In last night’s debate, Hillary Clinton demonstrated that she is more fit to be President than Donald Trump in terms of temperament, experience and understanding of the issues.
She is able to rule her emotions. She has the background knowledge required of a world leader. She would not be a national embarrassment to the United States on the world stage.
But I don’t think these qualities will, in fact, make her a good President. They will make her a more effective evil.
Compared to Trump, she would face fewer obstacles in leading the United States into war, and she would be better able to defuse opposition to Wall Street and the monopolization of wealth by a tiny elite.
Trump, by reason of his inexperience, ignorance, lack of self-control and lack of allies in the Washington establishment, would be easier to stymie—which is not to say that a Trump administration would be harmless.
On paper, Clinton is the best-qualified Presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush ran in 1988. She has participated in Washington politics for 25 years, and she has been seeking the Presidency for at least 10 years.
Over time, she has built up a formidable network of donors, supporters and advisers unmatched by any of other candidates.
But what has she actually accomplished in all these years on the national stage?
I do not reject her because, in the 1990s, she and her husband followed a political strategy of trying to out-Republican the Republicans. This was the high tide of Reaganism, and the Clintons had reasons to think they had no other choice.
Neither do I reject her because, as a Senator, she voted to authorized George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq. John Kerry, Joe Biden, Al Gore and many other prominent Democrats supported the invasion of Iraq, although they criticized Bush’s handling of the war.
I reject her because she has not learned anything from her mistakes. She is still a proponent of military intervention—in Libya, in Syria and likely in Ukraine. She is still the candidate to serves the interests of Wall Street.
What her administration promises is more of what we’ve had during the past three administrations, and I think that will be a disaster. A Trump administration also would be a disaster. Why vote for either one?
Watching Presidential debates is an interesting post-modern type of experience.
Post-modernism is the philosophy that says that what’s real matters much less than what people think is real. I and my circle of acquaintances watch Presidential debates in that spirit.
Nobody I know watches Presidential debates in order to decide who to vote for. Instead we watch to judge the candidates’ performances, and to guess how other voters might react.
My own impression is that Clinton did well. She showed that she and not Trump was the adult in the room. But post-debate polls are wildly different
People with something to lose will tend to vote for Clinton because she is a known quantity. People who think they have nothing to lose will tend to gamble on Trump.
But why limit yourself to just these two? Gary Johnson is a better Republican than Trump and Jill Stein is a better Democrat than Clinton, in terms of what they stand for. If enough people vote for alternative candidates, maybe the two big parties will offer us better choices the next time around.
Who Won the Debate? My View and Some Surprising Polls by Mike Shedlock for Mish Talk.
How Did We End Up With Such Unpopular Candidates? by Peter Van Buren for The American Conservative.
Clinton, Trump and the Death of Idealism by Mark Harris for Counterpunch.
Image via NPR.