Is Clinton the lesser of two evils?
© Greg Nash

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCruz: Wife 'pretty pissed' about leaked Cancun texts CBC would back Young for OMB if Tanden falls Hillary Clinton to co-write political thriller MORE is seeking to make the presidential election a referendum on billionaire Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE’s lack of fitness to be president.

Clinton is countering Trump’s scorched earth campaign with her own. Democrats characterize Trump as a narcissistic, dangerously erratic, pathological liar and demagogue.Trump, they say, is unknowledgeable of policy and pandering to fear.

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Clinton, Democrats warn apocalyptically, seeks to save the Republic from Trump. If Clinton keeps the focus on Trump, she will be elected.

However, allegations of unethical behavior and wrongdoing swirl about her. She cannot quash her email, speaker fee, and the Clinton Foundation scandals. This election gives new meaning to the phrase, lesser of two evils. 

Clinton is Machiavellian, seeming to believe, as Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, “in judging [politicians], we should consider the results that have been achieved …, rather than the means by which they have been executed.” She and her aides engage in Nixonian skullduggery and stonewalling.

Recent polls indicate a majority of voters view Clinton negatively and regard her as untrustworthy.

Nearly 60 percent believe she should have been prosecuted over her emails. Clinton’s mischaracterization of FBI Director James Comey’s findings and her lies about her emails might make her an unviable candidate—if the Republicans had a more credible nominee.

Trump appears psychologically incapable of pivoting, projecting a more presidential persona, and ceasing over-the-top comments. Voters increasingly are deciding Trump truly is temperamentally unsuited to be president.

They observed his obsessive attacks on the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in combat. Many Americans were horrified when Trump appealed, facetiously or not, to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to hack and publicize Clinton’s emails.  

If a majority of voters decide Clinton is the lesser of two evils, they should not lose sight of her dark side.

A Clinton victory will come at a cost to our democratic system’s integrity.

Comey arguably had the basis for recommending criminal charges. Clinton placed closely held national secrets, intelligence sources and methods in jeopardy.

The FBI discovered 110 classified emails on her server, which were classified at the time they were sent, not retroactively.

Eight email chains were Top Secret (TS) and seven TS Codeword/Special Access Program. Fifty-two chains, in all, were classified. Another 2000 emails were retroactively classified due to sensitivity. Clinton engaged in classified exchanges with individuals with no security clearance at all.

Comey stated that Clinton was “extremely careless” and “should have known an unclassified system was no place” for such communications.

She seems to have jeopardized classified information due to an obsession with circumventing Freedom of Information (FOIA) and Federal Records Acts (FRA). She appears to have done so knowingly.

The National Security Agency told Clinton that her Blackberry and other mobile devices were not secure. This would explain why she never sought official approval to use multiple servers and devices.

Clinton ignored informal warnings she was not in compliance with FOIA and FRA laws and that her server posed security risks. Comey and former CIA Directors Hayden and Gates have warned that foreign intelligence services may have hacked her server.

Voters must also consider Clinton’s Super PACs, honoraria and the Clinton Foundation.She has railed against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. She argues correctly it favors special interests.

However, Clinton is one of Citizens United’s biggest beneficiaries, with Bill and Hillary Clinton now synonymous with special interest money.

The Wall Street Journal reports that seven hedge funds and investment firms contributed nearly $49 million to pro-Clinton Super PACs. the Clintons have received $153 million in speaker fees and the Clinton Foundation some $2 billion, including money from Wall Street, domestic and foreign corporations, as well as foreign governments and potentates.

Clinton’s critics claim corporations and foreign interests have used Super PACs, honoraria, and the Foundation in an attempt to influence her policy stances as Senator and Secretary of State.

They characterize the Foundation as a glorified Clinton political slush fund, dedicating only about 10 percent of expenditures to actual charity work. They have no evidence of quid pro quo relationships, although they suggest murky conflicts of interest and unethical behavior.

Many pundits are beginning to regard Clinton as the favorite in this election, if Trump persists in self-destructive behavior. Voters will ponder her mishandling of classified information.

They will weigh speculation she had a play-for-pay relationship with domestic and foreign special interests that directly or indirectly gave her money. They may decide they cannot entrust Trump with the presidency, but they should remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

Davis is a retired intelligence analyst, who worked with the Army Special Operations Command, Defense Intelligence Agency, and CIA.


 

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