Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination by encouraging an American inferiority complex at home, targeting profit-making enterprise, and pledging a massive government intervention in the economy.
Those who love individual liberty, free markets, and freedoms of religion and conscience: beware!
Clinton strode to the podium at the Democratic National Convention to the words of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” The choice of this tune was no mistake due to its recent popularity, but the song unwittingly revealed Hillary’s never-ending quest for self-validation. It’s the hunger of a person with a chip on the shoulder, that obvious sense of inadequacy and thirst for acceptance:
This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song…
Are we looking for a president who is trying to prove that she is “alright?” For those who doubt that this was a major theme of her speech, consider her nod to overcoming Bill’s infidelity and her assertion that her nomination, as a woman, is a “milestone in the march toward a more perfect union.” The phrase, “more perfect union,” comes from the preamble to the Constitution; it is hard to imagine that the Founders were thinking of Hillary’s career when the wrote, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense…”
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Donald Trump’s speeches talk a lot about winning: America was victorious in the past and Americans can continue to win in the future. America leads and it has a destiny. In contrast, Clinton’s speech suggested that almost all Americans are losers, kept down by corporate greed. She caricatures Americans as divided by race and class. Indeed, this has been the playbook of the Democratic Party for more than a generation: the characterization of American citizens as victims.
Clinton’s anti-capitalism screed did not merely placate supporters of Bernie Sanders. She showed her true colors as a statist and a quasi-socialist by saying that corporations are “not patriotic,” Wall Street “wrecked Main Street,” and “too many dreams die in the parking lot of banks.” She pledged to “liberate” people from the student debt that they have accrued and she claimed that American companies and “the super-rich” do not pay their fair share, promising to “make them pay…”
In short, Clinton’s worldview came into sharp focus: a free society simply has too many losers and thus dramatic government intervention is needed in the workplace, education, healthcare, and across all private sectors of life. She promised to “invest” in all of these areas because “Democracy is not working the way it should.”
What about Islamic State, al Qaeda, and violent Islamism? What about strategic competitors like China destabilizing the Pacific and Russia’s nefarious involvement along the borders of NATO?
Clinton said very little on these topics, and largely avoided other global issues such as corruption, pandemics, and the retreat of liberal democracy in the developing world. Her insecurity when it comes to security issues was obvious when she called President Barack Obama’s decision to take out Osama bin Laden “courageous.” What makes the decision to execute judgment on a mass murder like bin Laden “courageous?” Only a person plagued by liberal guilt or unsure of one’s responsibilities as leader of the free world could possibly think that the decision to terminate bin Laden was anything more than right and just.
But, would one expect her to say much on national security topics?
No. Clinton avoided these issues in part due to her record and in part due to the psychology of the entire speech. On the one hand, her record is weak when it comes to foreign policy: she dithered on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, supported the destabilizing action in Libya, was America’s top diplomat in the early years of Obama’s “open hand” to Iran (and back-hand to Israel), and saw the world become increasingly less free and less safe while secretary of state. She will ever have the blood of Benghazi on her hands as well as the crimes, whether prosecuted or not, of mishandling and risking classified information.
But it is the psychology of the speech that comes through: “vote for me and it will prove that I’m alright and therefore that you are alright. The government will take care of you.”
Clinton’s speech was chilling. She pledged class warfare against those already paying the majority of taxes and promised the spoils, such as citizenship to illegal immigrants as well as tuition- and debt-free higher education, to hyphenated Americans. Clinton suggests a continued retreat—as under Obama—from a constructive leadership role by the U.S. in foreign affairs in favor of a statist, redistributionist economic focus at home reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt's bloated bureaucracies or an Ayn Rand dystopia. Banks and corporations are the primary threat, not Islamic State and al Qaeda.
Clinton’s America is one in which traditional institutions such as the church, business, and family will be under constant assault by Big Brother, and where the protections that individuals have—from gun ownership to voluntary political contributions—will all be under assault by the nanny state. Clinton was right: this is a “fight song.” Platten’s lyrics claim that “one match can make an explosion.” Let’s hope that Clinton does not make it to the White House, lest she destroy so much that is good in America.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D. is Dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
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