PHILADELPHIA — I detect a careless feeling in the air that a lot of folks think they can just viciously attack Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for all manner of sins, both real and imagined.
Of course there is plenty for which she should be condemned, but she seems to receive extra portions of scorn and derision.
“Hillary for Prison” was a popular T-shirt at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. “Lock her up” is a popular chant at rallies for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Some folks nickname her “Killery.” Some of the insults border on obscene. What’s worse, a lot of folks feel it’s appropriate to bash Hillary.
I get it. Anything I say here short of “lock her up” will be taken as an endorsement of the Clinton campaign so, let me renounce in no uncertain terms her exalted role in the American decision to destroy the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, led by Col. Muammar Gaddafi. That choice is beyond immoral. That is a classic example of paternalistic, U.S. group-think run amok — it’s referred to as nation-building, and is considered to be legitimate U.S. statecraft.
It’s what American voters like their leaders to do: swing the U.S. muscle around, meddle and interfere in the internal affairs of other countries — unless your name is Hillary, that is.
Folks say they’re tired of having to choose the lesser of two evils. Right. But who in their right mind would choose the greater of two evils?
Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee held a lackluster, mistake-filled convention from start to finish in Cleveland, and the conventional wisdom was that as long as Trump did not commit a gross blunder, his would be a good week.
The Democrats, on the other hand, executed a picture-perfect convention, complete with noisy, boisterous protest demonstrations and walkouts, with hardly any arrests, yet the betting line is still even-money that Trump could be elected in November despite his multiple, visible flaws. If Trump is chosen, the voters will deserve what they get.
“Why can’t Hillary Clinton stop lying?” demands one headline. She’s a “big fat hypocrite on women’s rights,” declares another. What is it about her that causes so many people to absolutely flip out at the very mention of her name?
Meanwhile Trump has revealed what may be his Achilles’ heel, in the word war he’s losing to Pakistani-American Gold Star parents Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala Khan. Their son Humayun Khan — was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was killed in combat in Iraq.
“In this document, look for the words — look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law,’” Khan said on the final night of the convention. “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities.
“You have sacrificed nothing and no one. We cannot solve — we cannot solve our problems by building walls, sowing division,” Khan said.
Trump was kind of dumbfounded and at a loss for a coherent answer when questioned about the critique.
“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’s “This Week.” “I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
Donald J. Trump’s tendency to reveal himself over and over again as a narcissistic psychopath never seem to harm his standing in public opinion polls, while the Clinton campaign is portrayed as standing on slippery banana peels.
Was Hillary Rodham Clinton ever the wide-eyed altruist who grew to serve her fellow humans after working at the Children’s Defense Fund? If so, when did she change into someone whose image today is that of someone far more calculating than innocent?
Maybe Hillary Clinton will be elected and lead and govern masterfully. But then, maybe her tenure will be rocky and all the grave fears of her leadership prove true.
If so, would we still be talking about the lesser, or the greater, of two evils?