By Patrick Barron, Opinion Writer
On November 8, 2016, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was elected to be the first female President of the United States of America. She was the former Secretary of State, a former New York state senator, a former First Lady of the United States, and clearly the most experienced candidate. And if she somehow lost… (not likely). Nevertheless, while a Clinton victory would mean that the battle is over, the war will have just begun. I plan to hold her accountable to her campaign promises.
Examining Clinton’s positions on issues can be a challenge. On the one hand, some people argue that her shifting stances make her a flip-flopper. On the other hand, others contend that it shows that she is open-minded. My own position is that I like people who are willing to change their opinion when confronted with new information, that negates their original position.
According to Wikileaks.org, a website that publishes secret information, in a leaked paid speech that Clinton delivered to a Brazilian bank, Banco Itaú, she said, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders…”.
For clarity, she currently opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which the BBC says is an economic agreement between 12 countries, the U.S. included, that would help better facilitate trade. During the 1st Democratic presidential debate, Clinton said, “I did say, when I was secretary of state, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard…It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn’t meet my standards…And I concluded I could not.” It is important to note that the Democratic President Obama is vigorously trying to push this agreement through Congress.
In addition, her comments on the TPP highlights some of my worries of a Clinton presidency. Which position is the real one? Though, to her credit, she has admitted her evolution on some issues and she now runs a more consitent Democratic Party platform. I just hope that she sticks to her promises.
And I am not alone on my “accountable” viewpoint. Even Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s former competitor in the Democratic presidential primary has made it clear that he intends to hold her accountable. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Sanders said, “I expect her to appoint people who will head agencies in a way that is consistent with the Democratic Party platform, and if not, I will do my best to oppose those nominees.”
So what can we do? I offer an easy five step plan. First, if you supported Clinton and her policies, familiarize yourself with the other Democratic candidates on the ballot. Second, conduct your own independent research on issues to better educate yourself. Third, keep up with politics. Fourth, if there are drastic deviations from Clinton’s original position, let your political representatives know of your disapproval. The fifth and most important step is to be persistent. Your hard work will pay off and together we can make a difference.
Furthermore, it is our duty to hold Clinton accountable for the things she said she is going to do. On that note, all politicians should be held to the same expectations. While in politics, there are many compromises to push forth new policies, politicians should not tell people what they want to hear in order to gain their support, only using them for their own personal gain.
This is the action of the fox in Malcolm X’s famed the wolf and the Fox argument. I want her to stay with the platform that she cheerfully campaigned during the election cycle. But, at least we know what to do if she breaks her word: let her know that we disapprove.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 8th print edition.
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