US faces 'real battle for democracy' against far right, says Hillary Clinton – The Guardian
Speaking at a Guardian Live event, the former presidential candidate says the Capitol riot was a ‘terror attack’ that shows a new ‘internal threat’
Last modified on Wed 15 Sep 2021 05.09 BST
Hillary Clinton has said that the US was still in a “real battle for our democracy” against pro-Trump forces on the far right, seeking to entrench minority rule and turn back the clock on women’s rights.
At a Guardian Live online event on Monday, Clinton fended off suggestions that the world was now witnessing the twilight of US democracy, but said: “I do believe we are in a struggle for the future of our country”.
The former secretary of state and presidential candidate, speaking from her family home in Chappaqua, New York, said she believed that there was majority support for Joe Biden’s agenda of huge investment in infrastructure and budget support for families.
“But the other side wants to rule by minority,” she told Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland. “It has a very powerful weapon in the filibuster in the Senate to rule by minority. It wants to change election laws so that it doesn’t lose elections, despite what the will of the people might be.”
Clinton was referring to a raft of state legislation promoted by Republicans aimed at restricting access to the ballot. She also referred to what she called the “crazy, dysfunctional” electoral college system, by which she won the popular vote in 2016 by three million votes but was defeated by Donald Trump by a few tens of thousands of votes in a couple of battleground states, a loss that haunted her long afterwards.
Was feeling frustrated & disillusioned after so much political negativity, esp in my community. Until I listened to @HillaryClinton speaking to @freedland @guardian this aft. I needed to hear her matter-of-fact, articulate, and extremely knowledgeable take today. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/K7877MDQrH
“I thought about it every day during the four years of his administration, but I think what is really, most concerning is that he continues to be destructive,” she said.
“The January 6 insurrection at our capitol was a terrorist attack,” Clinton added, noting the parallel with the 9/11 attacks. “We are now much more worried about internal threats, and there are some who say you can’t equate them, having planes flown into the World Trade Center and the terrible loss of life.”
“That’s a horrific external attack, but now we are engaged in a very serious unfortunate but real battle for our democracy against forces, either led by or inspired by Donald Trump.”
Clinton was also asked about the abortion ban passed in Texas at the beginning of month, reversing gains for women’s rights won a generation ago.
“So you ask if I’m surprised or discouraged. I’m neither. I’m not surprised because I’ve been involved in the women’s movement, the civil rights movement,” she said. “I’ve seen the forces that are arrayed against progress when it comes to women’s autonomy, when it comes to the advancement of civil and political and economic rights. I know very well that the other side never gives up.
“They are relentless in their view of what is a properly constructed society, and in that view, white men are at the very top and nobody else is even close.”