For several days now, the media has been teasing with varying enthusiasm the prospect of Hillary Clinton entering last-minute into the democratic presidential primaries. This is a horrible idea. Her entrance would only be a last-ditch effort to remove candidates like Gabbard, Yang, and Sanders from the spotlight. She is the embodiment of the establishment Democrat, the DNC failure that 2016 exemplified. She is so rife with controversy not of a personal nature, but of one that has gotten people killed. It would be almost impressive if it wasn’t so tragic. Her entrance into the race would be both detrimental and embarrassing.
Hillary and the Clinton family plague themselves with scandals. These range from legitimate, like the Benghazi attack and Clinton Foundation; to the largely benign but well-known “email scandal“; to the personal, as in the Bill Clinton Sex scandal or “concerns” about Hillary’s health; to the conspiratorial, such as “pizzagate“. These were pertinent in the 2016 election, but through the 2020 election cycle, despite Hillary not being a candidate, she’s cooked up a scandal so intense regardless of whether she runs for president, will have a significant effect on how people see the election. Even without an office, political figures as pronounced as her become cultural figures with a great deal of influence.
Hillary Clinton vs Tulsi Gabbard
Hillary has recently suggested that presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is, or is being groomed to be, a Russian plant has the potential to impact the thinking of a lot of people. Yes, you read that right. Hillary Clinton, once upheld as a beacon of seriousness and arguable class in Donald Trump’s dilapidated parade of cheap and tasteless jabs, is now musing on her personal conspiracy that Gabbard is a Russian agent.
Gabbard, the presidential candidate who enlisted into the US military with the assumed intentions of “fighting for her country”. According to Hillary, she is some sort of a covert operative. In fact, she seems so sincere about this accusation that many have warned her against and expressed concerns about forwarding a “new red scare”.
Obnoxious as it is, this most recent scandal isn’t even the primary reason a Hillary candidacy would be a waste for the Democratic Party. During the 2016 election, Hillary pushed continuously that she is “the woman candidate”. In fact, she has said multiple times that one of her merits is that she is a woman. She harped constantly that because of her “struggle as a woman” she is uniquely qualified for the presidential office. Maybe that flew in the 2016 election when women running on both the Democratic and Republican platforms were sparse. But now, there are women in droves running.
Placing faith in a candidate that fills an arbitrary identity marker just doesn’t work. It failed in 2016 and the public has largely caught on. Even to those who still value identity in politics, Hillary Clinton will not matter. With so many other women and minorities running, Hillary’s similarity to Trump policy-wise is incredibly evident. When there are candidates with stark policy differences who are also able to play into the lingering culture of identity politics, Hillary has no electoral foothold. She has no niche. A female, experienced war-hawk version of the sitting president is becoming less impressive by the day.
But this reliance on other minorities to quell the disastrous reliance on identity in party politics is not a real solution. Abandoning Hillary and her desperate pleas for support due to her woman card in favor of marginally better minority candidates is putting a proverbial band-aid on the problem. It is unpragmatic and wrong to favor identity compatibility over whether or not someone may push for the continued bombing of the Middle East.
The manufactured controversy over the race of Kamala Harris distracts from her shaky history on weed laws. And haven’t you noticed the accolades for “strong woman of color” seem to always escape congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard? There are too many people focused on the age, race, and sex of Biden for most voters to notice he has barely proposed a health care plan.
All of this is a show. It is a grand facade for the manufactured ignorance about policy in order for the DNC to push its favorites to the top. This is something voters and non-voters need to be aware of—lest the issues become clouded into a mercurial soup of variously worthless jokers of identity.