To The Daily Sun,
Hillary Clinton's emails are in the news again. The Trump campaign is using this issue to call into question her character, particularly her openness, her attention to detail and her ethics. Voters are rightfully concerned about the character of the next president, so let's compare both candidates on these traits.
First, openness. The claim here is that Hillary has sought to prevent the release of her emails. The suggestion is that she has something to hide. And the emails that have been leaked show that to be true. There has been campaign strategy revealed. Aides have said inappropriate things. Wouldn't any candidate want to keep these from being released? We all expect our email to be private. Imagine the embarrassment you might suffer if your most private emails were made public. Let's fault her for being overzealous in trying to protect that privacy.
How does Donald stack up here? Has he been forced to release several years of emails? No, but one can imagine he would have equally embarrassing emails were he to do so. We don't have to imagine if he would fight as hard to prevent such a release. He has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns, using the flim-flam excuse that he's being audited. He is the first presidential candidate in over four decades to do so. An Iraq War veteran ran a crowd-funding campaign that would have donated over $6 million to veterans' groups if Donald would release his returns — even that wasn't enough to motivate him. Such a refusal is unacceptable. Chalk one up for Hillary.
How about attention to detail? FBI Director Comey examined over 30,000 emails. There were three that were marked classified. That's 1/100th of 1 percent. Politifact, in ruling that she falsely said no classified information was sent from the private server, also said, "Evidence seems to indicate that Clinton dealt with classified information in an appropriate manner." In Comey's words, "careless."
Yet one of the chief complaints of Trump's campaign staff is his inability to stay on message. The man can't even get through a stump speech without contradicting himself. For example, he recently said his employees were harmed by Obamacare shortly before he said they were covered by company-paid insurance. While such lapses can be harmful to a candidate, they can have tragic consequences if made by a president. There can be no doubt that Hillary is more careful than Donald.
Finally, ethics. Comey's statement read "careless... not prosecutable." How about Donald's behavior? He has been prosecuted, for unlawfully not renting to people of color. He says he was not convicted — because the case was settled out of court. He has swindled casino investors and defrauded Trump University students. Industry analysts say his new Washington hotel will fail within a year, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. His entire career shows a pattern of, at best, shady business practices. By my count, that's Hillary 3, Donald, 0.
Character does matter. Yet even on the traits the Trump campaign calls into question, Hillary fares better than he does. Both candidates are egotistical and motivated by self-interest. But while Donald has spent his life trying solely to increase his personal wealth, Hillary has spent hers also helping others, starting as a public defender instead of a highly-paid private attorney and later working to ensure that children have health insurance and that 9/11 first responders got appropriate care. Put simply, on character alone, Hillary is a better choice for president than Donald.
Vincent S. Ribas
- Category: Letters
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