For years I have been writing about the good our nation is made of - how great we are and will always be. But I never thought I would ever hear a candidate for the highest office in the Land declare on national television that if elected, he would use his position to imprison a political rival. I mean, yes there have been calls to restrict some media outlets from campaign events. Yes, there have been vicious attacks on anyone that reveals damaging facts about the candidate. Yes, at virtually all of the candidate's campaign rallies we hear supporters chant "Lock her up!" And now Donald Trump has said it. He's made it part of our political discourse that if elected, he would jail Hillary Clinton over - does it really matter what it's over? Sending a dog whistle to his followers that jailing political rivals is okay is what Trump did. And we thought his sexual proclivities made him appear the lowest of the low? Just take a peak at social media today and see the his rabid supporters demanding Clinton be tossed in jail? For what? Killing 4 Americans in Benghazi! Except she didn't! (See: www.voanews.com/a/us-benghazi-probe/3395467.html). Getting a rapist she was ordered by the Court to defend off while laughing at the victim. Except he went to jail and she never laughed at the victim (See: www.factcheck.org/2016/06/clintons-1975-rape-case/ or www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/10/donald-trump/trump-says-clinton-laughed-about-rape-case/).
Facts? They only matter when they are convenient right? Is this really something our nation should be embracing - the failure to appreciate rhetoric from fact? The GOP's own House Congressional Oversight Committee determined she did not kill anyone. So why do folks demand she be in jail? Because they have heard it for so long they now believe it. Just like the Clinton Foundation gives less than 10% of its money to charity - except the Clinton Foundation IS a charity. Do you expect the Lung Association to be donating its donated funds to the Salvation Army instead of to one of their many worthy causes? Breast Cancer research giving chunks of cash to Goodwill? Of course not. (See: www.charitywatch.org/ratings-and-metrics/bill-hillary-chelsea-clinton-foundation/478). So who is right? Only those that research rhetoric can determine what is true and what is false. I merely provide citations to assist in your own evaluation.
But for Trump to blow off his bragging about chronic Sexual Assault is not a laughing matter. Claiming Bill Clinton is the real monster does not let Trump off the hook either. And if he was just "bragging" and being "one of the guys" ("Locker Room talk"), then sure okay - he's also a (at the time 59 year old) LIAR because he now says what he claimed was not true. Yet he alleged Hillary attacked Bill's victims. Ironic that none of Trump's allegations have a foundation in fact, but since she is the liar, Trump can lie about everything and his base cheers! Hypocrisy anyone? Oh and about Clinton admitting to being two different people in public vs. being in private - in the context of negotiations. So why is this a big deal? Does anyone expect Donald Trump to admit to those he is negotiating against what he is really willing to pay for something versus posturing to get a better deal for less? By that standard, shouldn't he be honest up front and immediately admit what he is really willing to pay without engaging in the dance we call negotiations? Of course not. Negotiations require a art of persuasion and nuance. So does diplomacy. If Clinton is to be chastised for being honest about her negotiating practices, then every business man or women and politicians is guilty too (and so are teachers, bankers, real estate agents, etc.). Oh and her emails. Yes, she had a private server. So what. "Because national secrets could have been hacked!" Except not only is there no evidence they were ever hacked OR leaked (See: www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/jul/19/politifact-sheet-hillary-clintons-email-controvers/). But there IS evidence that departments like the Pentagon were hacked! (See:
www.technewsworld.com/story/70699.html). So was the V.A.! (See: www.washingtonexaminer.com/updated-chinese-other-nations-hacked-va-computers-officials-cant-account-for-everything-stolen/article/2531106).
So perhaps Clinton's private server may have been more secure than the government's own computers? Besides, last I checked, the FBI didn't find enough evidence to recommend an indictment. Am I missing something?
Oh, the Clinton Machine that kills opponents and controls everything. If that was all true, she would have won in 2008, right?
So who won the debate? Like most political scientists, I know that debates do little but shore up the candidate's bases of support. Yes, Trump may have resurrected his campaign with his base last night. Just looking at social media proves they are thrilled he confronted Clinton about all of her wrongdoing (like killing Americans in Benghazi and her e-mails) threatened her with jail. But it did a couple of things too. It convinced the "Family Values" wing of the GOP that their standard bearer is either a straight-up liar or a sexual predator. It also alerted those supporting Clinton that the race is not over and that they need to fight to the bitter end. After all, isn't that what Trump said he admired about Clinton - her willingness to fight to the end (even if she is weakened by a stroke, cerebral palsy, MS, or whatever BS his supporters have been alleging for months).
As President George Washington once said; "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. And calling for Clinton to be jailed over partisan driven rhetoric is certainly what Washington had in mind. This election is a very important one. The mere threat of using presidential power to investigate and jail a political opponent is repugnant to American democratic values. In this election, caveat emptor! Try to have a great week!