As the last balloons fall over the Democratic and Republican infomercials in Philadelphia and Cleveland later this month, we voters will face the dreary prospect of deciding which candidate is less arrogant.
It is remarkable that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have successfully convinced millions that they both think the rules don’t apply to them.
Repeatedly, Trump has said sexist, racist, xenophobic, irrational and stupid things that if uttered by any other politician or CEO, would result in immediate exile. He flagrantly and reprehensibly makes appeals to the worst instincts of some Americans. He should be ashamed of himself, but he does not have the moral character for that. He is one of the most arrogant, self-absorbed, least knowledgeable people ever to run for office.
And now that old perception that Clinton fudges the truth to serve her self-interest has been fortified again. All the past doubts have been resurrected; it doesn’t get much worse than the head of the FBI accusing you of extreme carelessness in protecting national security secrets.
Clinton promised us she had not sent or received truly classified information on her private emails; the FBI says she did. If she were still with the government, she might have faced disciplinary action.
It’s a bad day when the best that can be said by your supporters is that you weren’t indicted.
The system is not rigged. FBI Director James Comey was right to find evidence of criminality lacking. A Republican of stellar integrity, Comey was also right to lambaste her for her dreadful judgment in using a private, unsecured email server based in her home.
It’s obvious why she did it. She wanted to avoid Freedom of Information requests. Hillary is by nature secretive, defensive and contemptuous of the public’s right to know.
She may well become the first female president of the United States – an awesome achievement. But her bad judgment and intense desire to avoid full disclosure, which horribly backfired, will always be part of her legacy.
Both candidates are politically damaged. And the real danger is that voters are so disillusioned and pessimistic that they won’t participate. This election could have one of the lowest turnouts in modern times.
That would be a sad outcome, especially in a time when America is far more popular and respected around the globe than many Americans, such as Trump, believe.
In the 2016 Best Countries rankings done by U.S. News & World Report, the United States ranked No. 1 in power and No. 1 in leadership. People outside the United States may be scratching their heads wondering how a man like Trump is on track to secure the Republican nomination, but they are far from ridiculing the world’s only superpower.