You may not have heard, but the 2016 presidential election has already been decided. Almost three years out of the primary, Hillary Clinton is the most popular non-incumbent (potential) candidate in American history.
Her promising position comes only as a result of the funds flowing in from corporate donors. It may be that a female president would symbolize progress in America, but for issues that matter most, another Clinton presidency would be a step backward.
On Wednesday, former Secretary of State Clinton visited the University of Miami to address the student community. Though she may indicate otherwise, Clinton does not represent the student body, the democratic base or Americans at large.
In the present political climate where money trumps all, Clinton simply cannot be trusted to represent the interests of her democratic base. In 2008, her top donors were Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, MetLife and Morgan Stanley. These companies don’t make investments without expecting returns. Their donations will translate into protection from future regulation and prosecution, though their contributions could just be compensation for Bill Clinton’s unjustifiable repeal of banking deregulations in 1993.
Nowhere has Hillary’s corruption been better demonstrated than during the Honduran military coup of 2009. As Secretary of State, it was her job to advocate for the reinstatement of democratically elected Manuel Zelaya. Instead, she officially recognized the new fascist regime, simply to protect the interests of American companies who exploit sub-human working conditions in Honduras. That year, Honduras had the highest murder rate in the world, and the bloodshed is on her hands.
The StopHillaryPac website reads, “Make sure Hillary Clinton never becomes president! America can’t survive another term of Obama-era radical liberalist policies implemented by a Bill and Hillary Clinton team back in the White House.”
Despite this Tea Party type group’s desperate claims, the reality is that Hillary is not liberal enough.
She supported the Iraq War, arguing against withdrawal years later. She also supported the Patriot Act and the escalation of the War on Drugs, arguing in favor of increased mandatory minimums for drug related sentences as well as the death penalty.
She has been a major advocate for the Keystone XL pipeline, in direct contradiction of the democratic base of which environmentalists are strongly present and crucial to voter turnout.
Under her leadership, the State Department released an environmental impact report on the pipeline that was later dismissed as fraudulent by several American senators after it was learned that the department had contracted the job out to a company with ties to Transcanada, the pipeline company seeking the permit to build the Keystone XL. As it turns out, Transcanada’s top lobbyist was Clinton’s national deputy campaign manager in 2008.
The overwhelming majority of Americans are ready to move forward with progressive reform, but money and corruption continue to stand in the way. In 2016, America will have to ask itself, do we want real change, or do we want Hillary Clinton?
Matt Pontecorvo is a sophomore majoring in political science.