In a litany of other articles I have explained why I vehemently oppose Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency and whilst mulling over the final days of the Democratic race a blindingly obvious criticism of Clinton became apparent. This criticism is on the issue of weapons, hence the pun in the title, and should be pointed out before she wins the nomination. The issue around Clinton’s emails has been based on a number of different criticisms and at first I dismissed it as another jumped up non-scandal. However concerns about the Clinton Foundation gives pause for thought.
The Clinton Foundation was established in 1997 and it was founded with the goal of increasing the interdependence of people around the world. This goal is in coherence with liberal philosophy, namely the democratic and commercial peace theses. The controversy around this organisation is based on its links to foreign governments and companies deemed morally questionable. These include the government of Saudi Arabia, the government of Kuwait and large multinational corporations like Boeing and Goldman Sachs.
As a result of these donations detractors make two criticisms of the Clinton Foundation. Firstly, a organisation that claims to be working for humanitarian reasons to improve the world shouldn’t really be taking money from foreign governments that abuse human rights and large corporations that have vested interest in seeing goals like world peace not achieved. For example can an organisation claim to want to fight climate change, as the Clinton Foundation does, whilst also taking money from ExxonMobil and the Dow Chemical Company? Personally I can’t help thinking that there may be a conflict of interest there.
The second criticism is relating to when Clinton was Secretary of State. Some argue that the continued donations to the Clinton Foundation by governments in the Middle East and large arms manufacturers may have something to do with why the US sold arms to these countries whilst Clinton was at the State Department. It’s worth pointing out that the US has historically supplied these despotic regimes with an unhealthy amount of fire-power because the US wanted the black gold under the Arabian peninsula. The point that is made is that surely there is a conflict of interest in an official capacity when Clinton is awarding contracts to companies and some of the companies in consideration have donated large amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation. The way to prove that there was no corruption would be by going through all of Hillary Clinton’s emails from when she was at the State Department, but we can’t because she deleted loads of them. I’m not accusing Clinton of wrongdoing, but I do find this act highly suspicious especially when her email set-up violated State Department rules and the Federal Records Act.
But this article isn’t about those criticisms because that is old news. The point I would like to make is about Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton claims that on one issue she is to the Left of Bernie Sanders, and that issue is on gun control. It must be stressed that her positions on every issue change depending on who she is running against, but in this election cycle it could be argued that she is correct. When claiming that she is to the Left of Sanders in the regard, she cites his opposition to the Brady Bill which included a section giving victims of gun violence the ability to sue the seller of the gun for the actions of the recipient of that weapon. Personally I think this is a stupid point because that person shouldn’t necessarily held accountable for the actions of a mass murderer.
However there is a glaring case of hypocrisy here. Clinton claims, in accordance with the Brady Bill, that gun dealers and manufacturers should be held liable when someone goes on a shooting spree. Therefore I have one question: should Hillary Clinton be held accountable for the casualties of the war in Yemen? When head of the State Department Hillary Clinton sold weapons to the Saudi Arabian government, and those are now being used in Yemen. She cannot have it both ways. Either the seller of arms is complicit in the eventual deaths of people when those arms are used, or the seller is not.
Again I don’t believe the Brady Bill is right when it makes this case, but if Clinton is going to criticise people for opposing this part of the bill, she has to accept that she is a hypocrite. How can you claim domestically that gun sellers are complicit in the deaths of people in mass shootings when you have a record of selling guns internationally? The only defence is that this is a false comparison because corporations are not governments, to which my response is that selling weapons to Saudi Arabia is much worse than a gun shop owner selling a rifle to someone without doing a background check.
To conclude, Hillary Clinton is a terrible candidate. I don’t know what she stands for and on the one issue where people actually know what she thinks, gun control, it is founded on hypocrisy. The fact remains that when she was Secretary of State she sold large amounts of weapons to unsavoury governments around the world, and that many of these have links to the Clinton Foundation. Whether there was quid pro quo corruption can only be proven by looking at emails that Clinton has already deleted, and therefore we will never know. In terms of the Brady Bill, Clinton has set out her stall as being a fervent supporter of the bill, however she refuses to apply the same standard in the bill to her own dealings. Hillary Clinton should not be the President but she is lucky that she is running against an actual fascist, because if she was running against Marco Rubio or Rand Paul she would have lost the general election. The worrying thing is that she is such a bad candidate that she might do the unthinkable and lose to Donald Trump.