by Aton Edwards
May 2016 has rolled in and in a few short weeks, our demolition derby-like presidential primaries will come to a screeching end.
Only two survivors will emerge from the smoldering wreckage – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; unless the Bernie Sanders campaign pulls off a miraculous last minute surge and captures the remaining delegates. If not, Clinton will move on to become the Democratic party’s presidential candidate. Many believe that the Trump/Clinton matchup is the political version of Wrestlemania, complete with the bad vs. good angle with Trump as the bad guy and Hillary as the good. Only thing is, if you take a close and thorough examination of both candidates, you’ll find that it’s very difficult to tell who is worse.
For example, everyone knows that Trump is a narcissistic, trash-talking bully who revels in making childish insults and ugly xenophobic racist rants. He seems to take pride in his boorish, uncouth behavior and so do his supporters. With Trump, what you see (and hear) is truly what you get and he makes no apologies about it. With Hillary Clinton, it’s a little bit different. Her public persona is quite mellow, like a modern grandmotherly business professional, but underneath her benign exterior is a ruthless, stone cold, calculating political operator that makes the Claire Underwood character from the Netflix House of Cards show seem like Mary Poppins in comparison; not to mention the fact that her morals and principles spin like a weathervane in a strong wind toward anything that is politically expedient. Clinton also lies so incessantly that you have to wonder if she can tell the difference between the fantasies she creates in her mind and the reality she occupies.
Like the time she traveled to Bosnia and said she encountered sniper fire while leaving the military aircraft she arrived in. To counter this claim, news outlets played footage that showed her calmly stepping off of the plane with her daughter Chelsea, and slowly walking toward a small contingent of locals that they both stopped to greet.
The comedian Sinbad was also traveling with her and said, “there were no bullets being shot,” and that, “the only scary part of the trip was deciding where they were going to eat.” When challenged by journalists about the incident, Hillary said “she misspoke” and continued to misspeak earnestly and unapologetically about her “sniper fire” incident on several additional occasions. Her penchant for purveying “invalid truths” continues and has even grown over time. Many journalists have grown so used to her frequent prevarications that they now dismiss them as part of her “brand.” It’s true that Trump also often lies and distorts reality, in his usual pompous and obnoxious manner but, the position he occupies as a reality show star and billionaire businessman doesn’t have the same significance as someone who has a great deal of influence over national policy and international events.
Have you decided yet who is the villain in this matchup? Perhaps you should consider the following facts before you do. On defense related matters, Donald Trump has said that he was “the most militaristic candidate in the race” but upon close examination you will find that Hillary’s positions on military affairs and conflict are far more aggressive. In 2002, she voted for the Iraq invasion. Trump was against invading Iraq at the time although on a 2002 Howard Stern show when asked if he supported the invasion, he sheepishly responded, “I guess so.” After being pressed for more definitive answers later, he expressed his trepidations about the invasions on many occasions. Clinton’s brand of US foreign policy is reactive, reckless and belligerent. She was quick to back General Stanley McCrystal’s plans to expand the US presence in Afghanistan, petitioned President Obama to funnel supplies to unreliable, uncontrollable, problematic Syrian rebels and has been a major proponent for the frequent use of military power for many years.
Clinton’s latest pièce de résistance is her role in the destruction of Libya and the assassination of its president, Moammar Gaddafi. Upon viewing his execution, a gleeful Clinton told an interviewer “we came, we saw, he died.” Her brand of violent interventionism has turned Libya into a chaotic state leaving a power vacuum that is drawing ISIS and other fundamentalist groups around the world to plot and plan future terrorist attacks against Western targets and ultimately the United States. Her actions have created unspeakable misery for countless people in the region, very much like the atrocities committed by one of her mentors and close friends, Dr. Henry Kissinger.
My question now is with all these things considered, who do you believe is the villain in this matchup? From my perspective, I think that the answer is quite clear. I believe our only hope is to help that other candidate make a miracle in California.
Aton Edwards, Director of the International Preparedness Network, is the author of “Preparedness NOW!” and has appeared on MSNBC, The Today Show, and Discovery Channel. He created and starred in, “Track Me if You Can” on National Geographic and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.