Regardless of personal politics, it is undeniable that this current American electoral process is one of the most fascinating to date. In following the Republican and Democrat Primaries, and the nomination of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton respectively, it is clear too that Hillary Clinton is the Democrat’s most fundamental strategic mistake on the path to the White House.

Few presidential candidates have been involved in such high profile scandals as Clinton of late. The Democrat nominee has recently made history by being the first presidential candidate to undergo an FBI Criminal Investigation. The cause of this was her use of an unsecured, private email server set up in her basement during her time as Secretary of State. Whilst the FBI has advised no prosecution, the important lesson to be learned comes from Hillary’s attitude and apparent disdain for transparency and honesty.

On multiple occasions, Hillary has stated: ‘I did not send or receive any material marked classified’ through the private server in question (she did). When asked if all work-related emails were turned over to the FBI for investigation, Clinton assured us definitively that they were (they weren’t). In fact, at least 8 known email chains marked as TSSCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information) were exchanged. Clinton’s brazen lies are now public knowledge.

“Hillary Clinton is a dishonest, opaque, career politician”

When asked if she had wiped her server, Clinton responded: ‘what, like, with a cloth or something?’ Hillary Clinton is a dishonest, opaque, career politician who either believes in her own immunity from prosecution or sincerely underestimates the public sphere. Not only has Clinton unabashedly lied to the public, but she has directly tried to avert the course of justice and apparently succeeded. This is especially surprising considering Director Comey himself stated that other individuals in similar circumstances would face legal or administrative sanctions. It seems, at this point in time, Clinton believes herself to be above the law. Despite the specific law requiring only evidence of gross negligence, Clinton has not been indicted due to a ‘lack of criminal intent.’ It seems that laws can be read differently based upon your status.

The list of lies goes on. Recalling her visit to Bosnia as Secretary of State, Clinton remembers coming under sniper fire and having to run heads down to armoured vehicles. This myth has been debunked repeatedly – there was no sniper fire. Hillary had a greeting ceremony and even had time to pose for pictures. In fact, one needs only look at Politifact’s Clinton Truthometer to see the extent of her dishonesty, ignorance, or sheer incompetence.

Clinton is also dishonest about her policy. For example, Hillary has promised to keep big money out of politics – an odd claim to make considering she has taken over 3 million dollars from Wall Street actors such as Goldman-Sachs and Morgan Stanley in ‘speaking fees’. The transcripts for these speeches have still not been released. In a similar vein, after only moving to support gay marriage as a ‘fundamental human right’ in 2013 after a decade of opposition, the Clinton Foundation still accepts donations from at least 6 nation states that persecute homosexuality. In a political system where bribery and money-interest plays an unfortunate role, Clinton is a representative of the illness within the body politic.

Clinton’s lack of honesty and transparency is dangerous. Wars can and have been started over lies and self-interest. Backdoor deals stand in the way of progress. The global elite consider themselves above the law. Millions of progressives voted for Bernie Sanders in a statement against neo-liberalism, political dishonesty and inequality. Hillary represents each of these things, and thus the Democrat’s greatest mistake is in nominating her as the official candidate. The sheer momentum that Bernie, the previously small senator from Vermont, acquired in taking a grass roots movement to the very top should have signalled a sincere mandate for change. Instead, the Democrats have chosen political stasis.

“A Clinton presidency is the darkest timeline”

The Democrats no longer have the moral high-ground in the run up to the election. Nor can it be claimed that Hillary is the lesser of two evils. And in an election against a Republican candidate infamous for his personal attacks, the Democrats have made a sincere misstep. Had the nominee been Bernie, America’s story may have been different.

A Clinton presidency reinforces the global status quo. A Clinton presidency reinforces inequality, and the political mechanisms that empower the global elite and disenfranchise the people. A Clinton presidency is the darkest timeline. Whilst Hillary may have adopted many of Sanders’ progressive lines, she is not an advocate from belief but from self-interest. This is an issue that affects the world – from America to Europe to Africa, from over 65’s to millennial alike. If true progress is to be made, then the champions elected to carry these changes forwards must believe in them. In a world where information and knowledge are power, transparency and honesty are the key virtues we must look for in our politicians.

Connor Clayton

Image: Flickr, Doc

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