Few could have predicted that Donald Trump was going to become a serious nominee and a forceful challenger in this year’s presidential election. Far fewer could have predicted that a woman would come close to shaking the tradition of male presidency in the United States.
The dangers behind Trump’s grasp of a globally permeating power have been warily discussed across social, political and economic tables. Hillary Clinton’s platform, however, has also been teetering for months now.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle in her campaign so far has been the email scandal that raised questions about her sense of integrity. It became public knowledge that she had been using a personal email account to address work-related matters while acting as Secretary of State. Her argument was staked in convenience, claiming she simply did not want to carry an extra government-issued phone.
Her run for the presidential seat so far has been full of denial, misinterpretation and forgetfulness. Notes released on Sept. 2 from her FBI interview mention the concussion she suffered in 2012. It is suggested that this issue may contribute to her inability to recall briefings and other subsequent information.
Right-wing critics and opponents are likely to criticize her further by questioning her credibility as a political candidate. The way her case was handled also puts into question the kind of precedent that was set for future cases and whether the issues with memory should disqualify her from running. But, politics is, for better or worse, strategic in nature.
Clinton was certainly reckless in forgoing the use of a government-issued email address and server, and suspicion surrounding the 31,830 deleted personal messages still loom. Nonetheless, she is not being prosecuted because there is apparently no evidence that supports criminal intent.
With Trump’s irreverence and Clinton’s ambiguity, both of our major party candidates have the potential to force voters to choose between “the lesser of two evils.” The decision, however, still has to be made at the end.
Forgiving our politicians is important in every democratic republic. If we let personal injury interfere with strategic thinking, we will never accomplish anything within our societies. Unfortunately, corruption does exist. Instead of complaining, citizens should think, plan and execute. If our politicians do not appeal to us, we have to think past today and tomorrow in order to mold a better future in the years to come.
Citizens can try to to reopen the investigation against Clinton. They can also allow this scandal to influence them on Election Day. However, if citizens go with any of the latter options, a candidate of at least semi-liberal views would be gone. Citizens would have to consider whether or not punishing her today is more important than considering the future of our country. These elections are much less about our candidates than they are about us.
It is easy to feel powerless in a democratic society where we place so much in the hands of our elected officials, but no one is powerless. Citizens are simply challenged to find the smartest and most efficient ways to exercise authority, and refusing to use it is certainly not one of those ways.