Asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton answered, “It’s where the money is.” His answer remains a classic example of clarity through simplicity. This contrasts with politician’s obfuscations that are accepted and repeated by the Press – or just ignored. The NY Times did not bother to mention Mrs. Clinton’s first post-election interview where she said the Director of the FBI had confirmed the truth of all she had divulged about her e-mail. She was seemingly oblivious to his point-by-point not-quite-an-indictment of her in front of Congress.
Mrs. Clinton wants to be the first woman president, but millennials are not enthusiastically waiting for this “achievement.” Instead, many want governmental change, particularly the movements of Messrs. Sanders and Trump. President Bill Clinton sought to rebrand his wife, calling her a “change-maker” during his speech at the Convention. He ignored President Obama’s touting her continuity with his administration. She is thus both for stability and change simultaneously, typical of a politician.
Mr. Trump is emphatically not a politician. He does everything contrary to the political norm, speaking when he should be quiet, saying flat-out wrong things, or worse, being outrageous. He is more than politically incorrect. The “have you read the Constitution” question at the DNC struck a chord because it reflected a stereotype. He is a billionaire, whose reality show’s tagline, “You’re Fired,” captures his, “my way or the highway” attitude.
Mr. Trump gives voice to the deep anger of so many millions in the electorate who want something done – even if they do not know what. He is redefining the Republican Party, appealing to both Democratic and Republican voters ready for a ‘Second American Revolution.’ Our ‘First’ used guns because “Taxation without representation is tyranny,” similar to, “Let them eat cake,” except in France they used the Guillotine.
The U.S. is divided. Racial and sexual divisions are exacerbated. The lie, “Hands up. Don’t Shoot,” has become the mantra of the Black Lives Movement. They ignore the increase in black-on-black murders to focus on racist police who hunt unarmed young black men; while denying any involvement in the ambushes against the police – men and women.
The gap between the political elite and our citizens is metastasizing. There must be a reason to enter government service instead of a law firm partnership. Perhaps it is because there is so much of other’s money to spend at the higher levels or the contacts with the rich that ensue. The past decade has seen the 1% grow richer. It does seem that the Law does not apply evenly. Many felt that Mrs. Clinton could never be indicted. They were right.
Both candidates are terrible, each with unprecedented negatives. The majority think Mrs. Clinton is a congenital liar, but her supporters do not seem to care. She offers that her opponent is worse as a defense. Mr. Trump seems to be fighting everyone, including himself. The list of those he offends is huge. It includes many of the Conservative establishment, some of whom publically eschew supporting him – which he takes as an emblem of honor.
Americans have to choose between the devil they know and the other. In this election, who is which? Mrs. Clinton’s campaign director says we will know her after we elect her. This is a bit akin to Mrs. Pelosi’s statement about Obamacare, that we have to pass the law to find out what is in it. Six years later, we continue to find out new reasons to be unhappy with its contents. Mr. Trump, though, seems as bad. He promises to act presidentially, and then opens his mouth. Does he have the discipline to act otherwise? It is hard to see this by his actions.
It is also hard to see the United States suffering. Our economy is sputtering but unemployment is officially low, and laughed at. The Government counts millions of part-time workers, but not those who cannot find jobs – now moved overseas. Respect for Law is passé, with the National Security violations non-indictment, and the President’s executive actions on Immigration. Our nation is deeply in debt, yet our infrastructure is crumbling, with bridges falling, an obsolete power grid, and drinking waters tainted.
“Leading from behind” has given us Libya, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, Russia, China, and a host of other problems. ISIS grew after we withdrew from Iraq, ignored our ‘red line’ and left a void. State-sponsor of terrorism, Iran, received $150 billion – with $400 million sent in cash, at night, in an unmarked plane. A non-treaty, executive action, gives Iran a path possessing nuclear arms; even as it did not slow their work in building ICBMs. The list seems endless.
Americans do not accept this economy and daily terrorism as the new normal. Some 80% feel the nation is on the wrong path; that their children will have a worse life. Americans must decide which bad candidate to vote for. On the one hand, Mr. Trump has money – a great deal of it. His over 200 companies generated billions over a 40-year span. Mrs. Clinton and her husband have a great deal of wealth, too. After his Presidency ended, they were dead-broke. Since then, they earned several hundred thousand dollars per hour for speaking. Mr. Clinton’s going-rate increased while Mrs. Clinton was the Secretary of State, charging in some cases, $750,000.
Surprisingly, speaking fees are only a minor part of the treasure the Clinton’s have at their disposal. The Clinton Foundation amassed over one billion dollars in just a few years. The FBI is investigating whether donors received special considerations from the State Department while Mrs. Clinton was the Secretary, and while so many of her e-mails were deleted, they were, after all, about yoga.
Donald Trump’s battle against Hillary Clinton offers a huge contrast. Mr. Trump already has money made from the private sector. Mrs. Clinton seems to have proven that the path through the public sector can yield millions, or more. Their vision for America starts with Mr. Trump seeing huge problems, while Mrs. Clinton thinks things are fine, and we just need a few minor adjustments to deal with inequalities.
Which of them will win? Hopefully, it will be the person who empowers the best of America to return us to that place atop a hill. Mrs. Clinton’s “way” has parsed words, lists of enemies, paranoia of the press, and a billion-dollar Foundation receiving huge gifts from those in power. Mr. Trump’s “way” has unfiltered words, walls keeping enemies out, love of press, and a billion-dollar company giving gifts to those in power. The existence of a major FBI investigation is a ‘yuge’ difference – but only to some. The battle will be epic. Which “way” will prevail?