Clinton’s donors won’t determine her presidency

Robin Boch, Associate Views Editor

This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

As in any presidential election, candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been scrutinized to no end and appear to be the subject of almost every new political debate. One debate, which materialized as a result of the inspection of Clinton’s donor lists, concerns the number of millionaire and billionaire donors to the Clinton campaign, which far outnumbers those donating to Trump.

This fact should not matter more than Clinton’s policies and experience in determining the vote.

These donors come from the income bracket that supposedly caused the recent economic meltdown, the same crisis that the Democratic Party has pledged to prevent from happening again in the future.

While citizens’ concerns about Clinton’s donors are valid, the economic status of her donors should not influence votes on Election Day. Almost any candidate in the running will be connected to similar scandals and will have accepted “questionable” donations.

The wealthy and powerful do not necessarily donate to democratic candidates on a regular basis, but several factors have encouraged them to do so during this campaign season. Some do strongly agree with Clinton’s policy ideas, while others believe that she is the “lesser of two evils” when compared to Trump.

“There are two reasons I’ve given more than ever before,” Jay Robert “J.B.” Pritzker, co-founder and managing partner of Pritzker Group, said to The Wall Street Journal. “First, I think she ought to be president. Second, I want to defeat Donald Trump. I believe that he would be terrible for the country.”

More concerning is the prospect that the wealthy are donating to Clinton’s campaign efforts because they hope to receive something in return.

The media and voters criticized Barack Obama for doing the same thing in 2012 when Rajiv Fernando, a securities trader and one of Obama’s top fundraisers, was appointed to a select group of security advisers at the State Department. Criticism came from ABC News and other sources stating he was an “odd fit,” with little to no experience in the field. Following this criticism and media conclusions that he was most likely appointed because he was a top donor to the Obama campaign, Fernando resigned.

Many people expect that “crooked Hillary” has made similar “deals.” It is simply difficult to fathom that the socioeconomic group whose taxes she claims she will increase continues to support her in her efforts to become president.

Clinton, however, argues that these donations from Wall Street, Silicon Valley and various drug corporations do not mean anything and that the public should not be concerned with who has been donating to her super PAC Priorities USA.

“You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I have ever received,” Clinton said to Bernie Sanders during a debate in February.

Voters across the country have voiced their concerns about Clinton’s donors, but in reality, her situation is not that different from many other presidential candidates in the past, including other Democrats. For example, in preparation for the 2014 midterm elections, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg spent a total of $102 million supporting Democratic efforts, which was substantially more than the next eight donors combined.

Voters often criticize liberals for accepting donations from the wealthy. Except for a small number of candidates such as Bernie Sanders, who never strayed from the notion that campaign funding should come from average American people, almost all Democrats accept money from these billionaire donors.

When the polls open in November, United States citizens must remember to vote based on candidates’ policies and expertise, not the people funding the campaigns.

Robin is a freshman at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]