Global Independent Analytics
Danny Haiphong
Danny Haiphong

Location: USA

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Opinion: Don't Let Trump Take Hillary Clinton Off the Hook

Everyone should make a choice. But no one knows for sure which choice is the right one

Throughout high school and into my first few years of college, I was what some may label an American liberal. I possessed a vague belief in the equality of all human beings. I also held onto the idea that if opportunities were available to all, then the issues of racism and inequality could be resolved peacefully. But what really defined my liberalism was an aversion to the right-wing Republican Party. The Republican Party represented the evil of all evils in American society.

I was eighteen years old when I voted for Democratic Party super star, Barack Obama. I grew up in a household that couldn't wait for George W. Bush to leave office. The establishment portrayed Obama as the remedy to the deep economic and political crises of the Bush Presidency. Obama would tax the rich, end the wars, and bring American society back to a proud place. A little over two years later, I learned that these promises were nothing but illusions.

The year was 2011 and the Obama Administration was furiously waging war on the state of Libya. Like most Americans, I had little knowledge about the North African country. All I knew was that the Obama Administration demonized the Libyan government. Muammar Gaddafi was depicted as a corrupt dictator who supposedly was murdering his own people. I had to know more for myself.

I learned through study that Libya was a progressive nation with socialist principles and policies. The Libyan government nationalized its vast oil resources soon after the revolution of 1969 and embarked on the implementation of social reforms. These reforms eradicated illiteracy, ensured healthcare for all, and made Libya the most developed country on the African continent. I also learned that the Libyan government aided numerous African liberation struggles, including the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

The US and NATO alliance armed terrorists and pushed through a UN Security Council authorization for airstrikes to destabilize Libya. All together, the invasion killed tens of thousands of people. Black Libyans were targets of racial genocide. The progressive gains of the Gaddafi era fell into the hands of armed bandits who knew nothing but terrorism and plunder. These bandits threw Libya into a state of chaos that resumes to this day.

Libya's demise is part and parcel of the Obama Administration's political legacy. The legacy is crystal clear. The first Black President who campaigned on "hope" and "change" has forwarded a program of war, austerity, privatization, and repression in service of the lords of finance capital. He has bombed more countries, deported more immigrants, and protected more bankers than the prior Bush Administration. He has done so with an immunity that could only be afforded to a Democratic Party politician, and a Black one at that.

The upcoming 2016 elections lack the allure of a Black President. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party favorite, served as Barack Obama's Secretary of State from 2009-2013. She was instrumental in the destruction of Libya and proclaimed "We came, we saw, we died" after NATO illegally assassinated Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Her resume in service of Wall Street and the rich is extensive. Yet Hillary Clinton hasn't been the corporate media's main attraction. That privilege has been given to Donald Trump. Trump’s time in the spotlight has garnered significant opposition.

Much of the left's opposition to Trump has focused on his racist remarks directed at the Muslim, Black, and Latino community. Trump has come out in favor of the mass deportation and internment of Muslims in the US. He has also voiced a proposition to register Muslims in the US under a special identification system. Trump has further been on record calling Mexicans "rapists" and "criminals." In November, a Black Lives Matter activist was beaten down at a Trump rally after the presidential candidate called on his white supremacist attendees to remove the activist. 

Trump's racism deserves condemnation, but primarily focusing on his campaign falls into the US electoral trap. The ruling class in the US presides over an imperialist system that is inherently racist. This system requires racism to justify the exploitation of the labor and land of all workers, but especially workers of oppressed nations. So when Trump is labeled a "fascist" and a racist bigot, then the entire system that empowers him must be labeled fascist and racist as well. However, while this author has no reservations about these characterizations of US imperialism, serious opposition to these ills should not leave Hilary Clinton out of the conversation.

Yet Hillary Clinton has received little opposition from the forces who have condemned Trump. This indirectly positions Hillary Clinton as the most viable candidate to manage the affairs of imperialism. While Clinton has not articulated an overtly racist program, her career as a politician and member of the ruling class has arguably done more damage to humanity than Trump. Trump's business ventures have surely impoverished and harmed countless workers. That is what capitalism is all about. However, Hillary Clinton’s support for the Iraq, Libyan, and Syrian war alone has caused significantly more bloodshed than Trump ever could at this point in time.

The comparison of Trump and Clinton is not meant to exonerate Trump's racist positions or argue that somehow he would be a better candidate. Rather, the comparison is meant to illustrate the danger of protesting just one candidate within US imperialism's two-party electoral charade. A total focus on Trump gives a subtle but complete pass to Hillary Clinton's role in her husband's war on Yugoslavia, the passage of NAFTA, and her own rabid support for Israel and its war aims in Syria and the region. Clinton met with the Venezuelan opposition soon after Venezuela's National Assembly elections. Sectors of the opposition are known fascists. This begs the question as to which candidate in the 2016 US Presidential elections is the fascist, and which isn’t.

The fact is that Hillary Clinton has received nowhere near the opposition as Trump has faced thus far. A strong left movement must oppose Hillary Clinton just as much as it opposes her opposition. If it doesn't, the movement will fall prey to the "more effective evil" strategy of the US imperialist system. Two terms of the Obama Administration have put in plain sight the dangers of the Democratic Party. Fascism, imperialism, and racism are not dictated by the likes of Trump alone. Without the anchor of a "more effective evil," the two-party system that empowers exploitation and oppression would crumble under the weight of the economic and social crisis. We must untie whatever ropes bind us to that anchor.

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