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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/4/16

Dear Hillary, Do You Really Believe You Are "a Progressive?"

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Reprinted from Reader Supported News

With the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses still in doubt, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers a brief motivational speech before heading to the Airport.
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The way that you rather spontaneously, and with a hint of real anger, declared "I am a Progressive" in your brief Iowa departure speech, there was a sense that at least you believed it. If the ideals of progressivism mean anything, you may want to find a quiet place in the field to reflect.

Surely you do not really believe that Progressives, any of them, would accept eight more years of being denied -- by law -- a public health care option. That simply is not the case. Progressives, all of them, will continue the struggle for their right to choose a public option. Your position that Obamacare will suffice until some far off day when the mood of Congress is just right to defy their benefactors, the health care industry gods, has nothing to do with progressive action. It just doesn't.

You can't take millions upon millions of dollars in campaign financing and personal speaking fees from Wall Street institutions and ever hope to seriously challenge the corruption killing the nation. Preventing that sort of conduct by public officials is the very point of progressive politics. You may believe that there is no quid pro quo, but your investors absolutely do, and they fully intend to hold you to your obligations. They are, after all, banks.

ISIS is horrible -- not quite as lethal as the Mexican drug wars on the U.S. border, but horrible nonetheless. Either you do not, in fact, realize that the U.S. invasion of Iraq led directly to the emergence of ISIS or you are not being candid. In either case, no Progressive would fail to understand that or say it. It is the key to understanding the root causes of what U.S. government officials define as "terrorism."

At Charleston, in the debate brought to us by NBC, Andrea Mitchell challenged your account of the meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and tech industry representatives in Silicon Valley, a meeting that was intended to encourage tech industry leaders to facilitate government surveillance. Mitchell said, "Secretary Clinton, you said that the leaders from the intelligence community went to Silicon Valley ... They were flatly turned down. They got nowhere." You replied, and you smiled as you did so, "That is not what I've heard. Let me leave it at that."

What did you hear? Did you hear that the NSA and the FBI make their own rules when it comes to warrantless surveillance of Americans, and specifically believe it is their right to ignore the Constitution at their discretion? Have you heard that there are courageous Americans rotting in prison cells because they brought to light illegal conduct by the NSA and the FBI? Do you believe that some of those who see themselves as defending American freedom are themselves the biggest threat to that very freedom? Progressives do.

Old-school Democratic/Clinton politics were on full display in Iowa. A grind-it-out ground game played by experienced, well-trained, and well-financed political professionals. That is what your Wall Street donors are investing in, not any Progressive misconceptions you may hold about yourself.

Your approach to Progressive ideals necessarily defiles them. Progressives resist injustice. They do not partner with it, even temporarily, for the sake of political convenience or power. There are many paths to power, but if you choose the wrong one, there is no path out.

You are not a Progressive because you want to be. You are not a Progressive because you remember who you were as a college student. You are a Progressive because you work tirelessly against injustice. Always.

Find that quiet place in the field.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News:

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