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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/5/16

Letter to Hillary Clinton

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Message Dana Drugmand
Hillary Clinton
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Dear Secretary Clinton --

First of all, I would like to thank you for your longstanding work in serving our country. Your commitment to public service and to fighting for children and women's rights, among other values, is admirable. At a time when the Republican Party is becoming increasingly scary and belligerent, you stand firm in rejecting this insanity and carrying the torch of the Democratic Party. You represent the logical, pragmatic choice to succeed President Obama, and in politics pragmatism usually trumps idealism.

But these are no ordinary times. Indeed the multiple challenges, crises even, we face today demand a fundamentally different approach to problem-solving -- one that values people over profits, social welfare over economic growth, and environmental sustainability over corporate interests. You admit the economy today is "rigged" and you pledge to take on Wall Street and implement campaign-finance reform. But to truly fix the broken political-economic system, it takes someone who really understands what systemic change means. And I am not convinced that you do.

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Systemic change means ushering in a "new politics" that embraces a bold vision for addressing issues like income inequality, climate change, and healthcare. It means building a new economy capable of sustaining people and the planet. And it means ending the reign of big money in politics and changing the way campaigns are financed. Your opponent in the Democratic primary represents these objectives, while you represent maintaining the status quo. I cannot trust that you will rein in the big banks and the drug companies, punish the fossil-fuel industry, and slam the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street, given that your campaign is largely financed by big donors. You downplay your Wall Street ties and claim that campaign contributions have no impact on policy positions. Why, then, are you reluctant to release transcripts of your paid speeches to Goldman Sachs? If you were truly transparent and had nothing to hide you would not hesitate to make public your remarks to big-bank executives.

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I am also concerned with your environmental stance, considering that climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge facing humanity. While your Democratic challengers refused to take money from fossil-fuel interests, you did not make this commitment. You eventually, but not initially, opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, and you are okay with fossil-fuel extraction on public land so long as it is deemed "safe and responsible." When it comes to fossil-fuel production, the only responsible policy is to "keep it in the ground." We need a president who will take this part of the equation seriously, in addition to the other part of accelerating renewable energy.

In short, times like these call for a radical response, and the political revolution Bernie Sanders is igniting is just that. It is largely fueled by young people, Millennials like me who understand that, as Sanders says, "it is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics." I believe you have good intentions and would make a fine president, and I supported you in 2008. But in the words of Bob Dylan, "the times they are a'changin'."

 

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Dana Drugmand is an environmental advocate and freelance journalist, originally from western Massachusetts. In her free time she enjoys skiing, hiking, kayaking, traveling, reading, listening to live music, and doing yoga
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Letter to Hillary Clinton