A quick look at Memeorandum this morning shows that they have an all-you-can-eat buffet of articles about Hillary Clinton’s private server and emails. For me personally, these articles are not compelling. This is not an appetizing buffet. Like Bernie Sanders, I don’t give a damn about her damn emails.
So, reading them is a chore. It’s not something I would do for pleasure or even curiosity. Professionally, however, I’m obligated to take a look. Wall-to-wall coverage like this has the potential to affect the outcome of the presidential race, potentially giving America a president who is unfit in every way to have the job.
If all of this had to come out, this is the ideal time for it. Right at the beginning of the Labor Day weekend, most people, like me, feel like they have better things to do than get into the details of phishing attacks and gone-missing mobile devices and FBI interviews written in inscrutable FBI-ese.
Yet, the polls have been tightening, in some cases significantly. This avalanche of negative and unflattering press is probably going to accelerate that process, with possible catastrophic consequences for the nation and the world.
This makes it a little harder to focus on my upcoming Fantasy Football draft.
Nothing in these pieces undermines the FBI’s judgment that Clinton was grossly irresponsible in handling classified information but still did nothing warranting prosecution. A fair person would conclude that this information collectively offers a case against her presidency, but that then has to be weighed against the case against Trump’s presidency, which is rock solid and unassailable.
Asking the American public to trust one of these candidates is a piece of effrontery, frankly, and I won’t attempt it.
This really is a decision that comes down to not the personalities and character of the candidates but to the coalitions and values they represent. The Trump coalition has attitudes on science, race and immigration, civil rights, and basic civility that are simply unacceptable, even to a large portion of Republicans.
If you insist on measuring the character and personalities of the candidates, Clinton still comes out as more trustworthy, with better judgment, and certainly with a better grasp of the issues and basic preparedness for the job.
But this election isn’t about them. It’s about us, and what kind of country we want to have.
The final test is one of basic risk-aversion. Clinton passes that test, too. Trump is a loose cannon who alienates our allies in every area of the world. He probably has a clinical narcissistic personality disorder and I would never trust him with nuclear weapons.
In the end, Clinton made a series of poor decisions and wasn’t forthcoming about them. That’s not what you want to see when you’re thinking about giving someone the top job in the country. The country has deserved better choices from the beginning of this election season, and we’ve never had them on offer. Each of the alternatives brought their own significant flaws, even if they were different in type.
In any case, Clinton and Trump won their nominations and now we choose.
It’s a dispiriting choice but not a hard one.