Hillary Clinton: Not the supreme Democrat


Courtesy of defense.gov

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the press

On April 12, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her 2016 presidential campaign. Her candidacy had been long anticipated since she ended her tenure as Secretary of State in 2013. Although she is the de facto Democratic nominee based on public opinion polls that put her ahead of every possible challenger, there exist more ideal candidates whose interests match those of the American people.

There is no doubt that Clinton, if elected president, would be a capable and effective leader. She has a great deal of leadership experience, which is unmatched by any possible primary and general- election opponents.

Clinton, however, for all her merits, is also a cunning and strategic politician who doesn’t appear to have many firm or convincing beliefs. Just like any person, she has evolved her views on issues over time, but all of these changes have occurred at times that are convenient for her public image.
For instance, in 2014 when asked about NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who released thousands of top secret documents, Clinton condemned his actions fervently and said that his “outrageous” actions helped terrorists. Then, this year, just before announcing her candidacy, she gave an interview during which she very clearly changed her tone with regards to the leak and said that the American people felt “betrayed” by the fact that the NSA was carrying out such an extensive amount of surveillance. This change in tone is a clear appeal to younger people, for whom privacy is an issue of great concern.

Furthermore, Clinton’s recent email scandal has posed major questions about her trustworthiness. In March, The New York Times revealed that she’d been using her personal email account during her time as Secretary of State. Her integrity had already been in question after her scandal-filled years as the First Lady of Arkansas and then of the United States. Although those of us who will be voting in our first presidential election next year are too young to remember Travelgate or Whitewater, it’s important to keep in mind Clinton’s reputation for being unusually secretive and shady.
Politicians who could better represent the people’s interests include Elizabeth Warren, a senator from Massachusetts whose populist rhetoric strongly condemns Washington’s prioritizing of corporate interests over those of the general public. She also has strong views on the growing economic inequality in this country and student debt. While Clinton mentioned how she wants to be a “champion” for regular people in her campaign announcement video, the language was clearly borrowed from Warren and felt insincere given the fact that she has been making about $200,000 for almost every speech she has given in the past few years.

Unfortunately, Warren has vehemently denied that she will be running for president. Other candidates, however, such as former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders have announced that they will be challenging Clinton. Although it’s improbable that either of them will win the nomination, by running they will be putting progressive issues such as income inequality in the spotlight, thus forcing Clinton to at least acknowledge them. Seeing that we live in a democracy and not an aristocracy, it is important that powerhouses like Clinton are challenged and picked apart rather than given a clear road to victory as if the presidency is a God-given right.