Hillary Clinton has some impressive goals for the United States. And it is conceivable that, to whatever extent, she can even achieve them. These include (courtesy of NPR):
Make public college debt-free. Fund universal pre-K. Create a comprehensive background check system and close loopholes. Give the government a role in setting insurance rates. Waive deportation and give undocumented residents a path to legal status. Enact an infrastructure plan that also serves as a stimulus to the economy. Raise capital gains taxes [We will overlook her coziness with Wall Street for the moment.]
But what does domestic-policy success avail us if the United States is fighting a major war? It is common knowledge that when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton gives many of us on the left the heebie-jeebies. A blurb on the issues page of her official campaign website suggests traditional Democratic overcompensation on defense, but to the nth degree: “Military and defense[:] We should maintain the best-trained, best-equipped, and strongest military the world has ever known.”
The extent to which Russian President Vladimir Putin considers Ms. Clinton a nemesis (and Donald Trump a potential ally) can be seen in a new article by Simon Shuster at Time. But, obviously, no American election should be decided by which candidate the leader of another superpower prefers. The real issue, without going into detail, is her policy toward Russia, summarized by Jeffrey Sachs at Huffington Post.
… she championed a remarkably confrontational approach with Russia based on NATO expansion to Ukraine and Georgia and a new nuclear arms race that will cost American taxpayers more than $355 billion over a decade.
There we have the two weakest links of Hillary Clinton foreign policy bundled into one. She is likely to increase tensions with Russia, thus putting us at risk of war with nuclear weapons, the modernization of which she champions.
To put it another way, an aggressive stance toward Russia and more nuclear weapons would cancel out domestic initiatives and achievements. After all, what good is paid parental leave if the United States is waging a major war and not only is there no money left over from defense for such programs, but, the number of families left standing to benefit from these programs is, shudder, drastically diminished?
Bottom line: Without a visionary policy that works toward alleviating tensions with, not confronting or attacking, other countries, domestic policy successes count for little.