As Donald Trump continues to implode, it’s worthwhile considering how he even has a chance at the presidency. It’s quite simple, actually: Americans don’t trust the Clintons, and rightly so.
Why? Because the Clintons, in their quest for office, try to be all things to all people. Even as they talk about the poorest Americans and economic fairness, for example, they’re promising to make special deals for the richest and special trade deals (open trade borders for all!). Even as they criticize Wall Street they praise bankers and the financial elite behind closed doors (cashing-in big-time for these speeches). Even as they talk about the environment and global warning, they praise fracking and the fossil fuel industry.
What do the Clintons really believe? Like many politicians, they ultimately believe in themselves, in their own quest for power, a quest in which virtually all tactics are justified. In which you can don any mask depending on that day’s audience and performance.
But if you’re all things to all people, you’re basically nothing to no one. Put differently, if you’ve worn so many different masks for so many audiences, which face is the real you?
Trump’s followers embrace him in part because they think they know where he stands. He’s willing to say unpopular things. As loutish and crass and ignorant as Trump is, he’s not always holding a finger up to test the political winds. He’s not always currying favor with (and favors from) established elites. He may be bad, but he’s genuinely bad.
The Clintons? The word “genuine” just doesn’t apply. Words like “scheming” and “secretive” and “Machiavellian,” however, do.
Small wonder that Hillary Clinton is such great friends with Henry Kissinger!
William J. Astore