Public-Private?

One of Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails states fairly directly that politicians need both public and private faces, and there have been a number of negative comments in the media about that – and one positive one. Clinton was absolutely correct in her assessment. The only problem with it was the fact that it was leaked and that too many Americans neither understand politics, nor care to. All they see is that she is “devious” and can’t be trusted.

ALL effective politicians are devious in that respect. The only time a politician can be totally direct and not devious is when the politician – or head of state – has absolute power to accomplish his or her ends… and even then it’s better to be less direct and more “politic.”

As I’ve written before, I learned the hard way that readers sometimes have great difficulty in swallowing unpleasant political facts, which was one of the reasons one of my books – The Green Progression – was the worst-selling book Tor published in the 1990s. This election provides another real-life example of people turning away from unpleasant realities, such as the fact that publicly honest statements can destroy a politician. Just look at the difficulty President Carter created for himself when he made the obvious but impolitic statement that “Life isn’t fair.”

This makes the criticism of Clinton over public and private faces even more amusing, since Donald Trump is anything but “politic.” He may be “direct,” but he’s almost always factually incorrect. He’s rude, crude, and lewd, not to mention disrespectful of anyone he doesn’t like, and he’s continually threatening those disagree with him. He has a long record of going bankrupt and sticking others with the bills. He’s blatantly hypocritical when he says he’ll bring back offshored jobs when he’s offshored the production of all the clothing and personal items he markets under his name. But he tells his supporters what they want to hear, even though there’s no way he can do the vast majority of what he promises. But his supporters think he’s more “honest” than Clinton.

And, in fact, the polls show that the biggest complaint against Clinton is that she can’t be trusted and people think what she did with the private email server was criminal. The FBI and a number of legal experts all say that what she did was wrong, but not prosecutable. If it can’t be prosecuted, under law, it’s not criminal. In addition, it should be noted that the very respected Colin Powell, when he was Secretary of State, whom Clinton consulted, had a private email account as well, and no one seems to be saying that he should be prosecuted.

I don’t hear anyone saying that Trump should go to jail for defrauding small contractors, architects, and others. Or that he can’t be trusted. Certainly, those contractors don’t think he was trustworthy. So why are people more concerned about Clinton’s “trustworthiness” than Trump’s?

Clinton’s made no secret of what her goals and objectives as President would be. Nor has she kept secret her general approach, and sometimes, very specific plans, as how she would address those goals. Her opponents are barking up the wrong tree. She can be very much trusted to attempt many of those objectives. She won’t and can’t do them all. No president ever has or ever will, and that would be true of Trump as well, if he were to be elected.

But Clinton, if elected, can be trusted generally as much as any past president – less than some and more than others – to try to do a great number of things her opponents don’t want done… and that is, I suspect, the real “trust” issue. She wants more restrictions on who can bear arms, but not to repeal the second amendment, which would be an impossibility [which she full well knows, unlike Trump]. She wants higher taxes on the top one percent of earners, including herself and Bill [unlike Trump, who wants to cut taxes most on the wealthy]. She wants to spend more taxpayer dollars on restoring and revitalizing infrastructure, and she’s in favor of maintaining strict environment regulations on power plants and industrial polluters, as well as many other things that she’s scarcely kept secret.

All these may not be to the liking of many voters, but it’s not a question of trust or secretiveness; it’s a question of objectives and which candidate can actually accomplish what.

4 thoughts on “Public-Private?”

  1. TOM says:

    I do not understand how people can demand control (of a democracy) when they are unwilling to work at finding out what to control and how to control “it”. I enjoyed The Green Progression. It probably did not sell that well because the ironic cannot be transferred onto a flyleaf and we were in the throes of creating a bubble of freedom and satisfying greed. Perhaps it is time for a Global Warming SFF novel – something like The Empress of Eternity but instead of the effect of gender dominance on culture treat the effect of environment on culture (a la human culture evolution).

  2. JM says:

    I fear that many people who do not seek knowledge or try to understand the world listen to Mr. Trump.

    I recently found out that one of my close friends (who has no higher education) is sticking to Trump and has even stated to me that Trump hasn’t said anything “truly” offensive.

    Yet if I talk with my fellow college students (I attend a STEM University) they think Trump is the manifestation of America’s worst.

    It is a shocking divide and I, for the sake of my friendship, have decided to not discuss politics with my friend.

    1. Tim says:

      @JM. This is similar to the EU referendum in the UK. Afterwards, those who wanted to remain challenged those who voted to leave as under-informed or under-educated. A previous Prime Minister is now claiming we need another referendum to “allow people to change their minds”. So much for democracy.

      A previous post by LEM discussed the differences in voting behaviour based on logos (provable evidence) ethos (advice from those with experience) and pathos (gut-judgment).

      It is definitely the last which really counts. If the UK referendum is anything to go by, best to ignore the pollsters.

      It appears it is all up for grabs on 8th.

  3. JakeB says:

    As it happens, another site I look at today reminded me that the Bush White House lost 22 million emails between 2003 and 2009. On a private server (this one owned by the RNC). And the White House failed to comply with congressional subpoenas demanding access to those emails.

    Yet somehow that far more egregious conduct never seems to be mentioned in the hundreds of thousands of stories about Clinton’s email issues. Seems strange to me.

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