It’s no big secret I’m not a fan of Donald Trump. I wrote a piece about it last week, and the thing went viral. It seems a lot of people feel the same way. Of course, a lot of others don’t and I got to hear from them too, which is always the case when I express my dismay that people don’t see Donald Trump for what he isn’t. Their rebuttals to my befuddlement always seem to begin the same way:
“What about Hilary?”
The question is typically followed by a list of accusations so long you wonder if they’re going to run out of commas before they reach the end.
According to them, she’s horrible, corrupt, and deceitful. She has said, they tell me without producing a verifiable quote, she intends to destroy the republic and cross out the Second Amendment with a permanent marker.
Accusations have included charges she killed off half her political enemies, destroyed the lives of the remainder, orchestrated the attack in Benghazi, swapped countless favors for donations to her campaigns and charitable foundation, rigged the entire Democratic primary, intentionally endangered national security, then threw a blackberry smashing party to celebrate, all while enduring a deadly illness she’s been hiding that’s apparently some weird mix of epilepsy, cancer, and tetanus.
Hold on a second. I just ran out of commas.
It doesn’t seem to matter that her political opponents, operating on an unlimited budget, launched ten investigations, asked 3,194 questions in public hearings, and produced fifteen reports containing 1,982 pages about Benghazi and still came up with no evidence of wrongdoing.
It doesn’t matter that the FBI found no reason to believe she intentionally sought to risk national security as part of some nefarious plot for personal gain.
It doesn’t matter there’s zero evidence she has anything to do with the deaths of anyone she’s ever so much as said hello to at a state dinner function.
It doesn’t matter that a hard look into the Clinton Foundation pay-for-play charges turned up no evidence of any such thing existing.
No. In fact, as one Hillary hater told me, the lack of evidence for all those things is merely proof of how crafty she really is. She knows how to clean up a crime scene.
That, my friends, is conspiracy theory logic. When the lack of sufficient evidence is the evidence you rest your case on, you just turned the burden of proof on its head and you’ve started down the road to Bizarro World where facts are lies, nothing is everything, and the grassy knoll is filled with at least another dozen shooters.
There are legitimate criticisms of Hillary Clinton. I personally find her too hawkish. I think she dragged her feet on gay marriage. I think she’s been tone deaf when it comes to racial issues.
But you want to know something? She’s apologized for much of that, something Trump doesn’t believe in doing for anything. He thinks it’s a sign of weakness. I think it’s a sign of growth and evolution, which is something I want a president to be capable of.
And, if I care about being honest with you, I have been guilty of all of the above, too. I’m not the same person I used to be, and I’ll be somebody different tomorrow. If I get to evolve, why doesn’t she?
In response to my Trump piece, one woman, in three separate comments, left me orders to “write about Hillary’s bad side.” I sent those orders to the trash.
Go get your own blog.
I’ve already read all about Hillary’s bad side. I’ve heard it from both the right and the left. But after I decided to exit out of a liberal message group because I wasn’t into seeing a woman be described with a word that begins with a c and ends with a t, I had to take a step back and ask what did I know?
What about Hillary? What about her, indeed?
I wanted to find out what there was to know, and what I found were a lot of negative images painted of her in thick strokes of speculation and hearsay.
You find pages and stacks of random details, strained connections, and reaching insinuations all laid out by people whose favorite words seem to be sheeple, shill, and Benghazi. For 9.99 you can get the secret decoder ring and join the inner circle. You just have to assume the very worst about her and make it your aim to confirm your assumptions.
If you have an ounce of objectivity, however, you wind up having to admit there’s not a lot of there there regardless of the attacks from almost everywhere that have been going on for decades.
No, you won’t discover a flawless saint if you look, but you will discover some powerful and positive things she’s done that her detractors never give her credit for, can never give her credit for, because they’re, you know, #NeverHillary.
I’m supposed to give Trump credit for a fifteen minute photo op handing out play doh to flood victims, but Hillary’s critics can’t spare a comma to mention her work in aiding the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that provided health coverage to eight million children, her role in increasing exports to China while running the State Department, her push for congress to investigate the illness now known as Gulf War Syndrome, and – oh, let’s face it. I could pull out a bucket of commas and it wouldn’t make any difference to the Never Hillary crowd.
But it makes a difference to me because there IS a difference. Don’t try to tell me there isn’t one. You’re just as capable as I am of listening to a crowd at a Trump rally and recognizing that only one candidate inspires and encourages behavior like that. We have the power to help stop him from inspiring more of it.
This is not the year to send a message with a protest vote. No one will be able to hear it above the screams and shouts of the white supremacists who will feel empowered by seeing their little orange friend rise to power. When I look at the people I love, that’s not the world I hope to help create for them.
“What about Hillary,” you ask me?
My question is, “What about you?”
Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here and sign up for free updates.
Photograph: Hillary in Sepia by Alan C. on Flickr