Politics

Hillary Compares Trump to Nixon — and Worse

At Wellesley commencement speech, Clinton characterized Trump as danger to society

Vanquished 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Friday used a commencement address at her alma mater to warn that President Donald Trump is a danger to the country and the world.

At Wellesley College, Clinton never uttered Trump’s name, but took several shots at the president. A short list of the people to whom she compared Trump:

“And by the way, we were furious about the past presidential election. Of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice.”

  • Richard Nixon, the only president to resign
  • Dictators who quash dissent
  • People who want to inflict harm on the most vulnerable people

In many ways, it was a continuation of a Women for Women event earlier this month, when she declared herself an official member of The Resistance.

Clinton drew parallels between current events and things she faced as an undergraduate at Wellesley, when Nixon was president.

“And by the way, we were furious about the past presidential election,” she said, pausing for dramatic effect. “Of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice.”

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Clinton flubbed the facts, a bit. Nixon resigned before the House voted on articles of impeachment. But the comparison to Trump was clear. And just in case anyone was still confused, she added: “After firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice.”

The overwhelmingly liberal student body at the all-women’s college rewarded her with a huge ovation.

Again without mentioning Trump, Clinton said that when leaders make up their facts, it jeopardizes liberty.

“It can mark the beginning of the end of a free society. That is not hyperbole,” she said. “That is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. They attempt to control reality. Not just our laws and our rights and our budgets, but our thoughts and our beliefs.”

Clinton accused Trump of lying and making up false narratives, saying that “some are even denying things we see with our own eyes, like the size of crowds,” a reference to the debate over attendance at Trump’s inauguration.

That brought another lusty cheer, after which she added, “And then defending themselves by talking about quote-unquote, ‘alternative facts.'”

Clinton urged graduates to counter that.

“You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason,” she said. “Just log on to social media for 10 seconds. It will hit you right in the face. People denying science. Concocting elaborate, hurtful conspiracy theories about child-abuse rings operating out of pizza parlors, drumming up rampant fear about undocumented immigrants, Muslims, minorities, the poor.”

Clinton warned that America’s fragmented media and modern communications technology “make it easier than ever to splinter ourselves into echo chambers. We can shut out contrary voices, avoid ever questioning our basic assumptions. Extreme views are given powerful microphones.”

Clinton delivered the line without apparent irony, considering liberal college campuses have become the ultimate echo chambers, with dissenting voices shouted down and conservatives harassed into canceling speaking engagements.

Clinton mentioned none of that. Instead, she practically accused Trump of crafting a budget proposal designed to inflict pain on people.

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“But this is serious business. Look at the budget that was just proposed in Washington,” she said. “It is an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us — the youngest, the oldest, the poorest and hard-working people who need a little help to gain or hang on to a decent middle class life.”

“Today’s speech was a stark reminder why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016,” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “Instead of lashing out with the same partisan talking points, Hillary Clinton would be wise to look inward, talk about why she lost, and expand the dwindling base of Democrat Party supporters – we won’t hold our breath though.”

Clinton tried to sound some hopeful notes in what was, overall, a dark speech. She promised to remain involved in politics, though her new organization, Onward Together, and urged graduates to join the struggle. She told them that like her generation, they would get through tumultuous times. She urged them to vote, to speak up, to “grab a sign and join a protest.”

In a rare moment of humor, Clinton also told graduates that it is OK for them to change their minds from time to time.

“Take it from me, the former president of the Wellesley College Young Republicans,” she said.

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