Hillary Clinton’s New Book and Neoliberal Politics

Analysis by Reporting San Diego

Sep 11, 2017 (San Diego) A new book is coming and in the excerpts released by the publisher are brutal, towards Bernie Sanders. She literally blames her loss in the campaign on her primary opponent, who ran one of the gentlest races in recent memory. This might be a personality trait. Clinton cannot accept that she lost because she made some serious strategic mistakes. One was to assume that voters in Wisconsin and Michigan were going to vote for her regardless. This cost her the election. 

Clinton also assumed that Donald Trump was so toxic, that Americans would reject him out of hand. We wrote during the primary that underestimating Trump was a very serious mistake. However, we understand why the Democratic Party establishment, and Clinton, did not take him that seriously. Regardless, instead of asking the obvious question, why, they keep blaming the “left” in general, and Bernie Sanders in particular. 

Her latest apologia is full of that. This is excuses and blaming instead of asking why. So it’s time to once again explore what happened. Now with a global view, well beyond the United States. What Democrats and the political elite in the United States, you could argue in Europe as well, as Latin America, does not understand is that we have a wide spread rejection of neoliberal policies. Income inequality and hopelessness is deep. The siren call of right wing populism, better understood as fascism is strong. Why? The economic policies of the last 40 years have led to the deepest income inequality since the 1920s and 30s. 

In case this is necessary, that as the period that saw the rise of Italian, German, Spanish, and yes American fascism, just to mention a few. The same is happening today. We are seeing the rise of fascist movements around the world, in both advanced and developing economies. The driver is a failure of Western democracies to respond to the economic crisis that is leading to despair. We will add Climate Change to the mix, which is creating very dangerous conditions around the world. 

Sanders also ran a populist campaign. However, his was not the populism of Hugo Chavez, or Nicolas Maduro. Sanders was in the vein, policy wise, of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I know some people are surprised when I say this, since FDR is the hero of the Democratic Party, even though they pay lip service to his policies these days. 

Sanders and Trump registered with Americans since both were a clear rejection of Neoliberalism, a political ideology that puts the market ahead of all, and profit above all. Neoliberalism has been embraced by national Democrats for at least 40 years, starting with Jimmy Carter. Economic inequality can be traced directly to a point in time, that is 1973.

Don’t get me wrong, Republicans are no angels. They embraced a version of neoliberalism as well. Why a lot of Democrats blame Ronald Reagan for it. It has been quite bipartisan. These days many in the Republican Party have embraced open fascism. This is a natural evolution from this neoliberal ideology. We need to be conscious of how we got here, in order to fight it. 

What needs to stop, however, is the series of apologia from Secretary Clinton. It reveals her lack of understanding of why she lost. Many of us said it. The day she got the nomination Trump would be president. We read the mood of the country far better than the Democratic Party. It is time for Democrats to finally sit down, and understand why neoliberalism is a failed ideology. Moreover, it is time for our political class to realize that unless they get why people around the world are indeed angry, fascism will continue to advance. 

Naming the problem is critical, and admitting their hand in it is also critical. 

Categories: Clinton, neoliberalism, fascism, trump

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