It is easy to vote for the candidate of your party. It is easy to vote for familiar names. To see through the facade of political rhetoric and truly analyze the policies of those seeking to hold the highest political position within our nation is a much harder, yet more critical task. Hillary Clinton is a front-runner in many presidential polls, but where exactly does she stand on important issues? What does her political portrait look like?
Clinton was born in a suburb of Chicago, and she has since held many political positions. She has served as Secretary of State, and she was a senator from New York. Clinton was also First Lady of both the United States and Arkansas. Political experience does not necessarily create political acumen. The positions Hillary has served are only a small piece of her portrait. To analyze her as a candidate based off of her resume alone is to disregard the highly concerning policies she supported while in these positions. Let us begin the processes of painting Clinton’s portrait through an analysis of her spending policies and stances on civil liberties.
As a senator, Hillary strongly supported using public spending as a means to fix social problems. In 2006, Clinton voted against the placement of caps on federal spending. In 2007, she voted against a bill designed to ban all earmarks, which drastically increased federal spending, in an important piece of legislation. Hillary voted for TARP in 2008, which bailed out Wall Street, her alleged enemy, at the price of $700 billion. Clinton’s big spending agenda is not confined to her days in the Senate either. During this election, she has proposed plans that would cost in total approximately $1.1 trillion in new spending over the next decade, and she has proposed a free public college program that would exceed $350 billion in public spending.
Clinton’s record on the subject of civil liberties paints her portrait in no better light. In 2001, Hillary voted in favor of restricting First Amendment rights by placing high restrictions on the ability of “wealthy donors” to contribute to party committees. While on the campaign trail, Clinton currently continues to advocate for the limiting of First Amendment rights for those seeking to contribute funds in support of political candidates. She has recently expressed support for the idea of passing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and she has called “for legislation requiring the disclosure of all significant political donations.” Both of these policies would severely hinder businesses’ ability to both contribute to the efforts of politicians they support and publicly disclose information regarding their spending in accordance with their own discretion. Clinton also has a history of staunchly attacking voter ID laws, which many deemed to be necessary protocols for ensuring integrity within our voting procedures. Lastly, in 2015, Clinton was strongly against the original text of Indiana’s religious freedom bill, which provided legal protections for those whose religious observances were being substantially burdened.
These are just a few of the many components of Hillary Clinton’s political portrait. A deeper analysis of her many other political positions will be provided in the weeks to come.