Letter: Hold Clinton accountable for her mistakes

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(Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

To the Editor:

I couldn’t help but recoil at reading the line: “But looking back, I just do not understand why I viewed [Hillary Clinton] as evil. In fact, I wish I had been with her from the start.” Let me be clear: I’m a gay atheist socialist, I have nothing to gain from the election of Donald Trump. Yet, I have to say the only good thing to come out of the election is Hillary Clinton’s loss.

Consider immigration. Clinton was an outspoken supporter of the 2007 Immigration Reform bill, and during the primaries she went after Sanders for having opposed it. To review what was said about the bill, the Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens said that it would “separate families and lead to the exploitation of immigrant workers.” Former Congressman Charles Rangel said “This guest worker program’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to slavery,” a program the bill would’ve expanded. The Southern Poverty Law Center said “The H-2 guestworker program is inherently abusive and should not be expanded in the name of immigration reform.” Furthermore, then-Senator Clinton also voted to build 700 miles of fencing with Mexico.

Consider foreign policy. Clinton infamously voted for the war in Iraq, which claimed thousands of American lives, and possibly over half a million Iraqi lives, according to some estimates. Clearly, she failed to learn from her past mistakes, as during the beginning of her campaign she called for a more muscular or tough foreign policy when faced with the more dovish record of Sanders. Then there’s the topic of Libya, and the decision to get involved. Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said it was a “‘51-49’ decision” with Clinton’s support supposedly putting “the ambivalent president over the line,” as the Times summarizes. Today, Libya is controlled by a series of violent factions, one of which is ISIS.

As First Lady of the United States, she said of young kids engaged in crime, “They are often connected to big drug cartels, they are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators—no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first, we have to bring them to heel.” Many believed she was referring to African-American youth, but the context does not support that interpretation. Still, it’s quite a sign of faith in our nation’s young people to think of them as nothing more than superpredators. And lest we forget then-candidate Obama’s campaign manager saying that the 2008 Clinton campaign’s decision to circulate a picture of Obama in African garb was “the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.”

Now I can only fit so many failures and disgusting episodes into 550 words, but let me say that these are but a primer in the pitfalls of Clinton’s career. Yet, Riley says “when she is working in the public eye or holding public office, Clinton impresses and excels.” A more apt description would say that the catastrophe known by the name Hillary Clinton was able to conceal and obfuscate so well as to lose to the only person less electable than her—Donald Trump. By far, that is the greatest failure of her career, and she should be held responsible in our eyes and the eyes of history.

William Harmer can be reached at [email protected]