Last night, while answering the same questions on Hillary Clinton’s character, I realized that I’m tired of this shit. So, for one last time, here are the answers:
- Does Hillary Clinton lie? Yes. She’s a human being and a diplomat and a politician. By definition, there are times that she lies. I don’t think you can find a human being that doesn’t lie. But that’s not the question you should ask. We can’t just vote for anyone for President — so finding perfection is out — we have to vote for a candidate on the ballot. And, of the major party candidates, Hillary lies the least. Politifact, an independent organization, did a survey and said so. In fact, they compared all the major party candidates running for office in the last few years, and the only one who lied less than Hillary was Obama. The truth is that Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest. No, she’s not perfect, but she’s honest within normal human parameters. As for Donald Trump, it appears he has no problem lying when he is the one doing it.
- But what about Bengazhi and the Email Server? What about them? Let’s start with Bengazhi. Politicians take actions all the time that indirectly result in deaths. Be they sending our soldiers into war, be they withholding medical funds, be they determining where a budget goes and doesn’t go. That doesn’t make the politician legally liable for the death. There has to be a direct connection between the politicians actions and the death, such as German officials during WWII that directly ordered deaths. Further, in the case of funding of embassies, funding is determined by Congress, not the Department of State, who put the funds in various budget categories. If they cut the overall budget for embassy funding, there is little that the Secretary of State can do. There is no court in law that would find the Secretary of State legally liable for those deaths. As for the email server and classified information, there are some fundamental facts that people who handle classified information understand. First, having an email that is classified after the fact is not an infraction. You delete it when the determination is made and move on. Sending a classified email involves two parties: the sender and the recipient. The sender would get an infraction for sending after the recipient reports it. No one reported Clinton for sending classified emails, and Clinton never reported anyone for sending her a classified email. That’s pretty indicative of whether there was a problem. There wasn’t. The FBI, in fact, has said the emails weren’t classified after all. These were low level scheduling emails, improperly marked. Further, her use of a personal email server wasn’t illegal under the rules in effect at the time. Now, contrast the level of this violation with the other candidates. Mr. Trump has called for a foreign country to interfere in US elections, and has called for people to assassinate government officers — but then shrugged it off as a joke. He has vowed to take retaliatory actions against those who oppose him. He has vowed to violate treaties which the US has signed. Which level of violation is within normal parameters, and which isn’t? Hillary has shown some poor judgement, but is extremely unlikely to repeat that poor judgement if elected. Can you say that about Trump? Perhaps that is why prominent cybersecurity experts have endorsed Clinton.
- She’s a criminal, right? Let’s start with the key aspect: to be a criminal, you must commit a crime and be found guilty by a court of law — not the court of public opinion. Our system of jurisprudence presumes that an accused is considered to be innocent until they are proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to have violated the letter of the law. Not what we think the law says. Not heresay or innuendo. Facts beyond a reasonable doubt against the letter of the law. For all of the investigations that have been done, there has not been a prosecutor that has found sufficient evidence to convene a jury, conduct a trial, and get a guilty verdict. This is why Comey said what he said at the hearings: there is insufficient evidence to prosecute and win. Therefore, under the law, she is innocent.
- So I’ll vote for a third-party candidate to bring change. Voting for third party candidates is fine at anything below the Presidential election, where majority voting rules. Senator, Congresscritter, state office, local office — I’ll say go for it. That’s where the real change begins. But for President, the system defined in the Constitution and by the states makes voting for a third-party problematic, unless you have a chance of getting a majority in a state. Most states are winner take all, and thus voting for a third-party risks taking votes away from the bum you could tolerate, and giving your state’s electoral votes to the bum you don’t like. Can you afford to risk that? If you are not in a swing state where the election is close, probably. In a swing state like FL, OH, PA, or others? Think very carefully. Oh, and by the way, both Johnson (L) and Stein (G) are equally batshit crazy. Yes, that’s a technical term.
Face the facts: There are a large number of people that like Hillary Clinton, and don’t believe all the stories against her. They realize that the stories were manufactured because of two things about Hillary: She’s a woman, and she’s married to Bill Clinton. For many of the people that do not, no recitation of the facts will change their minds. Still others have realized that all the candidates are flawed, but Hillary is the only candidate that is flawed within normal parameters. They know that the best option for the country is to elect Hillary, and to elect a congress to make sure she does the right thing. Even folks who disagree with Hillary on social issues — such as abortion — are realizing she is the best suited temperamentally to be President.
Now, that I’ve said all that, I want you to look back over all the political news you have been reading. Look at your Facebook feeds. Look at your RSS feeds and your blog posts. Look at your newspapers and opinion pieces. Do you notice that something is missing? Everything you read is about the candidate’s character and their flaws. Maybe because we have a candidate that is “Full Monty”-ing his lack of character, and exposing his real shortcomings, not the imagined ones related to his hands. What’s missing, however, is any discussion of the candidate’s positions.
I challenge you. Go beyond the fact the other candidates don’t have the temperament or decorum to be President, and look at their positions (link is to a great summary chart, with only one error — Hillary’s position regarding student debt). I think when you actually look into the positions, you’ll see that Clinton’s are quite good — and paid for without deficit spending. Trump’s, on the other hand, would diminish the US economy. Clinton has realistic proposals with details; Trump’s are vague and unfunded. I have looked at Clinton’s positions on the issues, and I like what I see.
So, here’s my challenge. Let’s make the discussion about issues. Let’s demonstrate why Hillary’s proposals are stronger, and the other candidates’ proposals are economically disastrous for the country, and will create more insecurity. This political battle is about more than just character (although that is a big part) — Hillary is not only the better candidate, but has the better positions — positions that derive from her experience, her listening, and yes, the input from all the folks that “Felt the Bern”. Let’s talk about them.