The Problem With Hillary Clinton: A Liberal’s Perspective

The problem with Hillary is not her ties to Wall Street, although they are certainly troubling. The problem with Hillary is not the sources of funding for the Clinton Foundation, although they are troubling, too. The problem is not Benghazi or “email-gate,” as these are merely cases of Republican hate-mongering, although the email issue does seem to point to a troubling lack of common sense. The problem is not all the other troubling issues, factual and otherwise, that will undoubtedly be uncovered and perhaps unfairly spotlighted during her campaign.  The problem is not even the troubling issue of political dynasties. No, the problem is much more basic than any of these.

The problem with Hillary Clinton is the subversion of the democratic process.

The Republicans and the so-called Very Serious People that make up our political elite may not care all that much about democracy, and indeed they sometimes seem to express a demonstrably visceral reaction to it, but there is a not-insignificant percentage of “wild-eyed liberals” who still like it, thank-you very much. And thus it is with much chagrin that we observe the pre-anointing of Hillary Clinton by Democrat party bosses and the money establishment long before the primary process has even had a chance to unfold. And not only that, but enduring the attacks by those who suggest that even entertaining the thought of another candidate is playing right into the Republican’s hands. As if allowing the primary process to unfold is somehow, you know, undemocratic.

But the process must be allowed to unfold uninhibited. And it must be allowed to unfold by encouraging a robust field of candidates to run. To allow otherwise is to subvert the very democratic principles that the Democratic Party claims to uphold, and to delegitimize the process altogether. To allow otherwise is to go into the presidential campaign assuming wide-spread and unified support when, in fact, it does not exist.

Hillary Clinton may very well be the best candidate and, if so, she will survive the primary process and go on to lead the Democrats to victory. I have no problem with that, and would have no problem supporting her candidacy if that were the case. But what I viscerally reject is having her shoved upon us as if she were the only reasonable candidate, and that the outcome is somehow inevitable. Nothing is inevitable, and to say otherwise is to project not inevitability, but entitlement. We witnessed how that worked out for Mitt Romney.

Clinton is not entitled to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency. She is not entitled to be the president of the United States. The only thing she is entitled to do is to run like everyone else. Anything else subverts the process and makes a mockery of our democratic principles. If she wants my support, then let her earn it by being robustly vetted through the primary process, not steamrolled through by the party elite.

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