Debunking the Myth that Hillary Clinton Isn’t “Liberal Enough”


hillaryclintonI am an unapologetic Hillary Clinton supporter. Now, does that mean that I think she’s perfect? Of course not. But the nonsense I’ve seen and heard from quite a few liberals over the last several weeks has been, at times, completely ridiculous.

First let me address all the Bernie Sanders people. I fully admit Clinton will never be as “liberal” as Sanders on many issues, nor should she be. Because while she’ll never be as much of a far-left liberal as the senator from Vermont, she’ll likely be something he’ll never be – President of the United States.

Look, I love Bernie Sanders, but he’s not going to become president. Even if he somehow pulled off a miracle and beat Clinton in the primaries, he wouldn’t win the general election because I can guarantee everyone reading this that this country isn’t going to elect someone who’s going to be 75 years old and calls himself a socialist. It’s just not going to happen. Even Jon Stewart, someone who’s voiced his reservations about some of the things Hillary Clinton has done, has poked fun at Sanders’ chances.

Besides, as I’ve said from the beginning, Sanders is best suited for the Senate.

Naturally, the biggest gripe I see from most anti-Hillary liberals is that “she’s not a liberal.” In fact, I participated in a roundtable discussion a few weeks ago where one of the individuals participating actually said Hillary might be more conservative than Jeb Bush – the man who literally just said he opposes same-sex marriage because he doesn’t believe gay parents can provide loving, stable homes for children.

Yes, that’s the kind of absurdity I’ve been dealing with as of late.

The harsh truth is that people can piss and moan about Hillary Clinton all they want, but they seem to forget that she redefined what it meant to be a First Lady; she was the face of the Clinton push for health care reform in the early-90’s – long before the ACA; and she didn’t just sit on her ass doing nothing during Bill’s eight years in office. She then went on to become a senator and Secretary of State. The bottom line is, she might be one of the most qualified candidates to run for president that we’ve seen in a very long time. 

Oh, I know… I know. “But she voted for the Iraq War, she’s a neocon and war-monger!” First, she’s already admitted that voting for the war was a mistake. Let’s also not forget that this country was being blatantly misled and lied to by the Bush administration and many other Democrats voted for the war as well, including Harry Reid and Joe Biden. No matter how much people want to complain about her support for the war she can’t go back in time to change anything. All she can do is admit it was a mistake, which is exactly what she’s done, and learn from it.

Tell me, how exactly is she “not a liberal”?

When it comes to gay marriage, just like President Obama, she’s also gone from an opponent to a supporter in the last few years. In fact, since officially announcing that she’s running for president she’s made marriage equality and equal rights for the LGBT community a key building block of her campaign.

Then there’s immigration, where she’s come out even further left than President Obama on common sense reforms to deal with our growing immigration issue.

How about campaign finance reform? Yup, liberal on that too. She’s come out swinging when it comes to advocating that we must pass laws to help prevent billionaires from being able to buy elections. She’s also stated that she wouldn’t appoint any Supreme Court Justice who wouldn’t pledge to overturn Citizens United.

Equal pay for women? Yup, she’s all-in on that too.

Education? She’s said she’s open to the idea of coming up with a plan to offer a debt-free college education for Americans and in Arkansas she was viewed as a leader in reforming education while her husband was governor.

Oh, so she’s a neocon warhawk you say? Well, she’s stated that she’s against using American ground troops against ISIS, instead favoring using ground forces from regional nations – and she’s put her support behind President Obama’s Iran deal, saying “diplomacy deserves a chance.” Besides, the decision to go to war shouldn’t be based upon what’s popular or unpopular, but whether or not it’s actually necessary. All I ask is that if we’re ever to start another war, that it was a measure of last resort – not the first (and preferable) option.

She’s also been a proponent of making sure we do all we can to combat climate change and has expressed her desires to expand programs to increase green energy alternatives to supply our nation’s energy needs.

As for health care, that speaks for itself. As I said earlier, nearly two decades before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law she was redefining the role of the First Lady and fighting for health care reform in the United States.

Prison reform? She’s called for putting an end to “mass incarcerations” that have needlessly ruined the lives of millions of Americans and wants every police officer in the country to wear a body camera. She’s even came out in support of President Obama’s plan to cease allowing some military-style equipment to be given to police forces.

The main area where her “liberalism” is less than ideal is when it comes to big banks and Wall Street – though a lot of that rhetoric is simply based on donations she gets from some of the big financial institutions and the assumption that she won’t be hard on them because of those contributions. But that’s exactly why we need people like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the Senate fighting to pass legislation that tackles corruption within our financial sector. Remember, it’s in Congress where we really can bring this nation to the left, not the White House.

Now, is Hillary Clinton as liberal as Bernie Sanders? No. And she’s never going to be. He’s in a unique position where I don’t even believe he expects to win so he can say and do whatever he wants because he won’t face the consequences once the general election starts. And that’s just not a luxury that Hillary Clinton has. What a candidate says during the primaries can have dire consequences in the general election – just ask Mitt Romney.

But this ridiculous narrative that “she’s not really a liberal” or “she’s basically no different than a Republican” is mostly derived from fiction, propaganda or a personal bias against her rather than the actual reality concerning where she stands on many of these “liberal issues.”

But hey, hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think.

As I said, I’m all-in on Hillary Clinton in 2016, and it’ll take a lot to change my mind.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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