AN OPEN LETTER TO HILLARY CLINTONHi, Hillary. You know me. I mean, we’re not friends, exactly, but we’re acquaintances. You were wonderful to me back in l994 when you invited me to the White House. It’s a memory I will treasure always, and you gave it to me. I thank you.
Now, about your presidential run — if indeed you make it. I’m writing you this letter because I think the topic might figure into your decision-making, or maybe not.
I admit that in 2008 I went with Obama, feeling at the time that he was carrying the real spirit of things, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, well. Anyway.
That was then and this is now.
I want a woman president — really, I do. A lot of us do. And yes, you’re so qualified, and yes, we’ve known you forever, and yes, you’d know what to do from Day 1. We all get that.
But none of that is enough to get my vote, or the vote of a lot of people I know. We only want to vote for you if you run like hell away from that corporate box you’ve landed in. I’m telling you, Hillary. The American people have become hip to what’s happening. We know now that Wall Street runs the country, and we don’t like it. And for many of us, we don’t want to vote for you if Wall Street runs you too.
There are the seeds of political revolution in the air — a rebelliousness, a rambunctiousness — that America has been sorely missing. It’s faint, at least on the left, but it is there. As a matter of fact, as tragic as it is for a lifelong Democrat to have to admit this, the one place where we have been seeing it manifest recently is on the political right. The Tea Party, sans a codependent relationship with the Republican Party, is causing a real problem for establishment Republicans. And once progressives break free of their codependent relationship with the corporate Democrats, you’re going to have a real problem on your hands too.
That’s why I’m writing. I have a feeling you’re getting most of your advice from people who think that everything I’m saying here is nonsense. So I’ll say it as loudly as I can.
STOP NOW. Stop cozying up to the banks, to the chemical companies, to the military-industrial complex, to the party machine, and to all the various financiers who make up the plutocracy now ruining this country. Yeah, I know a lot of them are nice people and that’s cool. But they should not be able to turn the elected representatives of the American people into mere inconveniences they can buy off election after election. And if we have a sense that you’d be just another puppet of the elite, then I don’t believe that you will win. We were fooled once, but I don’t think we’re going to be fooled again.
In the final analysis, we really do love democracy — and watching it dismantled as it’s being dismantled, and corrupted like it’s being corrupted, has taken a lot of us from denial to real depression to a collective “Hell, no!” that will have electoral consequences in 2016.
Years ago, George Lakoff compared Republicans to a critical father and Democrats to a nurturing mother. I pointed out a bit later that the critical father had become an abusive one — but that as anyone with any psychotherapeutic understanding knows, the child will ultimately put a lot of his or her blame on the mother who stood by and allowed the abuse to happen! That’s the Democratic Party machine today, Hillary. Please don’t be one of them.
I know you know exactly what I’m saying, because I remember you — a lot of us remember you — when you were raging against the Establishment machine on top of which you’re now so sweetly perched. That machine is not our salvation; it’s our problem. Corporate Democrats might have gained some power for the party, but at the cost of its soul.
I’d love to clamor for you, to work for you, to cheer you on. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines longing for Elizabeth or Bernie. I want to hear what’s true from you. I want you to rail against the chemical companies and their GMO’s — not support them. I want you to decry the military industrial complex — not assure them you’re their girl. I want you to support reinstating Glass-Steagall — not just wink at Wall Street while sipping its champagne. In short, I want you to name the real problems so we can trust you’d provide some real solutions.
But maybe that’s just me wanting you to change, to be someone different than who you are. If that’s true, please forgive my presumption and ignore this letter. But if anything I’m saying rings any kind of true at all, then I hope you’ll start saying so.
And quickly please, Hillary. People are starting to despair.