I tend, for better or worse, to be wary of progressive political surges in American politics that place too many expectations on who becomes president, and my attitude to Bernie Sanders is no exception. On the one hand it’s heartening to see a self-proclaimed democratic socialist in the United States who is actually popular – and popular amongst young people. At the same time I’m not impressed by his rather shallow and distinctly unprogressive foreign policy, and I’m not convinced about his ability to take on the very powerful forces that will inevitably try to destroy him.
That said, I hope he – or rather the movement around him – goes as far as he can, and I certainly hope that he goes further than Hillary Rodham Clinton, because I absolutely cannot abide her and never have. Before you call me sexist, I should point out that I never liked her sleazy husband either.
But Hillary; don’t get me started. I didn’t like the fact that when she was campaigning against Obama she pretended that she’d come under sniper fire in Bosnia in order to make herself look tough, brave and experienced. When she was caught out she said she’d ‘misremembered’, when in fact she lied, a little lie to be sure, but one which says a great deal about her cynicism and crass opportunism.
I didn’t like the fact that she chortled like a sociopathic schoolgirl ‘ we came, we saw, he died’, after Gaddafi was sodomized with a knife. I don’t like the fact that she has never seen an American war that she didn’t like or support. I don’t like the fact that she sees praise from Henry Kissinger as some kind of endorsement; that she is the neocons’ favoured politician; that she is the consummate Israel-firster; that she makes millions of dollars giving speeches to Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions and then claims to be the champion of Americans whose lives have been wrecked by these same institutions.
I don’t like the fact that until recently she was taking donations from the US private prison industry, when her husband put more Afro-Americans in jail than any other American president in history. I don’t like it that she thinks that post-Civil War Reconstruction was a mistake, and either doesn’t understand the history that she was referring to or has in fact chose to side with white supremacists in order to pick up a few more votes.
So I really don’t have much time for bourgeois feminists who say that if you don’t like Hillary then you must be sexist. This school of thought – if thought is what it is – reached its nadir on Friday when Gloria Steinem told Bill Maher that young women who support Bernie Sanders are only doing it to meet boys.
No wait, that wasn’t quite the nadir. It was the pre-nadir, compared with the ghastly spectacle of Madeleine Albright denouncing Bernie Sanders’s ‘revolution’ by arguing that ‘the first female commander in chief would be a true revolution.’
Yep, what a revolution that would be be, wouldn’t it? So inspirational and empowering, that Albright felt it necessary to remind those young naifs out there who believe that politics are more important than gender that ‘ We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done. It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!’
There should also be a special place in hell for former national security managers who think the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was a price worth paying to contain Saddam, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re men or women. Of course Hillary clinton believed that too.
Not only has she appeared consistently and blissfully oblivious to the catastrophic consequences of the wars that she has supported, but she even has the temerity to suggest that the litany of disasters that she has signed her name to somehow qualify her as an experienced politician with a national security resumé.
In short, if I have reservations about Sanders, I have none about Hillary Clinton; she is a political operator of the worst kind. She is incompetent and ruthless, dishonest, hollow, and essentially fake.
So respect to all those young women who are going for the old guy, I hope they prosper and that they won’t be dissuaded by the feminism-lite emanating from the likes of Steinem and Albright.