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Hillary’s Web of Promises

Oren Cass ’05 is not impressed with the Clinton campaign:

When I visited it in early June, Hillary Clinton’s campaign website featured about 30 issue-specific pages focused not on a nation with problems to be solved but on discrete victim groups with wounds to be salved. The site illustrates the Left’s descent into crass identity politics. The federal government is the heaviest of policy equipment, best used sparingly for big jobs; but for Democrats, it has become a courtesy car, always on call to drive chosen constituencies from one point to another. Put me behind the wheel, Clinton seems to promise, and I’ll put you on my route.

Based on an examination of Clinton’s website, “racial justice” is her campaign’s organizing principle. Not only is her racial-justice page the most expansive on the site—longer by half than the entry for the economy—but it also links to nine other sections, including those devoted to criminal-justice reform, LGBT equality, higher education, climate change, and energy. (“African Americans hold only 1.1 percent of energy jobs and receive only 0.01 percent of energy sector profits,” in case you were wondering.)

Wherever racial linkages weaken, gender stands ready to pick up the slack.

Not that there is anything wrong with that!

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#1 Comment By Jim On August 9, 2016 @ 3:00 pm

This is why Trump is going to win in a landslide.

#2 Comment By ephalum On August 9, 2016 @ 4:17 pm

Jim, you just forgot one word: “win Oklahoma in a landslide.” Trump is now down in every swing state, often by double-digits. He’s down in Georgia and Arizona and North Carolina. He’s as far behind in Pennsylvania as he is ahead in Texas. And that was all before he solicited murder of his political opponent, which even by Trump’s standards, crossed the bound of acceptable political discourse. He is a dangerous buffoon, an ignoramous of heretofor unthinkable depths, a nasty, puerile, hateful man, an utter imbecile who would create at least three international incidents per day if he ever managed to be elected President. Heckuva job, GOP! Fortunately, he is going to lose so badly that his likes will never rise again, and the only viable Republican candidates in 2020 will be Ben Sasses, Jeff Flake, John Kasich, Ted Cruz and anyone else who refused to ever endorse Trump.

Trump has done one great service via his candidacy: wholly undermined the Republican talking point, for at least a generation, that enormous wealth is earned by intelligence and hard work rather than largely a function of birth and luck. Anytime the GOP makes that argument henceforth, Trump will be the unassailable counterargument.

But, yes, good point, Hillary Clinton does a whole bunch of outreach to minority voters on her website. The horror, the horror!

#3 Comment By ephalum On August 9, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

By the way, perhaps it is a news to you, but African-American voters are now allowed to vote (as are women, and Latinos, and LGBT voters, and voters with disabilities, and parents of soldiers, and Muslims, and so on). And it appears they prefer voting – by an overwhelming margin — for a political party that makes at least some attempt at outreach, and some effort to address concerns that are widely shared among that community. But by all means, yes, please continue to focus the entirety of your platform and rhetoric only on the concerns of one increasingly narrow segment of the electorate.

#4 Comment By anon-liberal On August 9, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

At least these promises are public. We may never know what she promised to Wall Street, or to the many oppressive regimes around the world who lined Bill’s pockets on her watch.

#5 Comment By Curious On August 10, 2016 @ 8:07 am

I sometimes wonder if a special interest group, i.e. LGBT, truly cares more about something like whether or not certain people can use opposite sex bathrooms than poor GDP growth, terrorism, rising wealth inequality, etc.

#6 Comment By 89’er On August 10, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

I would surmise that when your basic rights – to non-discrimination, safety and to marry whom you love – are not recognized, whether the economy is growing at 1.5% to 2.5% is of less consequence.

I would suspect for most of us, our priorities change under duress or threat or when the state limits our liberty.

By way of example, duress has had adverse consequences for the rule of law and a founding principles as a nation: a nation might engage in state sponsored torture if it believes it is under a grave terrorist threat, it might engage in propaganda fueled wars of choice under such circumstances or it might illegally incarcerate citizens of a specific ethnicity while at war.

What if you were specifically precluded from equal protections because the majority argued that such protections were special treatment?

#7 Comment By anon-liberal On August 10, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

Very well put. Your words also help explain why the rise of identity politics represents a dangerous trend. When politicians get groups to be in constant fear for their safety, they can get away with a lot of bad stuff. They might even get others to do bad stuff.

#8 Comment By Dick Swart ’56 On August 10, 2016 @ 4:34 pm

As a particular example of loss of civil rights, Minori Yasui may be of interest.


Steven Wong, Phinney Baxter Professor of History, will give a talk on Mr Yasui in Portland the 22 August as a Portland Alumni Association event.

I live in Hood River, OR. The history of the internmemt and discrimination of citizens with some degree of Japanese ancestory is well-known.


Jim Azumzno, Williams ’69, was County Administrator when I moved here in 1992. He was the first Administrator of Japanese heritage.

In Hood River, OR at the end of W.W.II, the names of 15 Japanese-American veterans were removed from the town memorial by the local post of the American Legion. The act generated considerable national attention.

Years later in the mid-’90’s , the American Legion Hall was the site of the opening of a show on the internment organized by the Japanese-American Society of Oregon. I attended the opening of the show with Jim Azumano who found the day particularly satisfying.

The American Legion Hall is now the Columbia Arts Center.

Can it happen here? It has …