In a clean good world, the competition for the office of the president of the United States should be solemn, edifying and dignified, marked by the grace and courtesy of its aspirants. The American presidency is the Mount Sinai of democracy, the highest emblem our sad world has to offer of a free people determining their choice of government and leader.
To the millions caught by birth or fate in grim dictatorships, ruthless tyrannies, kleptocracies, or the murderous chaos of faction and civil war (Syria is the current exemplar), viewing a great nation freely choosing its leader, in open forums, under a free press must be, or rather should be, an inextinguishable source of hope that some day they too, may claim the full rights and unobstructed dignity of a free citizenry.
A beacon on the hill — that’s the accepted metaphor. But, “what a falling off was there.”
With due apologies to Tom Wolfe, this American election, alas, is a roaring bonfire of the insanities. People who have respect and affection for Americans, and I am pleased to be one of them, melt in tears for the spectacle of their current presidential campaign.
The Clinton campaign is a pyramid of lies, equivocations and cover-up, spite and snobbery. The lies: Hillary Clinton deliberately and (despite the absurd declaration of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey) with intent, took all her communication off the government’s secure system to escape freedom of information requests, and conceal the octopus ties of her office as secretary of state with the global solicitations and fundraising of the Clinton Foundation.
She wanted, above all to hide “her damn emails” from the eyes of everyone, because otherwise they would throttle her candidacy from its first breath. Her five chief assistants from Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills down were all granted immunity, she received unique treatment, her husband Bill forced access to Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, on an airport tarmac days before the decision not to prosecute. Aides used “hammers and BleachBit on computers and phones” to obliterate their memories.
Justice has been bent or bludgeoned to suit a campaign. And not once has Clinton told the clear truth on any of these actions.
The cover-up and equivocations: this one is simple. If you removed just one phrase from Clinton’s vocabulary — “I cannot recall” — she could be facing a trial, not inauguration. There have been more rewrites and variations to and on the Clinton email storyline — I did it for convenience, Colin Powell told me to do it, there was no classified information, there was not classified information at the time, and so on — than at a scriptwriter’s conference in Hollywood Hell.
Spite: Read some of the WikiLeaks for her campaign’s attitude toward Bernie Sanders, the red socialist, and his “self-righteous whiners.” (By the way, where has Bernie gone?) Or the campaign’s crude, puerile suggested lines of attack on the quixotic Sanders. “Does he believe in a God,” wrote Brad Marshall, chief financial officer of the Democratic National Committee. “He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps.”
In a second email: it’s the “Jesus thing,” with the scornful reply “AMEN.” The subtext of all this is simply that old Bernie really should not even be allowed to challenge Her Majesty, spite and condescension all in one.
The snobbery comes from both the candidate and the insiders, the now-famous “basket of deplorables.” To a crowd of her super-rich donors, Clinton rhymed off, “You could put half of (Donald) Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.” Much like her insiders, such as campaign manager John Podesta and friends deploring Roman Catholics and their “medieval religion,” Conservative Catholics as illustrating “an amazing bastardization of the faith” and that Conservative donors are only Catholics “because their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”
So this is the machinery, the tactics, the attitude and method of one half of this presidential election. And it is only a taste, a sample, of the lowness, cunning and brazen methods deployed in the reach for democracy’s highest office.
What does the world looking on, those people in countries and places like North Korea, China, Cuba, Africa, caught in immiseration, tyranny or civil war, see in this wretched stew that they should emulate, that should recommend the “democratic way” to them? Where is that dignity, courtesy, respect, integrity and truth that we hope play some part in our freedom-based democracies, to be found in these degraded, selfish, vulgar, and gruesomely petty exchanges?
By Rex Murphy
Read Full Article Here – National Post [Canada]