Donald Trump’s elevation of Stephen Bannon to top campaign executive is a deplorable legitimization of an alt-right champion. Hillary Clinton was correct last week when she denounced the alt-right’s vile, disturbing love for white nationalism and anti-Semitism, though her use of the bully pulpit may not have been the wisest. By naming the group and giving it further publicity, her speech in some ways also legitimized its hate by giving free, earned media–which is why alt-right leaders rejoiced with glee during and following her speech. They were pleased such a prominent figure would generate a spike in searches for their band, and if there’s one thing Trump has illustrated is the power of publicity, positive or negative.
It was under Clinton’s watch that the diplomatic negotiations with Iran began, culminating in a deal that undermined Congressional oversight and led to Iranian zealots rejoicing in the street. Clinton touted the Iranian nuclear deal during her Democratic nomination acceptance speech in Philadelphia, yet this is a flawed deal which the Iranians have already begun to flout — something that we already new would happen prior to signing. Clinton should not be president based on this Iran deal alone.
Just last week, the State Department issued a travel warning regarding Iran, highlighting “the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.” This comes shortly after it was revealed that John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, admitted that a $400 million payment was contingent on the release of four American citizens, but denied allegations it was a ransom payment. The travel warning is an admission by the Obama administration is incentivizing further kidnappings.
Clinton’s important and bold speech more than two decades ago at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing called for the world to recognize that “that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”
Yet Clinton has forgotten this creed by enabling the bankrolling of an Iranian regime that treats women as second-class chattel, that discriminates against women on matters of marriage, divorce, and child custody, that forces women to wear the hijab, that requires women to obtain their husband’s permission before leaving the country, that jails women for publicly speaking out in favor of equal rights.
Should Clinton win the presidency, her hate hypocrisy, along with other U.S. leaders like Barack Obama and John Kerry, will be difficult to undo. The first step toward recovery, of course, is recognition.
Cross-posted from Salon.
Carrie Sheffield is the founder of Bold. She is passionate about storytelling to empower and connect others.