A while back I filed a column in which I asked whether Hillary could be trusted. The responders ran the gamut. Most of those I heard from were solid in their support of Hillary. And then there were the very angry who would support Satan before they would vote for Hillary. Here is a paragraph I received comparing Bill and Hillary to the characters in Netflix’s, “The House of Cards”:
“The Clintons are the consummate political chancers, all the while style overwhelming substance, ruthlessness eclipsing truthfulness, and political expediency supplanting policy integrity. Occupying their own 'house of cards' is a long, yet not so illustrious history of deception, corruption, duplicity, careerist opportunism, avarice, malice, war-mongering, hubris, incompetence, arrogance, media manipulation, venality, hypocrisy, influence touting, and everything in between that the ugly, sleazy side of politics has on offer.”
Wow! I could never vote for anyone I believed to be that totally rotten.
And then there were the responders who honestly supported Bernie and were unhappy that so many of the rest of us believed in what he had to say, but did not think he was electable or was not the best qualified candidate.
Many of the responders were struggling with the decision as to whether they could in good conscience support Hillary. Since the publication of that piece I have asked a pretty solid group of people about their feelings regarding Hillary. Summing up the majority of those conversations yields something like this:
CB: What is your feeling about Hillary?
Response: I suppose I’ll vote for her, but there are things about her I don’t like.
CB: Can you tell me what they are?
R: She is dishonest.
CB: Give me a couple of specifics about her dishonesty.
R: When she was Secretary of State she lied about one of the countries she had visited, and she didn’t tell the truth about Libya.
CB: Can you give any specifics about those events, or what she did that was dishonest? And where did you hear about them?
R: I think I heard a lot of talk about it — or maybe I read it somewhere.
CB: Anything else?
R: She keeps changing her mind, and there are the e-mails.
CB: Any more specifics?
R: I just have heard a lot of people talk about how she could not be trusted.
CB: Do you have any feeling about how she comes off other than you have heard that she is dishonest?
R: She seems cold, not the warm friendly person I would like to sit down and have coffee with. Can’t see myself warming up to her.
I continue to believe — and my recent conversations support the conclusion — that for many years there has been political capital to be made in continually whispering that Hillary cannot be trusted. This is the same tactic used by those passing around the rumor that Obama’s birth certificate is a fake, or that there is no such thing as global warming. What is the evidence for Hillary’s duplicity? Only that the accusation continues to be continually repeated so there must be some truth in it.
There is one other accusation that often surfaces in these conversations. There is currently a disdain for anyone who has been an insider. Strange. Now it seems that dedication, experience, knowledge and engagement have become negatives. My guess is that in the weeks to come, the American people will see the shallowness of that myopic obsession. Let’s hope so.
So while I find the sturdy support for Bernie compelling, I’m not willing to take the risk involved in backing him, given the American electorate’s drift to the right — even if there are present polls that say he would do better against Trump than would Hillary. My hope is that Bernie will do whatever he can to encourage massive numbers of his followers to follow him in working for a Democrat victory in November. Too much is at stake should we elect a buffoon. I will support Hillary and the Democratic ticket. While the alternative to opt for a third party candidate or to write in Bernie’s name remains a temptation, so much is riding on this election. I would rather be safe than righteous.