The not-so-crazy case against Hillary Clinton

The U.S. needs someone who can be trusted to bring the country together and then forward. Hillary Clinton is not that person.

TOPSHOT - US Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives for a campaign rally with US Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, at Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia, July 14, 2016. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton arrives for a rally in Annandale, Virginia, July 14, 2016. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

I’d like to suggest a new analogy to explain the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Imagine a county fair where the judges have gathered to award the blue ribbon to one of two prized Berkshire hogs (I could have gone with Holsteins here, but I think hogs is more likely to offend). The men and women of the jury are standing in the corral, clipboards in hand, looking over their bifocals at the two porcine contenders, and sizing up the slope of their shoulders and the shape of their snouts. A crowd has gathered and waits quietly to see which is chosen as the finer pig.

As the judging begins, the hog on the right bites the other, then knocks down his own startled farmer, tramples over him, and defecates on his chest. The wild animal runs amok, lunging into the audience, shoving his snout up the dress of a screaming lady before she can scramble over the fence. The pig then turns on the judges, and to everyone’s amazement, begins to yell at them in perfect English, letting loose a stream of ethnic insults so shocking one of the judges faints and has to be dragged to safety.

Needless to say, even though no one can even remember what the other hog looks like, she is awarded the blue ribbon by default.

That, I propose, is exactly what is happening right now. The Republicans’ prized Berkshire has run wild in ways that are so outlandish they defy satire. Who could have predicted a presidential candidate would spend so much time during the campaign insulting so many people that the New York Times would need two full pages just to list the slurs? As a result, the Democratic contender has been relatively ignored by the media, and will likely be elected simply because “she’s not Trump.”

Now, the good news: Hillary Clinton has been scrutinized before, in depth. She and her husband have been the subject of official investigations almost constantly over the last 30 years: from Filegate to her current email scandal, this woman has been thoroughly weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Donald Trump listens as Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Let’s begin with the lies. The press often put it politely by writing she “tends to be less than forthcoming.” But a lie is a lie, and she is a past master at it. For example, during the investigation into her email scandal, she indignantly testified, “I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified” on her private server. The FBI quickly found that this was hogwash (and she knew it). Daniel Dale, the Toronto Star correspondent who has been tirelessly fact-checking the candidates, found Clinton lied 13 times during the debates alone. (And yet, inexplicably, she was still the most honest person on stage.)

There’s also her bad judgment. Again, the instances are endless, just drawing from a hat: how could she possibly have thought it was defensible for her charitable foundation to accept large foreign donations (or any donations for that matter), while she was running for the presidency?

Hillary Clinton has also distinguished herself, in a very crowded field, as a politician who is entirely willing to abandon strongly held political beliefs the moment it appears expedient to do so. She was vehemently opposed to gay marriage, until suddenly she wasn’t. She was an ardent believer in the importance of free trade, until politics made it more useful to be against it. In fact, after tacking to the left during the primaries, Clinton now disavows many of her own husband’s policy positions she once happily championed, such as budget discipline, light regulations, and using private sector growth as the primary driver of job creation.

All of these shortcomings have combined to make Clinton one of the least trusted politicians in America. A recent NBC poll found that only 11 per cent of Americans would describe her as “honest and trustworthy.” How low is that? Well, by comparison, twice that number of Americans have confidence in Vladimir Putin.

We haven’t even gotten to Clinton’s current campaign promises. (Mind you, if history is any indicator, these will change soon enough.) Her campaign promises are expected to raise taxes by $1.5 trillion over a decade, and to increase government spending by $1.65 trillion. And she claims that in spite of what basic math may show, this won’t increase the hobbling national debt. If I were the sort of writer who used exclamation marks, that last sentence would have ended with two.

America is a country badly divided. Partisanship has paralyzed Washington, making reform and innovation almost impossible. What the country needs is an outsider, a centrist, someone who can be trusted by both the red states and the blue to bring the country together and then forward. Hillary Clinton is not that person.

But, as it happens, Clinton’s rival, the other hog in the pen, has set the fair on fire and is currently chewing off his own foot.


The not-so-crazy case against Hillary Clinton

  1. False equivalence……and you….of all people….should know better.

    • Why?

  2. That’s what the world needs, a fairy tale version of the US presidential election. An inspiring tale of a healthy, sane, compassionate, honest Berkshire hog who comes to the rescue of a troubled nation.

    Well, guess what. Reality trumps (pardon the pun) fairy tales. US voters have to choose between two real hogs. One has succumbed to rabies and is a dangerous threat to every human on the farm; the other isn’t. Anybody who cares about the occasional misdeeds of the uninfected hog is also a dangerous threat.

    Pick one.

    • Is that you Hillary??? Some words of advice… If you end up being POTUS, just make sure you have Bill the sexual predator on a short leash…

  3. Weak points that add up to false equivalency (as the commenter below noted)
    She lied 13 times in a debate: Is this a significant amount of lying? Could it be chalked up to human fallacy and the expected political spin from any candidate, or does it reveal her to be significantly less honest than the next candidate (I expect not).
    She changes her position – she has populist tendencies, or on moral questions perhaps her thinking evolved. The latter should be celebrated, the former expected – politicians should balance protecting, and reflecting the will of the people.
    Finally, budget deficits can be dealt with through more than just raised revenue…

    Stacked against almost any, and certainly the majority of, politicians these issues would pale. And they aren’t even in the same ball park as the other candidate – fueling the dangerous false equivalency narrative that is building.

    • Well said. I was surprised to see Macleans fall for this Trump campaign strategy.

      As the chief Trump strategist might say, “Sure, Donald might think that sexual assault is fun … but have you seen the latest Wikileaks email from Bob, the campaign volunteer in Wyoming?!?|

  4. I was a teenager during the turbulent 60s. I had faith that my generation would solve the problems the establishment had created. Our world would be peaceful, progressive and understanding. I couldn’t have been more wrong. American politics is a quagmire of lies, deceit and grandstanding. What happened?

    • I suspect that the reasons are the naivete of youth (I was also a child of the 60s), followed by apathy, as the children became adults then parents then seniors.

      What I find unfortunate about this article is that the author seems to think – without any evidence whatsoever – that if we simply wish for the perfect hog (candidate), one will magically appear and save us.

      We all know what is needed, that is no revelation at all. But the author doesn’t tell us how to achieve that. In that sense, he has spun a fairy tale. Yawn.

    • The world (and America) is a much wealthier, more peaceful, more just place than it has ever been before. People in the developed world have become more whiny and cynical. The sensationalist news media is only willing to cover the 3 K’s, killing, controversy and Kardashians; there’s no room for real news or meaningful debate. When people (e.g. the author) complain about politicians changing their positions over the course of years, they are simply setting the bar too high for any human to attain. No one has taken more advantage of this than Trump, constantly claiming that he is somehow better than Hillary because he doesn’t have a record to defend. The electorate and the media have no problem criticizing the minutiae of Clinton’s actions, but somehow they manage to never turn the lens on themselves. All things considered, we are lucky to have the relatively honest and hardworking politicians that we do.

  5. When I watch the American election I constantly get the feeling that I am being manipulated. It is no question that the people in America want change. However there are strong interests in the US that prefer status quo. We know the status quo candidate is Hillary for all the reasons mentioned above. We also know that Trump is a buffoon. No matter what kinds of disgusting antics from Hillary that we see through the Wikileaks postings we know that she will win the elections as Trump is such a buffoon.

    If the Republicans had a reasonable candidate running and we saw all these Wikileaks postings would anyone be voting for Hillary? I do not think so.

    Are you telling me that the republicans did not vet Trump properly (could not find his skeletons) and could not take advantage of his obvious lack of filters?

    I get the impression that somebody is teaching the Republican voters a lesson on what they can expect is they really want change candidates. I am glad that I am not American.

    • The only thing I disagree with is your choice of the word “buffoon” to describe Trump. A buffoon is a clown, an amusing person.

      Unfortunately, the only amusing things about Trump are the ridiculous and idiotic statements that come out of his mouth. Far worse than that, he is a seriously dangerous human being who covets power more than anything else, and will do anything to get more of it. He is a sick, sick creature who belongs in a secure institution.

      Does the election need the perfect candidate, as the author of this article suggests? Of course. Don’t all elections need perfect candidates? But that naive desire is unattainable, because the candidates are always the products of imperfect societies and flawed systems.

      Voters are always left to decide which candidate can do the most good, and the least damage – not sit back and wait for a white knight to gallop up and save the world.

  6. “As the judging begins, the hog on the right bites the other, then knocks down his own startled farmer, tramples over him, and defecates on his chest.”

    NO. The people who brought the hog on the right to the fair were well aware of its temperment and did it anyway precisely because of what he was. They wanted chaos and they wanted people to get hurt. Their second choice wasn’t much better.

    The people who brought the hog on the left, knew their choice wasn’t perfect but was the best option available in a less-than-ideal situation.

  7. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again. Clinton and the Democrats knew that she was a very damaged candidate. They knew that the email stuff could blow up. Clinton colluded with her old friend and supporter Donald Trump to have him run for the Republican nomination. Trump would steamroll the other candidates in the debates and primaries and appeal to the fears of many Americans. Once he got the nomination Trump would become even more outrageous, thus ensuring Hillary’s election in November.
    Bernie Sanders almost wrecked this plan but Hillary survived that challenge.
    I am not a conspiracy theorist but The Truth Is Out There!

  8. A couple weeks ago. Hillary herself asked a very good question: “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead of Trump in the polls?”
    Perhaps one of the Maclean’s Magazine armchair experts such as Emilyone can provide Hillary with a cogent answer to her powerful question.

    • Yes that was a very telling point – given how the MSM has been all in for Clinton, she should have been 50 points ahead. Except that people no longer support or believe the MSM and the blog world has done a fine job to present information that the MSM will not.

      Unless a media person is in front of the burning building and reports that the building is burning – I no longer believe anything the media reports on – they are nothing but sluts and jiggers.

  9. This was an incredibly stupid article which had no point other than some pathetic attempt to re-litigate the same, sad, stupid points that the alt-right and Trump et al. have been peddling – a third rate hatchet job. The FBI and a vicious House investigation (witch hunt) led by Republicans failed to unearth anything of consequence against HRC regarding the email server and Benghazi. The Clinton Foundation has never been found to engage in anything remotely akin to pay for play and any other suggestion is false and without merit (like the entire article as a whole, come to think of it). The only good part of this article was to remind me how delicious Berkshire Pork is.

    • I agree. As an indictment of Clinton, this article falls short. References to Benghazi, the email server, the Clinton Foundation etc. are thrown about as prima facie evidence. But I have yet to hear, for example:

      – How did Clinton fail in the Benghazi incident that demonstrated negligence?
      – Why did 5 Republican-held inquiries fail to find substantial proof of negligence?
      – What specific harm came from Clinton’s use of that email server?
      – How was her use of a private email server different from that of Colin Powell and much/most of the Bush Administration?
      – What donations to the Clinton Foundation amounted to pay for play?

      Etc. Instead we get this stupid shorthand that reads like the text crawler on Fox News, and we’re all supposed to accept that the details are as bad as the headlines.

      • How did she fail with Benghazi – she failed to follow up on the Ambassadors request for more security, as the attack was going on she never bothered to call in the military to provide air support, and then finally she lied to the media and to the families that it was all about a video that defamed Islam – something that she knew was a lie.

        You forget that the anger is not only towards the Dems but the cocktail party Republicans and the media who don’t want the boat rocked because it might mean that they lose their comfy jobs and lucrative incomes.

        So carry on believing that Hillary is just a poor victim of people who hate women in power. That fact is that she has a lot of power and chooses to use it in ways that help her family and friends rather than American people (those deplorables!)

  10. While Hillary Clinton is not perfect, I think Gilmore’s hoped-for unifying centrist figure is purely mythical. America is divided because its people are naturally deeply polarized on an array of issues. Barack Obama is as about as even-handed a politician as you could want, and the GOP has spent eight years spitting venom at him and painting him as an arch-villain out to destroy America with socialism (i.e., market-based healthcare reform originally designed and formerly endorsed by Republicans). Hillary Clinton will not unite the country, but no person could, because the country does not actually want to be united, as the GOP has become a revanchist minority that is incapable of compromise.

    • ^Exactly this!^
      We elected a centrist who hadn’t been in DC long, and who repeatedly reached across the aisle during his first year as president. Unfortunately, Republicans blocked him at every opportunity, and their number one goal was not to help the people or work on some piece of legislation it was to defeat Barack Obama. A magical unicorn president isn’t going to bring the country together. Both parties need to consistently decide to work for the people and to work together. Both parties have work to do, but in all honestly, one has more work to do than the other.

      The Republican Party is now starting to say it may not consider any Supreme Court nominees put forth by Hillary Clinton. If Clinton had put forth a name, and Republicans didn’t like the nominee, that would be one thing. But before a nominee has even been named they are ready to block. It’s insane, ugly, partisan politics and it’s not the fault of Hillary Clinton. If Bernie Sanders was the Democrat nominee they would be saying the same thing.

      Major campaign finance reform would quite likely help with the extremism within the Republican Party, and that in turn may allow many Republicans to feel like they can reach back across the aisle without being punished. But even that isn’t enough to fix the wide divide in this country.

      • Oh yes, those terrible Republicans!! Reaching across the aisle – that’s a joke – he didn’t need to reach across the aisle in the first years of his mandate because the Dems held the President, the House and the Senate. And what did they do, their signature piece of legislation (Obamacare) was pushed through with NO DISCUSSION with the Republicans who warned about how it was unsustainable. And guess what it is now crashing and burning with premiums increasing 10 – 15% annually for less and less coverage.

        So take your silly ‘reinterpretation’ of how Obama wanted to be bi-partisan and shove it.

        • Yankee go home!

  11. Hillary is rotten to the core, and so is that orange-skinned piece of crap she’s running against. It’s terrible that in a nation of over 300 million people, these are the 2 choices that they’re left with.

  12. According to the latest batch of Wikileaks, a close ally of Hillary Clinton has characterized the situation involving Clinton’s decision to use a personal unsecured e-mail server for Government business as “fucking insanity”!
    Now, if Hillary’s decision is an act of insanity, perhaps opposition to her attempt to become President of USA is, as you suggest, “not-so-crazy” after all.
    Is someone who thinks and acts insanely, and when confronted with “smoking gun” evidence of her insanity, attempts to lie her way out o it someone you would vote for?
    Perhaps the American electorate is suffering from either unbelievable ignorance and naivety or just mass psychosis.

  13. Not a great argument put forward in THIS article.
    While the premise (that “United” is sadly missing in the U.S.A. and that Hillary may not be THE Pied Piper to draw the two sides together) may be sound, the irrefutable reality is, Hillary IS an experienced career politician (but people, THAT’s who normally runs for office) and Trump is unstable, unqualified and unfit for the office. Love her or hate her, she’s the only one on the ballot who’s astute enough to consider her options and draw on others for advice before making the big decisions AND EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, won’t drive the country into the ditch.

    • Your reference to the Pied Piper is interesting. He did not “draw the two sides together”. In fact, using guile and deception he led the children of the town of Hamlin to their destruction.
      In that respect, Hillary may indeed turn out to be similar to the Pied Piper.

  14. I am so sick of articles like these. Hillary has a great experience, a track record of supporting children and families and guess what, like normal human beings she sometimes changes her mind. As for the email “scandal”. She’s already been investigated by the freaking FBI. Get over it everyone.

  15. This is a wishy washy column that tries to be funny but fails.

    Yes the Clintons have been investigated many times and have been let off the hook, by the establishment that owes them many favours and hope to cash in on them if she becomes President. The head of the FBI is so entangled in the web of Clinton cash as is most of the Justice and State system that they can’t possibly be ‘impartial’ in any investigation.

    And there is the rub – most voters – not just Trump supporters, are no longer willing to turn a blind eye to the misdeeds of the establishment elites because they are good leaders and have the best interests of the American people in mind. Voters have seen over and over and over again, that the establishment on both sides of the political coin are essentially in it for themselves and themselves ONLY. The little people can go to hell. So we get grand projects (like the high speed rail system in California that hasn’t even broken ground and is already $100 billion over budget, and will not solve the congestion on California roads that were built for a state population of 20 million except that through illegal immigration and in-migration is now twice that – but that doesn’t matter because the beautiful people will fly in and out in their private jets – they don’t bother with Highway 99 (

    At this point, the people know that Trump gets it while Clinton and the rest of her ‘friends’ don’t. Voters are not sure if Trump can do anything about it, but they do know that Clinton does try to do anything, money will be siphoned off to friends, foundations, family, etc. etc. etc.

  16. Do we really need another article that tells us that Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils?

  17. The attempt to conflate Hillary’s thinking with Bill’s is just more of the gross misogyny typical of old stock conservatives for whom the thought of a woman with a few ideas of her own is anathema.
    The spurious attacks on the Clinton-Gates foundation are pretty twisted although it presents the unusually contradictory notion that Hillary calls the shots while Bill, Chelsea, the other Bill and Melinda are just baggage. In reality, it’s clear that Chelsea (gasp, a woman) and Melinda (gasp again) have quite a bit to do with the operations of the foundation; it’s quite a stretch to even describe this as ‘Hillary’s foundation’. And, unlike Trump’s charitable foundation it doesn’t seem to have funded any part of the campaign.
    Meanwhile, if having a private email account is an issue, most politicians should be suspect. Oddly, no one has bothered to look at Trump’s email account and whatever correspondence he’s had with his pal Putin. But since the meme won’t go away, the press will again be infatuated with more about Anthony Weiner’s below the belt selfies and Hillary’s lack of a clear policy on sexting.
    As for the quality of a politicians, the Americans have yet to live down ‘tricky Dickey’. Canadians shouldn’t feel too smug either: just think brown paper bags full of cash or $60M in gazebos to curry favor with the electorate or, if pettiness is allowed, the PM’s $600 hair and makeup for party events billed to senate expenses.

  18. Well Scotty after reading two of your articles about Trump in previous Macleans issues this article is somewhat of an improvement, but not by much. Your overly biased opinions on Trump would fit in well at the Clinton News Network. As for this article you just skimmed the surface of this totally corrupt, inept, despicable woman but managed to get your dig in on Trump at the end. There is some journalistic integrity lacking on your part.

  19. Lock her up! Lol, it’s not gonna be an easy ride for Madame President, is it. Hopefully she wins – I don’t think much good could come from that buffoon Trump in the White House – and then gets indicted shortly thereafter. The Clintons have been above the law for so long, would be so sweet if they could finally face some justice. Although I doubt it will actually happen, but hey we can always hope that justice will be served. Lock her up!

  20. “Not Trump” has to be reason enough, because that’s almost all there is.

    She also lied the least number of times in a debate, that’s not saying much, but it was the least.

    She has the best (again, not saying much, but something) position on science.

    What’s wrong with changing policy in light of what the electorate wants, isn’t that supposed to be how democracy works?

    I’m aware all the choices are undesirable, but she’s the least so for a reasonable person, because you guys already threw away the best choice.

    I’m just glad to be Canadian right now.

  21. Journalism seems to be out and false equivalency now seems to be the in thing in reporting.