually places where people are living in abject poverty even before they are bombed and invaded — if we weren’t facing an existential crisis of accelerating climate change that could wipe out most of the human race if something urgent isn’t done, and if there weren’t already 45 million people, or roughly 15% of the US population, stuck below the poverty line, perhaps such an argument would make sense. But the reality is that Hillary Clinton won’t change any of that, any more than President Obama did. In fact, she is likely to make these situations worse, if elected — in some cases perhaps worse than even Trump would do.
My biggest concern about Clinton has to do with war and increased military spending.
Clinton is, to put it gently, a confirmed and unapologetic “hawk.” She calls for what is euphemistically in the US called a “muscular” foreign policy. Muscular is a term of art in US government circles that means using the US’s outsized military might to pressure or even terrorize other countries into backing US foreign policy (think Philippines, Pakistan, Spain, etc.), and to invade or subvert those that do not go along (think Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.).
Clinton has made it clear, including in her third national debate against Donald Trump, that she intends to try and impose a “no-fly” zone over Syria if elected. Now recall that Syria is a nation with an internationally recognized government, and that its government, headed by Basher al Assad, while clearly a dictatorship, did what government’s do, and invited Russia to send air support to protect it from a terrorist insurgency known as ISIS, funded and trained by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other countries. A US air campaign to try and bar Syrian aircraft and the aircraft of their Russian ally from conducting military actions against ISIS and other elements like Al Nusra (the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda) fighting to overthrow it, would, in the view of top American generals, mean war with Russia.
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