During his weekly show, on March 11, 2016, comedian, and sometimes liberal gadfly, Bill Maher attacked the group Revolt Against Plutocracy (“RAP”) for their #BernieOrBust pledge. This pledge is to not vote for Clinton in the event that she is the ultimate nominee of the Democratic Party.
Believing himself to be witty, Maher stated that Revolt against Plutocracy was simply contributing to the election “of a revolting plutocrat” (i.e., Trump). Maher dismissed the differences between Sanders and Clinton as being minimal. He ridiculed the idea of not supporting Clinton. His remarks can be viewed HERE.
I was, briefly, a Director of RAP. As such, I feel the need to rebut Maher’s clueless assertions.
Hillary Clinton is a tool of concentrated money. She represents the interests of Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street financial institutions. She was a Director of Wall Mart at a time when it was actively suppressing attempts at unionization. She has received millions of dollars in contributions from these entities.
As Secretary of State, Clinton was deeply implicated in the 2009 coup against democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Honduran indigenous activist Berta Caceres was murdered within days after she recently spoke out against Clinton’s involvement in her nation’s descent into military-backed autocracy.
Clinton once stated “We came, we saw, he died” as a flippant response to the violent death of Libyan Dictator Muamar Khadafy. She is such an ardent proponent of US military intervention around the world, that recently none other than Dick Cheney recently praised her militarism.
Clinton was, for reasons of political expediency, an ardent supporter of the homophobic Defense of Marriage Act, which Bernie Sanders steadfastly opposed.
I could go on and on and on, however, the above is sufficient to show Clinton for what she is: a cynical, calculating politician, lacking completely in morality, ethics and even the slightest semblance of decency. She is a willing tool of America’s power elites. That is ALL she has ever been, ever will be, and can ever be. A vote for her is a vote to continue our economically destructive neoliberal, global interventionist status quo.
Bernie Sanders, conversely, has consistently stood against manufactured foreign interventions and wars. He has consistently stood for the rights of working people, and religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities. His positions have not “evolved” over time.
Bernie is grounded in a deep sense of morality, and of consistent support for the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society. Bernie has consistently stood with the people against the powerful who pay themselves obscene profits even though they pay little to no taxes, exploit their workers, pollute the planet, corrupt our politics, and contribute little to nothing of positive value to our society.
As such, a greater contrast between these two candidates cannot be imagined. There is NO similarity WHATSOEVER between Sanders and Clinton. Bill Maher, in claiming that only minor differences exist between the two, is either inexcusably ignorant, or more probably, simply bloviating the views of the Hollywood elites of which he is a card-carrying member. Either way, he does democracy a great disservice.
Maher stated that Democrats need to unite against Trump, implying that either Clinton OR Sanders would be the better choice over Donald Trump. If only real life were as two-dimensionally and cartoonishly simple as that!
What animates Trump’s supporters, at the deepest level, is ever-growing income inequality. The mostly poorly educated, blue collar, white voters he attracts, do not understand how and why their standard of living is consistently declining. Life expectancy among this desperate cohort of voters is also DECLINING.
In actuality, their standard of living is tanking due to the neoliberal national government that has become the servant of business interests. These destructive neoliberal economic policies have been followed by Republicans from Reagan onward; and by Democrats from Bill Clinton’s Presidency, forward. They exported our high-paying, unionized manufacturing jobs abroad. First to Mexico, and then as Mexico became too “high wage” for the robber barons, to China. Now, indeed, many of these jobs, textiles in particular, are being moved once again, to ultimate low wage places such as Bangladesh.
Profits for the elites soar, as once well paid American workers sink ever deeper into debt and despair. All this is a direct consequence of neoliberal economic policies of which Clinton is an inextricable part, and of which Sanders has resolutely opposed across the years and decades.
In reality, Hillary Clinton, and all other neoliberals, have themselves CREATED Trump. THEY bear SOLE responsibility for summoning him and his proto-fascism from the “vasty deep.” Happy people do not make history, unhappy, economically insecure ones do. Clinton, a neoliberal champion, is inextricably a part of the CAUSE of Trump’s success as a candidate.