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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/1/15

Fascist Trump, Neoliberal Hillary, and Progressive Bernie: Three Contrasting Performance Styles

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Hillary Clinton's opening campaign commercial

Here are the folks, the real everyday Americans--in her own liberal way, Hillary wants to continue the necessary segregation between real and fake Americans as assiduously as Trump--Hillary wants to give a chance at a better school, a bigger home, an entrepreneurial venture, a path forward in the professional world. Except that Hillary is not actually going to do a single thing for them; as she has explained in subsequent campaign speeches, these are the (righteous) folks who "fought their way back" on their own and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps during the economic crisis (the one during which Hillary was senator). It's just--their time--you know. They're not the ones who needed to be bailed out from unsustainable mortgage or student loan debt--Bernie's people--they are the ones who made it. Every one of the people in her commercial smacks of liberal virtue, having paid their dues and followed every little rule on the path to success. Well, regardless of who gets elected, it's these people's time anyway, the righteous professionals already run the show.

Hillary Clinton unequivocally rejecting gay marriage in 2004; equal rights for LGBT people is suddenly, along with support for "hardworking" and "taxpaying" immigrants, one of the subsets of her "four fights."

Yes, I'm blaming it all on Hillary--or rather, the establishment neoliberal capitalists who've selected her as their figurehead/messenger this time around (Jeb would serve just fine too, only at the margins is he any different than Hillary, so a Hillary-Jeb contest leaves them winners in every way). Fascism, or any form of political reaction, occurs only when liberals leave the field empty. And Hillary is leaving it emptier, blanker, seedier, more nondescript than any candidate I've seen in the Democratic party since the neoliberal ascendancy, more even than Al Gore, John Kerry, or Barack Obama. In that sense, she is the worst modern candidate ever.

And she never learns. Compare her rallies below in New York and Iowa after Bernie Sanders had climbed in the polls with later rallies and you'll see no difference. It's the same basic script, the same faux populism that neoliberals have been using since the 2000 Gore campaign, doctored by maestros such as Bob Shrum, using the same empty rhetoric about "fighting" for the middle-class and wanting to be the president of "all" Americans, not just "the few." She even wants to work across the aisle to keep us "safe" from terror, that's one of her four fights; and there's even "reinventing government," recycled from Al Gore's failed venture.

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Anis Shivani is the author of several critically acclaimed books of fiction, poetry, and criticism, including Anatolia and Other Stories (2009), Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies (2011), The Fifth Lash and Other Stories (more...)

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