For the last year, we’ve heard a chorus of critics tell us that Donald Trump symbolizes the deterioration of our culture. Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric is a low-point in American politics. His off-color comments degrade our sensibilities. His sexism is abhorrent. He is proof that we have become too divided as a nation.
Yeah? And what about Hillary Clinton?
Hillary, in her public speeches, is the picture of caution. She sticks with the tried-and-true method of devising a set of talking points, delivering them with very specific, careful vocabulary, and ensuring that she’ll never have to apologize for this thing or that thing. She’s a politician through and through.
We should remember, though, that poll-tested speeches do not reveal a politician’s true character. And we should remember that politically incorrect remarks are hardly worthy of this much hand-wringing.
You know what is worthy of consternation, though? Criminal negligence. Outright, blatant lies. Jeopardizing national security for the sake of convenience.
Aren’t those things a little bit worse than saying “anchor babies?” Aren’t those things a little more troubling than pointing out the obvious and true fact that some illegal immigrants are rapists and murderers?
And that should be the real evidence that our culture and our politics are deteriorating. If Hillary Clinton is elected this November, it will prove that Americans are willing to tolerate an unprecedented amount of scandal in a presidential candidate. Yes, unprecedented. At what other point in our history would we have entertained the thought of electing someone who had failed to stand guard over national secrets? These issues are nothing if not disqualifying.
Yet, if you were getting ready to place a wager on the 2016 election, you would probably have to put your money on her. Maybe that will change over the next four months, but the question is: Why hasn’t it changed already? Why are American voters so willing to look past these serious concerns?
The media is partially to blame, but then the question becomes: Why are we so willing to accept a national news media that plays favorites with impunity?
In a few months, Americans will make a decision. That decision will tell us who will be president for the next four years, but it will also tell us exactly what we are willing to tolerate as a nation. If Trump prevails, it will show us a nation willing to tolerate a leader who is occasionally offensive.
If Hillary prevails, it will show us a nation willing to tolerate a leader who is completely ethical – right up until those ethics conflict with her personal desires and ambitions. And then she’ll do what she and her husband have always done: What’s best for the Clintons.