Hillary Clinton’s chilling pragmatism gives the far right a free pass


Nesrine Malik

Calling on Europe’s leaders to ‘get a handle on migration’ is no counter to populists – it’s more like an endorsement

Fri 23 Nov 2018

‘In her own America, Clinton does not see the disconnect between the populist posturing on immigration and the facts.’ Photograph: Cristóbal Herrera/EPA
ver since Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016, her insistence on staying in the public eye has been viewed with a particular kind of intolerance. Some on the right have turned her into a symbol of everything they hate, to be demonised at their rallies. Others, on the left, abhor her refusal to cede space to a newer generation, hanging in the air like a bad smell, a constant memory of the moment it all went wrong. But Hillary Clinton will not go away, and that is a very good thing. Not because she should remain on the scene, fighting the good fight against the forces of reaction, but because with every interview and public appearance she is revealing in the most helpful way the pointlessness of her politics.

In an interview with the Guardian as part of its series the new populism, the former presidential candidate illustrated how a certain brand of centrist politician has no rebuke or response to populists other than to mimic their tactics. On the issue of immigration in Europe, she called on the continent’s leaders to erect the barricades.

“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” she said. “I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message – ‘we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support’ – because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.”

There is a fundamental error in this thinking. It assumes …



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