by Frank Thomas
I've watched Hillary closely over the years. She's a bright woman with a strident passion to achieve power and presence in the political arena. Her husband, Bill, has the same political power-thirst genes.
For some time, however, I've observed their decent into a greedy money-making machine duo. This has been amplified by their nurturing of close relationships with the rich and powerful during Bill's presidency and her position as senator of New York. Hillary, without the political acumen or charm of Bill, has come to reflect the endemic phony, money-driven politician culture we have had for so long. As one young college student remarked recently, "With Hillary,sometimes I get this feeling that all of her sentences are owned by someone." I get a similar impression that she's staged from beginning to end. Her pandering comes across as genuinely unconvincing but convincingly opportunistic.
It certainly appears that good old fashion GREED has invaded the soul of the Clintons - earning humongous speaking and consultant fees from big banks and other powerful sources amounting to $139 million (much of which from secret Wall Street speeches) between 2007 and 2014. This money accumulation obsession runs in the family. In 2014, at a relatively young age, Chelsea got an obscene NBC annual income of $600,000 for a rather simple job, probably thanks to her parents' status and media net-work relations. Hillary's accumulation of outrageous fees (for example, recent $675,00 from Goldman Sachs for three speeches) along with the outrageous Wall Street speech fees symbolize how compromised and corrupted her progressive judgement is.
It's often a farcical spectacle to watch and listen to her trying to appear REAL to the common folk. As one analyst stated, "Hillary has become just another ultra-rich liberal who pretends to be the champion of the little guy." Despite her recent 'revolutionary' pretensions of being a true progressive, for a long time she has been politically more right of center than center ... and tightly bound to money interests.
While she doesn't have her husband's charm and political acumen, she does beat his chicanery for playing with the truth or not giving a straight answer to a simple question. She recently criticized the use of offshore tax havens and promised to go after Cayman Island tax avoidance schemes. BUT, she and Bill have been paid billions of dollars for speech, consultant fees, and investment income from firms doing business in the Cayman Islands.
On December 29, 2015, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) came out with a list of ethics violators. Hillary was named the worst ethics violator of 2015. FACT has filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics regarding Hillary Clinton's State department favor for her HEDGE FUND son-in-law. FACT has also come up with a number of examples as evidence of how Hillary Clinton has abused her government position and violated ethics rules.
Bernie Sanders is a 'revolutionary' opposite politician - refreshingly sincere, honest, consistent, down-to-earth in stating what's dangerously structurally broken in our democracy and economic model. Of course, the conservative Republican right-wing establishment and the Democratic right-of-center establishment (and bought media) have been quite taken aback by Bernie popularity.
So Hillary and journalistic pundits (e.g., Washington Post's article, "Bernie Sanders Fiction-Filled Campaign") are now intensifying the attack on Bernie, e.g., that he is a wild money-spending Socialist, a man with an ambitious but 'impossible' fantasy agenda, a man too old and unproven to bring it off, a man who is not a pragmatist. In this regard, one commentator's remark was head on, "At the heart of current misconceptions beats a more dangerous Democratic myth ( promulgated by Hillary) that 'Revolutionary' change cannot be pragmatic and that Centrist ('Evolutionary') compromise is the only path to real progress."
Bernie is a Social Democrat in good health with a long legislative record that has given him the label of being the "amendment king" in correcting legislation not in the general public's interests. Should he select Elizabeth Warren as his Vice-Presidential colleague, there couldn't be a more magnificent, qualified combination to restore our broken democracy ... so torn apart by an extreme far right swing to pro-rich, pro-corporate, pro-war, 'Me First' policies.
Like Harry Truman, Bernie says things exactly the way they are - without pretense, a self-inflated ego, or any illusion of how difficult it will be to set genuine change in progress that serves ALL Americans. Only REAL structural step-by-step change will save our democracy. He's right on message which Hillary is now copying ... it's not about recovering our country's ** **supremacy or leadership in the world. It's about recovering our economically and morally bankrupt democracy that's not serving the common good - exemplified by a middle class economic race to the bottom in a 3rd world decayed infrastructure system, pre-college education and basic health care systems, and tragically high poverty and homelessness.
And this is happening while billions of dollars have been thrown away and thousands of innocents killed in an insane pursuit of interventionist regime change around the world over past decades. Bernie wants to change this costly failed interventionist policy. Hillary is more hawkish.
Bernie Sanders is really challenging Hillary big time with his theme of Real Change rooted in a "common purpose" for the "common good" ... a democracy 'of, by, and for the people' as opposed to the plutocracy, autocracy, 'corporatocracy' we now have. We have been immersed in the extinction of the fundamental cornerstones of our eqalitarian system of government, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers of our Constitution.