Nearly two years after President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in a stunning election victory, the twice-failed presidential candidate has penned an essay accusing the president and the Republican Party of waging a full-on assault against American democracy.
In the afterword for the paperback edition of her 2017 memoir, “What Happened,” which is set to release Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton proclaimed that the undermining of the country’s institutions was overwhelmingly a Republican problem.
“There is a tendency, when talking about these things, to wring our hands about ‘both sides.’ But the truth is that this is not a symmetrical problem,” she wrote. “We should be clear about this: The increasing radicalism and irresponsibility of the Republican Party, including decades of demeaning government, demonizing Democrats, and debasing norms, is what gave us Donald Trump.
“Whether it was abusing the filibuster and stealing a Supreme Court seat, gerrymandering congressional districts to disenfranchise African Americans, or muzzling government climate scientists, Republicans were undermining American democracy long before Trump made it to the Oval Office,” she said.
My new afterword for “What Happened” is excerpted in @TheAtlantic. It’s about the constitutional crisis building in our democracy and why we should all be focused, determined and, yes, optimistic as we work to save our country. https://t.co/HBEvB9919F
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 17, 2018
Mrs. Clinton, who served as secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, cited Mr. Trump’s immigration policies and handling of the Puerto Rico hurricane crisis as examples of the administration’s “unspeakable cruelty.”
“Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track,” she wrote. “I think that may be the point — to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. As citizens, that’s our most important charge. And right now, our democracy is in crisis.”
Mrs. Clinton then proposed several steps Democrats needed to take in order to “save our democracy and heal our body politic,” including mobilizing a massive turnout in the November midterm elections and then passing a slew of reforms, similar to the post-Richard Nixon era, that would constitute “improving and protecting our elections.” She also repeated her call to end the Electoral College, which handed Mr. Trump the presidential victory in 2016, despite her winning the popular vote.
“Democracy may be our birthright as Americans, but it’s not something we can ever take for granted,” Mrs. Clinton concluded her piece. “Every generation has to fight for it, has to push us closer to that more perfect union. That time has come again.”
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