Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary

Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary, by Yves Smith.

Why do progressives reject Hillary Clinton? The highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers of my website, Naked Capitalism, don’t just overwhelmingly favor Bernie Sanders. They also say “Hell no!” to Hillary Clinton to the degree that many say they would even vote for Donald Trump over her.

And they don’t come by these views casually. Their conclusions are the result of careful study of her record and her policy proposals. They believe the country can no longer endure the status quo that Clinton represents—one of crushing inequality, and an economy that is literally killing off the less fortunate—and any change will be better.

“We are all fifty-somethings with money and college educations. Oh, and we are all registered Democrats.”

Many of my readers tend to be very progressive, and they have been driven even further in that direction by their sophisticated understanding of the inequities of Wall Street, especially in the run-up to and the aftermath of the financial crisis, when no senior executives went to jail, the biggest banks got bigger, and Hillary paid homage to Goldman Sachs.

About the banks and the inequities of the financial system? They are quite correct.

[T]he Democratic Party in the Clinton and Obama administrations has consistently embraced and implemented policies that strip workers of economic and legal rights to benefit investors and the elite professionals that serve them.

Over time, the “neoliberal” economic order—which sees only good, never bad, in the relentless untrammeling of capital and the deregulation of markets—has created an unacceptable level of economic insecurity and distress for those outside the 1 percent and the elite professionals who serve them.

The result is that the U.S. economy is becoming lethal to the less fortunate …

They are repelled by Clinton’s corruption:

Finally, there is the stench of corruption, dating back to Hillary’s impossible—by any legitimate means—trick of parlaying $1,000 into $100,000 in a series of commodities trades in 1978. The Clintons and their backers seriously expect the rubes to believe that large financial firms happily forked over their hefty speaking fees purely out of interest in what they had to say, or that Middle Eastern and Taiwanese moneybags gave big bucks to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was secretary of state out of their deep belief in the foundation’s lofty goals. Why has Hillary refused to release the transcripts of her Goldman speeches, wiped her server and foot-dragged on releasing allegedly personal emails?

And they figure Trump won’t be too bad:

The Sanders voters in Naked Capitalism’s active commentariat also explicitly reject lesser-evilism, the cudgel that has previously kept true lefties somewhat in line. They are willing to gamble, given that outsider presidents like Jimmy Carter and celebrity governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura didn’t get much done, that a Trump presidency represents an acceptable cost of inflicting punishment on the Democratic Party for 20 years of selling out ordinary Americans.

The Clintons are out of touch to an historic degree:

The Clintons, like the Bourbons before the French Revolution, have ensconced themselves in such a bubble of operative and media sycophancy that they’ve mistakenly viewed escalating distress and legitimate demands from citizens as mere noise.