The Clinton campaign: a lesson in hypocrisy

As the War for the White House grows fiercer, few candidates are willing to put their mouths where their money is.

Andy Stec, Columnist

In his chilling dystopian nightmare “1984”, George Orwell unknowingly gave us a window into the 21st Century:

“Power is not a means; it is an end…the object of power is power.”

The similarities between Orwell’s world and this one are apparent, not just in the startling parallels between “1984”’s autocratic government and our own surveillance state, but in the very process through which power is viewed and attained. As we’ve been shown through the allegiances of Superdelegates, the key towards winning elections is not through popular support, but by the establishment of a political powerhouse.

Obviously, Hillary Clinton is that powerhouse.

It’s certainly a position she’s earned, her tenure in the political field since the early 90s has been both ambitious and successful—culminating in her gaining the second most important position in the United States Executive Branch. Naturally, she’s now advancing upon the first.

The unsettling fact in this matter lies in how that power is gained. It means appealing to the American populace during election years, gaining significant backing amongst members of Capitol Hill and attaining the support of large donors and PACs. None of this is done, or at least done efficiently, with integrity. That isn’t to say that honest politicians do not exist, though it is to say that being an honest politician is a great deal more difficult. Why stand up when the going is tough when a simple and convenient change in opinion can ensure a reelection?

Take, for example, the plethora of issues Clinton has not just changed her opinion on, but completely reversed her opinions on. She supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest world trade agreement in history. Under the TPP, global trade limitations and regulations would be lessened amongst member countries and reward multinational corporations with a greater ease in outsourcing labor to third world countries. Particularly most troubling amongst this agreement’s provisions was the blandly titled, “Investor State Dispute Settlement”, which allows any global corporation to demand compensation from federal, state, or local governments that brought legislation into power that they claim diminishes their profits. This includes any labor regulation, safety standards, or toxic emissions limitations.

In 2012, then-Secretary of State Clinton announced that she stood behind the agreement. However, she recanted this by 2015—a year before her second run for the Oval Office. Regardless, the TPP was signed into effect on Feb. 6, 2016.

Senator Elizabeth Warren noted that during the Clinton Administration, she’d written an op-ed column on a piece of Bankruptcy Legislation passing through Congress.

“The credit card companies had been pushing to try and tighten bankruptcy laws. Sort of like locking the doors to the hospitals, and then claiming nobody’s sick in America. They were trying to have those laws constrained so that fewer families could get in: why? Because you could make more money if more families don’t go into bankruptcy—if you’re a credit lender.”

As First Lady, Clinton urged her husband to veto the bill—and he did. However, following the end of the Clinton Administration in 2001, and her reinstatement as Senator of New York, she voted in favor of the bill when it made a reappearance.

Perhaps the two most noticeable, and most ugly, instances of her indecisiveness are in her stances on same-sex marriage and the War in Iraq. In 2002 she adamantly opposed New York State acknowledging same-sex unions, and in 2004 she reinforced her stance in an appeal before the Senate.

“I believe that marriage is not just a bond, but a sacred bond between a man and a woman.”

A decade prior, she and her husband’s administration signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act, which codified LGBT-America’s second-class status. By 2013 she had publicly reversed this position and declared her full- fledged support for equal marriage—a mere three years before her second campaign for President.

Clinton has openly admitted on numerous occasions that her decision to vote in favor of the War in Iraq was a mistake. It’s certainly a step in the right direction, though it doesn’t solve the core issue. There are countless other instances of her political flip-flopping; the Keystone Pipeline, the Patriot Act, Wall Street Regulation—and under other circumstances, I would believe the relatively simple answer of, “opinions change.”

Not this time.

Not when every one of these convenient changes occurs within a mere few years of the Presidential election seasons. The only difference now is that it has become all the more obvious how frequently she is playing catch-up in regards to her liberal policies. When others marched for Civil Rights, Clinton campaigned for Barry Goldwater and his platform of segregation and racism. When others opted for regulation on Wall Street, Clinton stood alongside an administration that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act. When others campaigned for equal marriage for all, Clinton denied that basic right.

Was it because she was young then? Has she grown wiser and all the more benevolent with age and experience? Did her opinions merely change?

Or did she just learn how to play the game?

Clinton, like many politicians before her, is not interested in being a leader. She is interested in being the leader.