Richter Scale

Hillary Clinton’s Xenophobia (Part II)

How does the world community feel about Hillary Clinton and the implications of her promises to the American people?

Read Part I of this feature here.

Takeaways


  • There are plenty of leaders around the world who believe that John McCain is a far bigger — and more open-minded — internationalist than Hillary ever will be.
  • Being credibly global-minded is just one reason why Obama resonates so much around the world. Like his millions of supporters at home, those abroad see in him a man of the world.
  • Hillary Clinton promises to rid the American people of the scourge of dependence on "foreign" oil — as if that could be done.
  • The rest of the world is keenly aware of the difference between being viewed as genuine partners (as was the case, for example, under the Bush Sr. Administration) — or as props.

Hillary and her advisors view other nations as useful props for a personal power trip — and as a useful measure to keep score of “American leadership.”

Whether dealing with a Republican or Democratic administration, the rest of the world community is keenly aware of the difference between being viewed as genuine partners (as was the case, for example, under the Bush Sr. Administration) — or as props.

The Bill Clinton Administration started with many conciliatory promises on the international front, but was very quickly reigned in by a hostile — and outright “un-international” — Republican Congress.

As if to assuage these extreme patriots, Madeleine Albright and her advisors then came up with the concept of the United States as the world’s “indispensable nation.”

The purpose of using that phrase was to make clear that the United States was not just perhaps a primus inter pares (first among equals) — but, in an astonishingly paternalistic sense, the pater familias (father of the family), if not the “father” of the entire universe.

None of these intellectual traditions bode well for the global partnerships of a Hillary Clinton Administration.

In fact, there are plenty of leaders around the world who might prefer a Democrat-led U.S. administration, but believe that John McCain is a far bigger — and more open-minded — internationalist than Hillary ever will be.

These folks do take note when she categorically questions the right of involving foreigners — as she just did in the current presidential campaign. They see such a stance as emblematic of a distrustful, slightly domineering and surreptitiously xenophobic attitude.

These leading minds also question Hillary Clinton’s promise of ridding the American people of the scourge of dependence on “foreign” oil — as if that could be done.

Given that oil is a commodity, which is internationally tradable and almost perfectly fungible, it is hard to differentiate between foreign and domestic oil.

That is why any truthful person would talk about reducing the nation’s dependence on oil itself (irrespective of the sexy, but entirely false, distinction between foreign or domestic).

That is a primary point of distinction between Obama and Clinton. At a time when the United States needs to be part of the international system — rather than deluding itself, Clinton-style, on running the show — his is the preferred framework of thinking.

Being credibly global-minded is just one reason why Obama resonates so much around the world. Like his millions of supporters at home, those abroad see in him a man of the world.

His stance contrasts considerably from the pseudo global-mindedness of Hillary Clinton and of her foreign policy advisors. Regrettably, to them, it is more often than not, an instrument to be used for the purposes of domestic showboating. Sadly, like the current President Bush (and very much unlike Bush Sr.), she and her team are firmly rooted in the notion of American supremacy.

Obama’s stance may not win him the presidency. But that is not the concern here. What matters at the present juncture is to call Hillary Clinton on her implicitly xenophobic messaging.

That is just as deplorable as her constant attempts to equate the (Bill) Clinton Administration with rosy economic times. The implication she makes is as clear as it is false: Vote for a Clinton — and the “good economy” will return.

Such suggestions are an insult to anybody’s economic intelligence — even though they are working with crucial segments of the American electorate. But that is just a reflection of the severity of their disorientation — and desperation to believe in a brighter future.

There is not a Clintonesque economic magic formula. Bill just had the good fortune to show up at the right time, after Bush I and his team had done much of the economic clean-up.

What Hillary Clinton and her campaign team have made plain is that they are prepared to go to any demagoguish length to get the upper hand.

Given her scorched earth political strategy, Americans might still get a third term of George Bush — but at Hillary Clinton’s hands, not John McCain’s. And surely not at Obama’s.

The real news is that there is a Bush running in 2008 — and her first name is Hillary. She is a divider, not a uniter. She may be making inroads with the voters — but even that is barely enough to keep her own campaign team, except for brief interludes, from being heavily (and very publicly) divided.

Editor’s Note: Read Part I of this feature here.

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About Stephan Richter

Stephan Richter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Globalist. [Berlin/Germany]

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