I know we’re normally duty bound to dunk on her every time she says something controversial, but c’mon. This is obviously true. It’s so obviously true that I’m not sure it qualifies as “controversial,” except to the extent that it involves Hillary yet again suggesting that her unpopularity has more to do with voters’ foibles than her own.
And of course some Democrats would deny that they have any problem with capitalism generally, just Hillary’s particular brand of it. You can, in fact, favor capitalism while opposing banks paying a would-be president hundreds of thousands of dollars for secret speeches in a blatant attempt to purchase influence with her.
But the fact remains that many Berniebros *are* socialists and they dislike Clinton because she’s — well, if not quite a capitalist red in tooth and claw, at least someone who’s not socialist enough for their tastes. This is a person known to say things like “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good,” after all. She ain’t Milton Friedman. But she ain’t Bernie Sanders either, and she even eschews the scarlet “S.” It wasn’t crazy for hardcore leftists to believe that her promises in the primaries two years ago were panders meant to protect her left flank from Sanders which she had no intention of fighting for as president, particularly if one or both houses of Congress stayed red. (Does anyone really think President Hillary would have bailed on TPP?) Trump was more of a “change” candidate than Clinton was. You didn’t vote for Hillary because you wanted her to destabilize the status quo of American politics. Just the opposite.
Note, by the way, that many Democratic candidates this year aren’t eschewing the scarlet “S” themselves. Thanks to Bernie, loud-and-proud support for socialism is very much a thing right now on the left. Which is good; truth in advertising is always welcome, and maybe this’ll lead them to ditch the horrible Orwellian euphemism “progressive.” Clinton’s resistance to the label is itself a political problem for her, though (or would be, if she still had a political career). In a tribal age, with leftists excited about Sanders’s breakthrough candidacy, they’re desperate to see socialism mainstreamed. One way to move the Overton window towards socialist policies is to make Americans more comfortable with the brand itself. Achieve that and, to take one obvious example, the idea of socialized medicine would become less taboo. Hillary won’t accept the label, though, which is good in one sense for actual socialists — they don’t want an establishment poseur has-been diluting the brand — but not so good in that it reinforces the taboo. The next Democratic nominee will be more comfortable with the label, if likely not so comfortable as to wear it him- or herself.