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The next President?

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah}

Liar in Chief. That may very well be Hillary Clinton’s legacy after she serves her term as President of the United States. If she wins the election in November. Which is by no means certain.


What a terrible choice we have in the presumptive Presidential nominees of the two mainstream political parties. They are the most disliked candidates in American history – at least during my lifetime. And for good reason. One is a narcissistic megalomaniac and the other a practiced liar who now appears to be unqualified to be President.

Needless to say, a Trump Presidency would be unprecedented on many levels. None of them good. He is incompetent and inexperienced. His knowledge of government is nil. His knowledge of world events is shallow at best. His stated policies – both domestic and foreign are unrealistic to say the least.

He attracts racists and bigots to his cause and does little to disavow them or their ideology. He has a knack for insulting everyone that he disagrees with even slightly. And that includes world leaders. There is almost a daily flow of racist or misogynistic comments by him or his campaign. Some of his rhetoric tends to foment violent behavior on the part of his supporters – and his detractors.

He also has a penchant for revenge against his political opponents. Like making some not so veiled threats of political revenge against House Speaker Paul Ryan when Ryan said he did not yet support a Trump Presidency – even after all of Trump’s competition dropped out. (Ryan has since announced his qualified support). This is a man truly in love with himself. Everyone else comes second. A distant second!

And then there’s Hillary Clinton, whom FBI Director James Comey called extremely careless. From the New York Times:

F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said Tuesday that the bureau would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information while she was secretary of state…
But (he) rebuked Mrs. Clinton as being “extremely careless” in using a personal email address for sensitive communications. He raised questions about her judgment that will reverberate through her campaign and said that a person still employed by the government — Mrs. Clinton left the State Department in 2013 — could face administrative punishment for such conduct.
To warrant a criminal charge, Mr. Comey said, there had to be evidence that Mrs. Clinton intentionally transmitted or willfully mishandled classified information. The F.B.I. found neither…”
■ Of 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton handed over to the State Department, 110 contained information that was classified at the time she sent or received them. Of those, Mr. Comey said, “a very small number” were marked as classified. This finding contradicts her repeated assertions that none of the emails were classified at the time Mrs. Clinton saw them…
■ The F.B.I. discovered “several thousand” work-related emails that were not in the original trove of 30,000 turned over by Mrs. Clinton to the State Department. Three of those contained information that agencies have concluded was classified…
■ It is “possible,” Mr. Comey said, that hostile foreign governments may have gained access to Mrs. Clinton’s personal account. He noted that she used her mobile device extensively while traveling outside the United States, including trips “in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.”
■ Mrs. Clinton used multiple private servers for her personal and government business, not just a single server at her home in New York that has been the focus of news reports for more than a year. Her use of these servers — some of which were taken out of service and stored — made the F.B.I.’s job enormously complicated as it sought to put together a puzzle with “millions of email fragments” in it, Mr. Comey said.
A person in Mrs. Clinton’s position, he declared, “should have known that an unclassified system was no place” for the emails she was sending and receiving.

Breathtaking! That is my reaction to this non-indictment. Her actions do not appear to have risen to the level of  warranting a criminal charge, according to Comey. But many are questioning that. And what about all those e-mail deletions? Sounds like obstruction of justice to me. But what do I know.

In any case her actions may not have warranted a criminal charge but it certainly calls into question her qualifications for President. At the very least someone as careless with classified material as Mrs. Clinton should lose their security clearance – forget about being President of the United States! I don’t know how anyone – friend or foe – can ever trust a proven liar who has in the past publicly stated that she never told a lie in her life! Or someone who places convenience over national security.

In my view the most important quality a President should have is integrity. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King – what is important about any human being is ‘the content of their character.’ Everything else should flow from that. We should be able to trust that a President will not lie to us. We cannot do that with Mrs. Clinton. It is the very content of her character that is in doubt. How can we trust her? How can our allies trust her?

As we get closer to the election it appears more than ever that the choices come down to who is least objectionable. There is little doubt in my mind that Mrs. Clinton would have lost to any decent Republican candidate. But the presumptive Republican nominee is anything but decent. And yet, he may gain politically from this. I wonder what the next poll will show… What a mess.

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Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at [email protected].