A couple of days ago, I took a probably silly internet quiz which was supposed to tell me which political candidates I’m most aligned with. It was no surprise that I was aligned with Bernie Sanders by about 96 percent, but what was surprising is that I aligned with Hillary Clinton by about 80 percent.
The popular trope is that Hillary is a conservative, and that may be true on national security issues, but when it comes to economics and especially social issues, she’s almost as far left as Bernie Sanders.
Vox did a rundown of ways in which Hillary is to the left of Barack Obama. Here are just a few:
- In the 109th Senate, Obama was the 17th most liberal member (between Chuck Schumer and Tom Harkin), while Clinton was the 13th most liberal member.
- In the 110th Senate, Obama was the 18th most liberal member (again one tick to the left of Schumer) while Clinton was again 13th most liberal.
- Another way of looking at it is that of the two Democratic senators from New York, Clinton was the more liberal. Of the two Democratic senators from Illinois, Obama was the more conservative.
As Vox also notes, she’s to the left of her husband as well and people have known this for a very long time. As for her ties to Wall Street, Vox says this:
One should be cautious about reading too much into a New York politician’s friendliness to Wall Street — especially a politician with such tenuous ties to New York. As a senator from Illinois, Obama was an ally of the Illinois coal industry. Elizabeth Warren is a dogmatic liberal on virtually every issue, but also a loyal ally of the medical device industry, which happens to be substantially based in the Boston area. Things can change over time, but it seems likely that First Lady Hillary Clinton rather than Fake New Yorker Hillary Clinton is the better guide to her views on Wall Street.
In other words, she was a Senator from New York. She had to be friendly to Wall Street. To give you perspective, her rating by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is only 35 percent. That’s not a corporatist rating.
As for social issues, Hillary is a staunch feminist. Here’s Hillary on abortion rights back in 2009:
Much is made about Hillary’s previous ties to Walmart, but people need to realize that she was there during a time when Walmart wasn’t the face of evil as they are today. She supported Walmart’s “buy America” program and she was instrumental in bringing on more women managers and in pressuring Walmart to be more environmentally friendly. My guess is that if she were still on the board of Walmart, they might be a better company today.
I’m in no way saying Hillary is perfect. She’s on the fence about marijuana legalization. As I mentioned, she is more hawkish than Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. She still has a lot of questions to answer, like with her views on TPP (which may soon be a non-issue) and her position on Social Security. I’d like to see her speak about breaking up the big banks.
Regardless of what happens, it’s wonderful that Bernie is in the race. Hillary no longer feels the pressure to run to the center because the country is running away from the center. Regardless of who walks away with the nomination, to have 80 percent or even 60 percent in common with a presidential candidate is a hell of a lot better than any of the Republicans.
Featured image via Flickr.com.