Third Party & Independents Archives

Ralph Thinks Hillary Is a Hawk?

Elizabeth Warren is not running for president. She meant what she said, apparently. So her supporters might back Vermont independent Sanders, because they really have nowhere else to go. And Sanders is - realistically speaking - an amusing distraction from the central dynamics of the campaign: a diverse field of GOP contenders against warhorse Hillary Clinton. The descriptive term seems apt given Ralph Nader’s opinion that Hillary would be as tough as Lindsey Graham on defense issues if only gender politics wouldn’t keep getting in the way.

Could that be why Hillary has displayed an increasingly grouchy side in the last year or so? Does Hillary have an inner hawk eating away at her liberal gut? Let's hope not because given her record on Libya, for example, there are real hawks out there who know what it means to support a robust foreign policy in a way that actually works. Hillary as a frustrated hawk is a disaster: both in terms of foreign policy and in terms of her image with a significant percentage of her own party's supporters. But if you think about it, it has also been an unsaid or understated theme surrounding Hillary all along. This lady is tough. She can run the country because she's Bill's wife and she's tough. But tough is very different from frustrated, something Hillary seems to be rather than steely. Like a bad-tempered principal constantly scolding her pupils or sending gate crashers (and autograph seekers) to the back of the line, Hillary provokes more than she commands. And does so unwillingly. She likely has little interest in being pugnacious, but has a lot of history and grudges on her plate that she can't or won't wash away.

Yes, Washington is steeped in the art of long-delayed and carefully crafted revenges, and some reparations that are a little more immediate, bruised and bloodied. Hillary has seen them all, and suffered a few, and repaid a few. And yes, Ralph Nader should worry that "her militarism is absolutely shocking." But for reasons far different than the aging maverick's seeming insistence that every woman be a pacifist. Her militarism is shocking because it lacks an ethical spine that accepts and understands the necessity of conflict, and an intellectual clarity that sees when to use it, and when not to.

Posted by AllardK at June 8, 2015 7:49 PM
Comment #395848

I enjoyed the read Allard.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 9, 2015 4:03 PM
Comment #395849

Confusing article. Hillary is militaristic but lacking ethical spine? What exactly is “her record in Libya”? What would “real hawks” do that the Obama administration did not do? The dictator Khadaffi was using his military to attack the civilian population in order to put down unrest. It was a slaughter, similar to what happened later in Syria. Did “real hawks” want to invade Libya?

And what is “the necessity of conflict”? The point of any kind of worthwhile ethical code is to advance the cause of peace. Conflict and warfare ditches ethical considerations in favor of expediency and “might makes right.”

This smacks of the usual anti-Obama and anti-Hillary right wing knee jerk reflexive reaction. Conservatives mill around and screech ‘do something,’ but have absolutely no idea what should actually be done.

The last time conservatives were in charge of foreign policy, we were attacked on 9/11, invaded Afghanistan and failed to capture Bin Laden, and then invaded Iraq under false pretenses and utterly botched the Occupation, directly leading to the creation of ISIS. Not exactly a sterling track record.

And it turns out the one really interesting presidential campaign so far is Bernie Sanders. Who woulda thunk it? He is attracting big crowds and a lot of money, in the form of small donations. He is attracting bigger crowds than anyone in the GOP field and he has raised more money than most. I’m beginning to realize it would be a big mistake to overlook Sanders. He is talking a language that appeals to a lot of voters, especially when it comes to things like college loans.

Posted by: phx8 at June 9, 2015 6:45 PM
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