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Ralph Nader: Hillary Clinton Sugarcoating Her Disastrous Record – OpEd

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Bernie Sanders is far too easy on Hillary Clinton in their debates. Clinton flaunts her record and experience in ways that Sanders could use to expose her serious vulnerabilities and disqualifications for becoming president. Sanders responds to Clinton’s points, but without the precision that could demolish her arrogance.

For example, she repeatedly says that Sanders has not levelled with people about the cost of full Medicare for all, or single-payer. Really? In other countries, single-payer is far simpler and more efficient than our present profiteering, wasteful, corporatized healthcare industry. Canada covers all of its citizens, with free choice of doctors and hospitals, for about $4,500 per capita, compared to the over $9,000 per capita cost in the U.S. system that still leaves tens of millions of people uninsured or underinsured.

Detailed studies in the New England Journal of Medicine show big savings from a single-payer system in our country.

It is Hillary Clinton who is not levelling with the people about the costs of maintaining the spiraling U.S. costs of drugs, hospital stays and insurance premiums that are the highest in the world. The costs include: 1) the waste of well over $1 trillion a year; 2) daily denials of coverage by the Aetnas of the corporate world; 3) about forty thousand Americans dying each year, according to a peer-reviewed Harvard Medical School study, because they cannot afford health insurance to get diagnosed and treated in time; and 4) daily  agonizing negotiations over insurance company denials, exclusions and bureaucratic paperwork that drive physicians up the wall.

Clinton hasn’t explained why she was once for single-payer until she defined her “being practical” as refusing to take on big pharma, commercial hospital chains and the giant insurance companies. She is very “practical” about taking political contributions and speaking fees from Wall Street and the health care industry.

As one 18 year-old student told the New York Times recently about Clinton, “sometimes you get this feeling that all of her sentences are owned by someone.”

This protector of the status quo and the gross imbalance of power between the few and the many expresses perfectly why Wall Street financiers like her so much and prove it with their large continuing monetary contributions.

Hillary Clinton is not “levelling with the American people,” when she keeps the transcripts (which she requested at the time) of her secret speeches (at $5,000 a minute!) before large Wall Street and trade association conventions. Her speaking contracts mandated secrecy. Clinton still hasn’t told voters what she was telling big bankers and many other industries from automotive to drugs to real estate developers behind closed doors.

She has the gall to accuse Bernie Sanders of not being transparent. Sanders is a presidential candidate who doesn’t take big-fee speeches or big donations from fat cat influence-peddlers, and his record is as clean as the Clintons’ political entanglements are sordid. (See Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer.)

But it is in the area of foreign and military affairs that “Hillary the hawk” is most vulnerable. As Secretary of State her aggressiveness and poor judgement led her to the White House where, sweeping aside the strong objections of Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, she persuaded President Obama to bomb Libya and topple its dictatorial regime.

Gates had warned about the aftermath. He was right. Libya has descended into a ghastly state of chaotic violence that has spilled into neighboring African nations, such as Mali, and that opened the way for ISIS to establish an expanding base in central Libya. Her fellow hawks in Washington are now calling for U.S. special forces to go to Libya.

Whether as Senator on the Armed Services Committee or as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton has never met a war or raid she didn’t like, or a redundant, wasteful weapons system she was willing to aggressively challenge. As president, Hillary Clinton would mean more wars, more raids, more blowbacks, more military spending and more profits for the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower so prophetically warned about in his farewell address.

So when Bernie Sanders properly chided her for having as an advisor, Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, she bridled and tried to escape by asking Sanders to name his foreign policy advisors.

In fact, Kissinger and Clinton do have much in common about projecting the American Empire to brutal levels. Kissinger was the “butcher of Cambodia,” launching an illegal assault that destabilized that peaceful country into the Pol Pot slaughter of millions of innocents. She was the illegal “butcher of Libya,” an ongoing, unfolding tragedy whose blowbacks of “unintended consequences” are building by the week.

In a devastating recounting of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous war-making, Professor of Sustainable Economies at Columbia University, Jeffrey D. Sachs concludes that Clinton “is the candidate of the War Machine.” In a widely noted article on Huffington Post Professor Sachs, an advisor the United Nations on millennium development goals, called her record a “disaster,” adding that “Perhaps more than any other person, Hillary can lay claim to having stoked the violence that stretches from West Africa to Central Asia and that threatens U.S. security.”

The transformation of Hillary Clinton from a progressive young lawyer to a committed corporatist and militarist brings shame on the recent endorsement of her candidacy by the Congressional Black Caucus PAC.

But then, considering all the years of Clintonite double talk and corporate contributions going to the Black Caucus PAC (according to FEC reports January through December, 2015), and the Black Caucus conventions, why should anybody be surprised that Black Lives Matter and a growing surge of young African Americans are looking for someone in the White House who is not known for the Clintons’ sweet-talking betrayals?

See Michelle Alexander’s recent article in The Nation, “Hillary Clinton Does Not Deserve Black People’s Votes” for more information on this subject.



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Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is a politician, activist and the author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, a novel. In his career as consumer advocate he founded many organizations including the Center for Study of Responsive Law, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Clean Water Action Project, the Disability Rights Center, the Pension Rights Center, the Project for Corporate Responsibility and The Multinational Monitor (a monthly magazine).

18 thoughts on “Ralph Nader: Hillary Clinton Sugarcoating Her Disastrous Record – OpEd

  • Avatar
    February 14, 2016 at 1:55 am
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    I agree. I was reading what Hillary said about Obama running up to the 2008 election.

    I came across this: “There’s a big difference between us — speeches versus solutions, talk versus action,” Clinton said, also in the make-or-break month of February 2008. “Speeches don’t put food on the table. Speeches don’t fill up your tank, or fill your prescription, or do anything about that stack of bills that keeps you up at night.”
    A more pointed, and more controversial, statement came in late January 2008, when Clinton questioned Obama’s ability to control Congress — with a comparison of Martin Luther King and President Johnson, which many Obama backers took to be a veiled racial swipe.
    “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act,” Clinton told Fox News on the eve of Obama’s blowout win in the African-American-dominated South Carolina primary.
    “It took a president to get it done,” she added.

    Senator Sanders should ask Hillary if she thinks she was right about the criticisms she leveled at Obama, was she wrong, or did she simply make it up to win an election…
    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/barack-obama-hillary-clinton-2008-campaign-095035#ixzz406L68BCD

    Reply
  • Avatar
    February 29, 2016 at 6:00 am
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    I saw comments on Mr Nader in regards to him “giving us the Iraq War and the patriot act by running for president when Bush won.” Actually he didn’t, Hillary is one of the people who gave us the patriot act, and the Iraq war. What he did was run for president. He is an example of what happens when you lose the independent liberal and progressive vote. An example of what happens when you ignore the people who bring you victory in elections. An example of what happens when you throw the environment (Hillary is pro fracking), our soldiers (she did, after all, vote for our never ending wars and chaos in the middle east), the poor (who Hillary calls deadbeats in regards to single mother), our citizens of color (she takes money from the private prison industry and lobbied to pass a crime bill because children of color are “super predators”)… I can understand the desire to blame Mr. Nader for Bush, I am just curious if you run Hillary who are you going to blame for President Trump? Bernie or the Green candidate?
    You ignore progressives liberals and environmentalists at your peril… indeed at all our peril. – Myles

    Reply
  • Avatar
    February 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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    Nader: please crawl BACK under the rock you came from.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    February 29, 2016 at 11:32 pm
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    It’s perfectly reasonable to blame Naderfor Bush as he was funded by his allies. At least Bush had the decency to go into hiding.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 12:32 am
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    Ed Robinson..get outta here. You have nothing to say.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 2:19 am
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    Edward……your little short comment undoubtedly reflects several of your attributes.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 3:26 am
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    Where are you that it’s March already!!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 4:06 am
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    This guy pops up every election. Shut up and take two seats please!!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 4:19 am
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    Hillary Clinton is a monster. If she wins the presidency, we will all suffer greatly. Ralph Nader, in contrast, is an honorable man, completely honest and actually smart enough to be our leader. Sadly, that is why he has been shunned by Wall Street crooks. Insanity reigns supreme in the Twenty First Century. Bernie Sanders should be much more bold in his criticism of Clinton and her cronies. He also needs to point out that Trump is a lunatic.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 4:49 am
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    Thank you once again for trying to get the Republicant candidate into the White House ! What is wrong with you. Your very slanted review of Hillary’s stands and implore that the Democrats lose the election as they did when you got Bush elected, proves that you should be dismissed as a messenger for the public good. I would prefer that you just retire into a very quiet place where you do not try to influence elections.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 8:59 am
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    This is one of the many reasons that individuals of irrefutable integrity and strong conscience, such as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, are growing in their number to endorse Bernie. Rep. Gabbard’s endorsement is perhaps the most strongly-worded of these, as well as the most high-profile to date.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 9:30 pm
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    The Trump’s and the Clinton’s are bosom buddies, if either wins we are in deep trouble. They have the same corporate masters.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 1, 2016 at 11:07 pm
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    Ralph Nader, one of the heroes of our times, speaking truth to power, and the vast majority, ignorant of the truth in context with the facts, constantly denouncing him. What a different world it would have been if Nader was President instead of Reagan and the Bushes at any time along the way. As my life comes to an end, I wonder what will happen to those that come after. With increasing war, poisons in every realm, from manufacturing to energy to food production, vaccinations containing poison, and the resultant populace here and soon to be born, unable to think straight because their brains have been permanently pickled, where will this country be in just one more decade? We need Bernie Sanders to slow the pace to the dismantling of American Society and the Constitution. Who else is out there to take up the banner? Bernie, Nader and a few young ones, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Jeff Merkley, et al. These have to outweigh all the nonsense from Trump on down across the aisle. It is an uneven battle. But the people are behind you Bernie, and you will do it.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      March 2, 2016 at 6:10 am
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      I agree with you Marguerite. The world is so dangerous that I am in fear for my adult children and my grandkids. All I know to do is talk to them and try to leave them life saving information, resources and funds. The only hope we have is Bernie Sanders. I will hold on to the fact that Western Ilinois University (they have predicted who the next president will be and have been correct since 1975.)
      have predicted Bernie Sanders as the next president. I hope they are once again correct.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    March 2, 2016 at 12:24 am
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    Throughout the campaign Senator Bernie Sander behaved like a gentleman and as Ralph Nader points out he is too easy on Senator Hillary Clinton. The same cannot be said about her style of trying to win at all costs. She used the same kind of tactics against President Obama when she campaigned against him, and now is doing a lot of damage to the Democratic cause by trying to discredit Senator Sanders with innuendos and misleading statements. The infighting (on her part) must stop as she is causing a lot of damage should he become the nominee.
    He is more of a realist, than people give him credit for. If he turned on her and exposed her/destroyed her credibility, it would have disastrous results and would definitely mean a Trump presidency, should the DNC put Hillary Clinton up against Trump. He may be a gentleman, but more so he is putting the well being of his fellow Americans before his ego of becoming president. After all he is trying to save America from a psychopathic, narcissistic tyrant.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm
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    Oh, Ralph. You are the guy who gave us Dubya. I refuse to take your political pronouncements seriously.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 4, 2016 at 5:48 pm
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    Ralph gave us W? Does no one remember it was actually the Supreme Court?

    Reply

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