FBI Director James Comey’s latest revelation – that the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail fiasco is re-awakened due to recent developments – shouldn’t come as much of a shock to anyone. Throughout the course of this election season, and over the course of the past few decades, it seems Mrs. Clinton can’t go more than a few days, perhaps a couple of weeks, without a new scandal emerging in the wake of her insidious ambitions.
This is a well deserved headache for the Democratic Party and for their nominee, it’s one more distraction from the issues Clinton would prefer to be talking about, like starting World War III with Russia. And it seems the repulsion and fascination with Trump’s history of lewd conduct and comments has been buried under yet another avalanche of headlines that continue to validate the worst suspicions and accusations which may be leveled at the former Secretary of State.
Hillary will no doubt attempt to shift blame, change the topic, and when all is said and done it’s quite possible nothing of great importance will emerge from this latest slew of curiously timed bad news. After all, Bill and Hillary’s joint career is defined as much by their ability to avoid accountability for their improprieties as it by the improprieties themselves.
Let’s say history repeats itself and she gets away with it again. What does that say about our government? And what does that say about the people who plan to waste their votes on her? It’s well documented that even those who plan to vote for her understand she’s dishonest. And while Hillary is ultimately the only one responsible for her unethical behaviors, isn’t some share of blame to be held by her sycophants, by her voters, by the DNC, and every last one of her well-moneyed donors? For decades Hillary has been surrounded by spineless yes-men and yes-women, by adoring faces that gloss over her corruption and instead swallow the myth that this horrible woman is somehow a champion for a class of people she long ago left in her rearview mirror. In so doing she is enabled and empowered.
The unfortunate truth is it’s not that the case hasn’t been made effectively enough against her, it’s that her supporters don’t care. Hillary is above the law and her people seem to revel in it.
In many, if not most, of my interactions with HRC zealots I’ve encountered this recurring phenomenon. When joking on social media about how good Hillary would look in an orange jumpsuit, one of her vehement voters commented back about how, “You people have been trying to get Hillary for years. You’ll never catch Hillary.” I responded by observing what a strange knee-jerk reaction that was, why not lead by saying she’s innocent of all charges? Why say instead we’ll never catch her? My query never received a reply.
A close family member who plans to vote for Hillary once told me, “I know she’s not as corrupt as you think she is,” to which I responded, “Okay, in your words, how corrupt is she? And how much corruption is acceptable in a president?” Once again, my query never received a reply.
Of course our nation has in the past elected less than exemplary men and women to higher office, those we knew possessed a checkered past, those we knew had a reputation for less than reputable dealings. But in this election cycle it seems as though the phenomenon has been turned up to eleven. The abuses and unethical behaviors of past leaders, which are traditionally supposed to be anomalous, are now codified, as though this is a new normal for our politics. These are no longer abuses, it seems, they are business as usual. We aren’t shocked by yet another e-mail revelation, but we should be.
In an ideal America, Hillary Clinton never would have gotten as far as this. She’d already be in that fabulous orange jumpsuit behind bars, maybe with a prison tat of the Democrat donkey on her shoulder.
This isn’t an ideal America anymore, and maybe it never was. Maybe this has always been business as usual and our leaders have never been the upstanding paragons of virtue we fantasize them to be, and if so, can we really expect anything to change any time soon? Our elected representatives now seem to be completely abandoning the myth of the morally forthright ruler and have institutionalized what has been the anomaly and done so with confidence, knowing the American people will probably do what we’ve always done: Hold our noses and play along, only this time we’ll hold our noses a little longer and a little harder.
It’s almost cliché to say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but it’s true and perhaps it’s truer now than ever before. We can’t be shocked by the behaviors this axiom inspires in our rulers, and what a damning indictment that is upon the whole of our political system. What a luxury it would be if the Hillary Clintons of the world were the exceptions and not the rule. But that’s not the world we live in. I can’t imagine how much worse it can get I can only imagine it will get worse.
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Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP/NPR