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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BEG: Democratic figures inconsistent

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Prominent liberal voices, like Chelsea Clinton, take an a la carte approach to social justice.

Last week, New York University held a vigil for the New Zealand Christchurch attack, and Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea Clinton attended. A group of frustrated students confronted Clinton for her tweet last month.

Chelsea Clinton condemned Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar after her comments against Israel. Omar faced backlash after tweeting about the biased support for Israel by American politicians due to donations they receive from AIPAC and other similar organizations. Omar attackers somehow tried to claim that these comments were anti-Semitic. In reality, there is a clear distinction between attacking Israel for massacring Palestinians every day and criticizing Jews for their religion. Omar was doing the former and in no way was she condemning the Jewish religion, but Chelsea Clinton still used dangerous rhetoric and tweeted, “We should expect all elected officials to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”

They blamed her rhetoric for the horrifying attack on the Muslims at Christchurch. One of the students from the group said, This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put into the world.”

The words of the grieving NYU students were justified. Even though Chelsea Clinton aligns with the Democratic Party, it does not mean whatsoever that her beliefs and actions represent the liberal values that the party seemingly does. Affiliation and allegiance to a political party will typically trump any elected official being truly considerate and having high awareness for certain issues, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Omar was one to go against the Democratic Party, and she was unjustifiably berated for it.

Chelsea Clinton’s words toward Omar are just one example of how prominent Democratic figures will pick and choose what social justice issues to support based off how much popularity they will gain or the kind of reputation they will have. Democratic officials especially have a sense of being liberal and standing up for the oppressed when, in actuality, none of them truly have the heightened sense to do so. There is a liberal tendency to pay lip service to ideas and movements just to have a positive image while acting in opposition to their own rhetoric. The majority of Democratic politicians are just business officials for the party and fully intend on maintaining the status quo.

Chelsea Clinton’s own mother Hillary Clinton is prime example of a politician who does this. Nothing she did in her campaign made it believable that she would truly transform the circumstances of the oppressed in this country. She had ample opportunities to have more inclusive stances as a result of  the police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement that were discussed heavily during her campaign. It is difficult to support an individual who never did anything to address how she would transform black and brown communities. Her economic policies never clearly conveyed how they would affect the lives of poor, working women.

Hillary Clinton also never promoted or completed any sort of action that would make her socially aware of the Muslim community. Her actions and interests are tone-deaf to the circumstances of people’s lives. During her time as Secretary of State, she voted for the continuation of the Iraq War and also called for aggressive engagement in the Middle East in nations like Libya and Syria. She also has been a firm supporter for Israel, a country that believes it is justified in holding 315 Palestinian children in military detention without charge.

Since Hillary Clinton was not trying to gain support from the Muslim population, it did not matter that she punished Muslims both in this country and abroad. She instead chose political platforms that were easy for her and continued the perpetuation of Democratic values despite them actually hurting various oppressed groups.

Many of the current 2020 Democratic presidential candidates fall into the same category as Hillary Clinton and hold a false reputation of being socially aware of important issues. 

Despite seeming very progressive, Beto O’Rourke is another Democratic official who does not actually portray this in his policies. O’Rourke sponsored neither House bill concerning single-payer health care and free college tuition. His stance on Medicare for All is intentionally very vague, and he chooses politically neutral terms to describe health care policy. He also supports Israel despite the country’s continuance of human rights violations. O’Rourke chooses to use rhetoric that is vague and neutral in order to receive continued support from the Democratic Party.

Although this candidate may seem like a better alternative compared to the current president, they continue to disregard various issues that affect a number of underrepresented groups. Candidates must be called out for picking and choosing when to be politically conscious because otherwise the party’s stagnant status quo will continue. Actions similar to those of the NYU students should be encouraged, so prominent Democrats can be called out for failing to follow through on their significant promises.

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About the Contributor
Aminah Beg
Aminah Beg is the assistant opinions editor for the Marquette Wire. She is a sophomore from Naperville, Illinois who is majoring in Public Relations and Cognitive Science.

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