Hillary Clinton: The Conservative Candidate


Okay, look. Progressives are almost certainly going to vote for Hillary Clinton. They don’t want to, but they will because–Trump. Bottom line. It’s frustrating to have to be in this position when there was a candidate who represented our interests for the first time since I started voting. Regardless, Progressives will vote Hillary or they will be making a big mistake.

That being said, Progressives and others on the left must contend with one simple fact. The reason the left liberals are not on the Hillary wagon is because she is far from a left liberal. I’ve written on this previously. Clinton is, at best, a pro-Medicare, pro-Social Security conservative corporatist. She is not the liberal we are looking for. Today’s featured voice summarizes this observation quite well.

That being said, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated evolution on some key issues like gay rights and crime, embracing more liberal positions. In response to Bernie Sanders and the rise of progressive movements like Occupy she appears to have had her Road to Damascus moment on inequality and the importance of reigning in Wall Street. There is that matter of her paid speeches, but…

If we know one thing about Clinton, we know that she will respond to the political winds. The left doesn’t have a reasonable candidate for president, but we do have the rumblings of a cohesive movement, thanks to the long term efforts of those coming out of Occupy and the Bernie Sanders campaign. Clinton can be urged into progressive positions if the winds are blowing to the left. It’s up to us to make sure that happens.

In the meantime, conservatives have some soul searching to do. Donald Trump may be a right wing nationalist in many respects, but he does hold some liberal positions on gay rights and health care. He has even spoken out against the Trans Pacific Partnership, though it is unclear if he is against it because, you know, Obama, or if he has ideological qualms about such so-called trade agreements. He has also suggested punishing corporations that move jobs overseas, a common left position. It’s not clear what Trump’s real beliefs are as compared to what he is saying just to get votes, however, for many on the right, he’s not the conservative they are looking for.

But in many ways, Hillary is…if they can just get past a quarter century of reactionary “Hillary Bashing” they might realize that she can be a right of center ally rather than the evil incarnate she is presented as.

This could be dangerous to the progressive cause. Political winds can blow anywhere, and if they start to blow to the right, you can bet Hillary will follow.

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