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Herb Rothschild Jr.: Vote for Clinton in November

I just voted for Bernie Sanders in our state’s primary on May 17, but I’ll vote for Hillary Clinton in November. I urge my fellow Bernie supporters to do the same.

Clinton has beaten Sanders, and the process wasn’t rigged. She neither overwhelmed him with money nor manipulated the rules. The undeniable fact is that more people voted for her than for him. Yes, he won the youth vote by large margins, but she won the black and Hispanic votes by large margins. Let’s not imitate Trump by crying foul when things don’t go our way.

Polls have shown Sanders running better than Clinton against Trump, and her negative ratings are higher than his. But she’s been subjected to Republican slander for a quarter century, whereas they’ve had no occasion to train their slime guns on him. Nor is it a foregone conclusion that Clinton supporters would rally around Sanders more than Sanders supporters will rally around Clinton.

I’ll devote the remainder of this column to what I think we can expect from a Clinton presidency. It won’t be an optimistic prognosis. Yet, it’s imperative that we help her beat Trump.

Despite widespread belief that Clinton can’t be trusted, we can be fairly certain what she will and won’t do in office. We’ll like her social policies and her judicial appointments. However, she won’t try to undo the gross asymmetries of wealth and power at home or abroad. This, of course, is why Sanders supporters were hoping he’d win, and why we remain grateful that he’s running. He’s given ringing voice to disgust with our plutocracy, and he’s forced Clinton to echo him. His election by itself, though, couldn’t bring about the needed changes. She won’t lead the grassroots movement that’s our only hope for redistribution of power, but she won’t try to suppress it. And she is sincerely committed to policies that will ease the plight of working people and the poor.

But only domestically. Abroad Clinton has promoted corporate and financial interests at the expense of justice. Honduras is representative of her record on foreign affairs.

While the U.S. was focused on the Middle East, the forces of progressive reform swept over Latin America, our traditional sphere of dominance. Honduras was no exception. José Manuel Zelaya Rosales became its elected president in 2006. But a military coup on June 28, 2009, forced him from power. Led by Clinton, the Obama administration publicly condemned the coup, but behind-the-scenes made sure Zelaya was not reinstated. Why? Because he had grown close to leftist social movements at home and signed cooperation agreements with Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. Clinton’s behavior isn’t in question. She was fairly open about it in “Hard Choices.” And her recently released emails reveal her day-to-day skullduggery at that time. We’re now thick as thieves with Honduras’ brutal regime, including sending military aid that would have been illegal had the administration not refused to call the coup “a coup.” Our weapons are being used to murder those like Berta Caceres, who resist the rapine of global enterprise.

Dreadful, but no more so than what U.S. administrations for over a century have done. We’ll have to keep struggling for justice with our brothers and sisters abroad. It would be no different with Trump. And Hillary understands the limits of U.S. power. Under Clinton, as under her predecessors, thousands will die, but not the entire human race.

Herb Rothschild's column appears in the Tidings every Saturday.