What About Hillary…

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

I mentioned in a previous post that one of the topics I will touch on from time to time is politics…ish. I say “ish” because I’m not talking politics in a way that you are going to hear on one of the cable news networks. I don’t dig deep into politics for the most part. I do listen to POTUS on SiriusXM radio, and I do read some articles from time to time, but I don’t go deep enough to be an authority on the subject. I don’t believe I ever will either.

Consequently, my thoughts on politics could be and certainly are open to criticism. I am willing to engage in such discussions, as long as they are even-handed and rational.

The flip side, however, is that I’m also not so entrenched in one form of political thought that I will just give the party line and try to shout louder than anyone else. Because the fact of the matter is I have no party line to give. I am not registered as a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party member, or the “Rent is Too Damn High” party.

The first election I voted in was the 2016 Democratic Primary. Let me say a bit about this. In Indiana, you don’t have to be registered with a political party in order to vote in a primary. You simply go to the desk and tell the nice person which primary you would like to vote in.

By this point in the primaries, Ohio governor John Kasich had dropped out a day or two before Hoosiers went to the polls. To be perfectly honest, he was the one person in the primaries that I felt really good about voting for. He was articulate, experienced, levelheaded, and most importantly to me at that point, Kasich had no real cloud of dirt floating around him.

So, I went to the desk, and the lovely person asked which party I wanted to vote in. When I ended up saying, “Democrat,” it was obvious that I threw her off. I believe she said, “Oh!” and started looking around for what to do if somebody actually wanted to vote in the Democratic primary. Apparently, there aren’t a lot of Democrats in Johnson County, which the election results would bear out.

I already mentioned that Kasich was my #1 choice, but Sanders was my #2. Why? Because, again, there didn’t seem to be a huge cloud of dirt hanging around him. He seemed to handle himself well. He had some ideas that may be a little out there for some, but it wasn’t without reason. He seemed like the kind of person who would stand up for regular people.

My main reason for voting in the Democratic primary was because I wanted to vote against Hillary Clinton. Look, she has political experience. She seems articulate. But, to me, she also seemed to take the whole thing for granted. Like it was her coronation, and she deserved it. And then there seemed to be some funny business going on in the greater Democratic Party that I didn’t like either.

As election season rolled along, it became clear that the General Election was going to pit Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. Frankly, the two people I least wanted to cast a vote for through this whole process. In fact, I worked through a whole process in my own mind and ended up voting for Johnson, in spite of the fact that many people would argue that voting for a third party candidate is just a waste of your vote. (It’s not. It’s your vote. You get to use it as you wish.)

I caught some of the debates leading up to the November election. I followed the headlines. I read some stories. I saw the posts on social media. I just didn’t like either of the major candidates. Scandal after scandal was coming up — verified or not, I felt like if there is enough dirt floating around, somebody is going to get dirty. I just didn’t like any of it.

It would have been easy for me to get disheartened and not care about politics any more. It would have been easy for me to get disenfranchised and go back to my life as it was before — caring little for politics because whoever was in office didn’t really seem to affect my life at all.

We all know how it ended. Trump defeated Clinton and became the 45th President of the United States. I didn’t like it. Now, I didn’t go all teary eyed and request a few days off work to handle my grief or anger about it, but it just didn’t sit well with me. And, for me, it wasn’t about his political party. It was more about the fact that I don’t like him as a person. He has done little to change my opinion in these last two years.

We have to face the fact that the current President of the United States is somebody who has only ever thought about what is best for him, his image, his “brand”. We have a President who uses social media like a vindictive “mean girl” to call out, poke fun, insult and demean anybody who would have the audacity to speak against him. He is a smug, spiteful bully, who will say anything to sway people to his point of view, even if it is not the truth, and people let him get away with it. People have always let him get away with it.

He said it himself, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, ok?” Those are words he actually said. There’s video proof of it. Now, you could argue that he was using a hyperbole to make a point, and he probably was, but the fact of the matter is that he surrounds himself with people who help him in his belief that he can do no wrong.

With the reports that are coming out now, there is a lot of talk about indictments, charges, impeachment. I’ll leave the legality of all that to the experts, but from what I am hearing, it doesn’t look good. And yet, I’m still hearing a common refrain:

“But what about Hillary?”

Those were the exact words I heard on Sunday morning as I was driving in my car listening to the radio. The host was reading tweets in response to some of the news that has been coming out. In one of them, the listener said something along the lines of “But what about Hillary? When are we going to see her brought up on charges?”

My gut reaction was to roll my eyes so hard I almost ended up on the sidewalk (not really, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point). I’m so tired of people saying, “Yeah, but Hillary…” or “What about Hillary?” Why am I tired of it?

Because it doesn’t matter! It is irrelevant to the conversation that is taking place right now.

Certainly, as the election was drawing near, it seemed that Hillary was at least connected to some shady stuff. Was it true? I don’t know. Frankly, it doesn’t matter right now, and let me put this in all caps to emphasize something that people need to hear:

HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!

I know that some people are going to have an immediate reaction of “Thank God!” In fact, the Sunday after the election, somebody in my church mentioned a “praise” during the prayer request time that “that woman did not get elected.” I know that people are passionate about their dislike of Hillary Clinton. However, the first comeback to legal accusations against the President should not be, “What about Hillary?”

Hillary Clinton is a private citizen — well, at least as much as somebody with her kind of background can be. She is not serving public office right now. She is not a figurehead in the contemporary political scene. She’s not even on the town council of Nothing, Arizona (it’s an actual place, I looked it up; I mean, it’s a ghost town, but you get my point, right?)

Bringing up any potential Hillary Clinton legal problems is a false equivalence against Trump’s current legal problems. Why? Because Donald Trump IS the President of the United States.

Imagine a world where Hillary was elected President (I’ll give you a minute to shudder if you need it), and every time somebody mentioned that she needed to be brought up on charges, you would say, “Yeah, what about Donald?” It wouldn’t make any sense. And yet, this is the world in which we find ourselves today.

Donald Trump is the President of the United States (I’ll give you a minute to shudder if you need it). And because of this fact, we do need to take seriously the potential that charges will be brought up. He is not a private citizen. He is the leader and figurehead of the United States on a global scale.

The same people who are willing to give him a pass for his personal and legal issues right now are the ones who have been crying out against the Clintons for their personal and legal issues. We cannot have that kind of double standard and consider ourselves rational people.

And so, let’s all take a deep breath. Let’s put aside our political leanings for just a moment and ask ourselves this question: is it okay that we have a President who is mired in these kinds of scandals? If Hillary was President, would these scandals be okay? If this kind of information came out about Obama, would we just shrug it off like it was no big deal? If we found out that George W. Bush did some of the things that Trump has done, would you as outraged as you are now?

This is where we are as a country. We care more about political party than we care about right and wrong. There are things that are just wrong. Period. There are things that are illegal. Period. We cannot be okay with the President of the United States being a part of these kind of activities, regardless of party.

We can do better. We must do better for a better tomorrow.

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Matt Swisher

Matt Swisher

Just some guy who is looking to make my pocket of the world a better place. Life is a journey; let’s walk together and help each other along the way.