Monday, November 26, 2018

Hillary Clinton passes the buck

"When I give food to the poor, I'm called a saint. When I ask why they are poor, I'm called a communist." -Archbishop Dom Helder Camara.

In an interview with the UK Guardian, Hillary Clinton claims that immigration "lit the flame" of right wing extremism in Europe.

Fascism always rises when the ruling elite is revealed as corrupt and dangerously out of touch.

Yes, sometimes the arrival of immigrants who are fleeing violence or seeking a better life for their families serves as the perfect scapegoat to "light the flame". The Other is always the most popular villain. But it only works if there is kindling to light.

Western Europe is governed mostly by centrists, like Mrs. Clinton herself. Many large countries are run by grand coalitions that cannot or will not make tough decisions for fear of the government falling.

Europe could've found a way to accommodate the migrants in a way that respected international law without undermining national societies. But this coordination required the leadership that Europe's centrist coalitions were lacking.

It's no surprise that as Europe's non-leaders dithered, the far right seized power in places like Poland and Hungary and is rapidly expanding in places like Sweden and Germany. Politics abhors a vacuum.

And that's how the far right seized power in the US. The ruling elite was revealed as corrupt and out of touch and a charismatic demagogue filled the void. Who was the standard bearer of the ruling class when this happened? Centrist Hillary Clinton.

Much of what African migrants are fleeing to Europe about are economic morasses and wars created or exacerbated in large part by European neo-colonialism. Just like much of what migrants are fleeing from in Mexico and Central America are similar collapses caused by American neo-colonialism... including those helped by Barack Obama's first secretary of state.

Hillary Clinton giving a nod to xenophobia is really just her making excuses for her own role in the rise of the US far right. The fascists needed a shady, out of touch ruling class member to vilify and the DNC obliged them. Hillary Clinton was hardly unique in that but just happened to be in that role at the wrong time. But it does make her supremely unqualified to lecture others about how to combat right wing extremism.