A popular TV game show from 1956-1963, Who Do You Trust? quizzed married couples on what they really knew about each other. It was comedic invention at its best. For the 2016 election, however, the answer to that question will be no laughing matter.
The question is pretty clear. We must ask ourselves what we know about the candidates and amongst them, who can we trust to lead us through the perilous times ahead. No doubt, the likes of Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, and Edgar Bergen—three of the many stars who hosted the show—would find much to poke fun at today’s POTUS wannabes as they grasp and grapple with the varying desires of the American electorate. Our choice as citizens is much more sobering.
As the day’s news remains cluttered with blissful soundbites about global climate change agreement, it is thin frosting on a spoiled cake of terrorism convulsing the Middle East, terrorism leaching across Europe and the UK, and terrorism ongoing in the American homeland. It is a scourge the Obama Administration seems unwilling to manage abroad and appears powerless to stop at home. It also seems powerless to call it what it is: radical Islamic terrorism seething amongst the verbs and nouns of doctored intelligence documents.
It isn’t just the Obama Administration in denial about the essence of today’s brand of terrorism. His party’s principal heir, Hillary Clinton, continues the now hallowed tradition of denial about radical Islamic terrorism and about every other thing on which she has had her hands on. Even if one is willing to put aside—fingers pinching one’s nostrils—all the shenanigans going back to Whitewater, health care reform in the 90s, the Marc Rich pardon, the Mevzhinsky connection, Libya, and Benghazi, not to mention serial falsehoods about her email traffic, the simple truth is Hillary Rodham Clinton offers no qualification to be president of the United States, except her name, gender (and this is a criterion only to her and her sycophants), and connections aplenty.
The real conundrum for HRC and her loyalists is this: If she attempts to distance herself from the Obama foreign policy disaster by acknowledging what some claim to be true, that she was merely the horseholder for her boss, a man who reputedly micromanaged every aspect of US relations abroad, then her secretaryship served merely as a vehicle to accumulate air miles reward points, and cannot be her limo ride to the Resolute Desk.
If she claims chops as an international leader, she must take credit for the premature withdrawal of troops in Iraq leaving a vacuum for ISIS, the ill-managed Lybian regime change, the repeated refusals to upgrade the Benghazi consulate’s security, and setting the stage for Putin’s unfettered imperialism—and all the lies to us about all of it. This is about the dirtiest laundry list of foreign policy “achievements” one could have, and it foretells an even greater cataclysm in the making should she become president.
When you put it all together, is HRC someone you could trust to lead us—and tell us the truth—for four or eight years (she would be 69 when elected, and 77 when leaving office, by the way)?
On the Republican side, one has be impressed with the roster of qualified candidates—including Carly Fiorina, if electing a woman is key for some. So far, despite State Media devotion to the cause—undoubtedly aided by the DNC opposition research mavens—there has been little dirt developed about any of them that rises anywhere near the level of Hillary’s trail of sleaze on the stinky scale, which means a half dozen men and a woman jump the integrity hurdle quite easily.
When the sifting time is over, Republican voters will choose their nominee, but already, a number of serious observations have become evident. First, people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, and Jeb Bush have clearly done their domestic and foreign policy homework well. They know the issues and are prepared to lead. Second, runners further down the list—Kasich, Christie, et al—are also capable, and like others who will not be the nominee are contenders for key cabinet posts. Another team of rivals?
That brings us to Donald Trump, who, on the other hand, has mighty defenders and unrelenting detractors. Say what you want about Mr. Trump—that he is all bluster and braggadocio—but no one can challenge his well-earned chops as a negotiator, businessman, news director, and talent manager. The man also has other qualities and positions political combatants will fight over, but to the question—Who Do You Trust?—the answer has to be bracketed by the choice.
It’s either Hillary—fed poll-tested positions by a claque of Clintonian holdovers—or one of a cast of accomplished and knowledgeable practitioners with integrity. So, when it comes to the economy, domestic and international terrorism, and managing climate initiatives, all to the national interest, the question of Who Do You Trust? is not a comedic exercise but one for which this generation of voters will answer to history, watched as they will be by the ghosts of those hundreds of thousands of women an men who have already sacrificed their all for our freedoms.
It must seem obvious to many of us, but many others have not gotten the word, and it must be spread. The only thoughtful choice of trust for 2016 cannot be Hillary or Who. It’s which of these Republicans will serve the nation best.