I don’t often use this blog to lambast the character flaws and shortcomings of individual politicians. There are usually three good reasons to avoid this:
1. It is too easy. (See: Shooting fish in a barrel.)
2. You set yourself up for charges of hypocrisy, as no party or movement can claim a monopoly on virtuous people.
3. It has the potential to detract from the essential questions at the heart of our political process. Challenges like the national debt, the economy, and immigration policy are of far greater relevance to the American people than the private sins of middle-aged men.
But lately two stories have led me to revisit a well-known conclusion: Politicians lie. They do so frequently and knowingly. For many, this will seem as obvious as the assertions that fish swim and birds fly. It is something we have all likely thought before. We see it on the news each time a new scandal pops up. So why bother spilling any more ink over the matter?
Most of my experience with liars comes not from politicians, but from teenagers struggling to pass advanced history. I and many of my colleagues have discovered a troubling pattern.
Even some of the best students—the good kids, the ones you like—will lie through their teeth when confronted with an accusation of cheating. They will swear up and down that they did not copy their neighbor, they did not plagiarize that essay, they were not looking up answers on their cell phone. They even feign outrage, trying to make you feel like the bad guy.
That is, until you present them with concrete evidence of their deception. Even then, I have been shocked when students failed to apologize. Many take an attitude of: “Oh well, you caught me. It was worth a shot.”
The object of the game is to appear virtuous while gaining an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. Machiavelli would be proud. So too, it would seem, would Hillary Clinton.
The first story I read about Hillary recently was truly shocking. You really have to read it yourself to get a true sense of her callous disregard for the truth.
In 1975, a 12-year-old Arkansas girl was raped by two much-older men. She spent five days in a medically induced coma, months in recovery, and was told by a doctor that she was unlikely to ever have children. At the time, Clinton was a young, 27-year-old lawyer looking for her first criminal defense case. She agreed to defend Thomas Alfred Taylor, one of the accused attackers, who had specifically requested a female attorney.
Now, what would you do if asked to defend a child rapist? I think most of us would refuse. I certainly would. There might be some who would accept the case. If not, the court would have to appoint an attorney. After all, everyone is entitled to due process under the law.
But how many people would not only freely accept the case, but then use every tactic, no matter how dishonest, to ensure that a child rapist was let off as easily as possible?
The latter is exactly what Clinton did. She even stooped so low as to accuse the victim of being unreliable—essentially, a liar—with zero evidence to support this claim.
In an affidavit, Clinton writes: “I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing…I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body. Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.”
Clinton referred to a child psychologist who told her that children in early adolescence “tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences,” especially when they come from “disorganized families, such as the complainant.”
The victim, now 52, maintains that she has no idea what Clinton was referring to. But her anger is mainly the result of recently-released tapes of interviews with Hillary for an article that was (perhaps unsurprisingly?) never published.
On the tapes, Clinton, who speaks in a Southern drawl, appears to acknowledge that she was aware of her client’s guilt, brags about successfully getting the only piece of physical evidence thrown out of court, and laughs about it all whimsically. “He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” Clinton says on the recording, failing to hold back some chuckles.
If Mitt Romney strapping his dog to the top of the family vehicle was enough to disqualify him in the eyes of many from holding the highest office in the land, how about helping a child rapist get off easy and then laughing about it, as if an innocent young girl’s life was of no importance? The prosecutors in the case ultimately dropped the rape charge and allowed Thomas to plead guilty to “unlawful fondling of a child.” He was back on the streets in less than a year.
The second Hillary story has to do with the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack, which is shaping up to become an albatross around the former Secretary of State’s neck.
An excerpt from Edward Klein’s “Blood Feud” describes how Clinton “bristled” at the Benghazi deception. She told the president that blaming what was clearly a terrorist attack on an obscure internet video was not going to fly. She debated how to respond with Bill, and allegedly even considered resigning over the matter.
“I’m sick about it,” she said, according to the legal advisor… “That story won’t hold up,” Bill said. “I know,” Hillary said. “I told the president that.” “It’s an impossible story,” Bill said. “I can’t believe the president is claiming it wasn’t terrorism. Then again, maybe I can. It looks like Obama isn’t going to allow anyone to say that terrorism has occurred on his watch.”
Then Bill and Hillary made a calculated political decision, much as they had been doing their entire lives. She could not be seen as harming Obama’s reelection chances.
Obama had put Hillary in a corner, and she and Bill didn’t see a way out. And so, shortly after 10 o’clock on the night of September 11, she released an official statement that blamed the Benghazi attack on an “inflammatory (video) posted on the Internet.”
But if Hillary had any qualms about deceiving the American public on Benghazi, they must have soon evaporated. When the flag-draped caskets of the four dead Americans arrived at Andrews Air Force base, Clinton repeated the lie that the video had prompted the attacks. She even vowed to one of the fallen hero’s mothers that they would get the man who made the video (not the men who carried out the attack).
Everyone recalls Hillary’s famous response when grilled by Congress about the nature of the attack: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
This might be the closest any liberal politician has come to revealing their blatant disregard for the truth. Evidence does not matter. The facts do not matter. Any omission or distortion is justified by a Higher Purpose than the truth, which is to gain as much power in the short term so that it can be used for the liberal’s long-term benevolent restructuring of society.
When Clinton was a 27-year-old lawyer, that purpose was to make a name for herself, and to win at any cost. When she was Secretary of State, it was to protect her boss in the hopes that he would return the favor. As First Lady, she called the Monica Lewinsky scandal a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” when she must have known of her husband’s misdeeds. Power has always been the ultimate goal—winning it, protecting it, and growing it, all in the hopes of one day using it for a noble purpose.
All these lies remind me of the first lie, the Big One. In a certain way, every subsequent falsehood has accepted its premise: You can be God.
This was the lie the serpent told Eve, the one she repeated to Adam. They believed that eating the forbidden fruit would make them powerful and all-knowing. Doctors are often accused of playing God, as their actions determine who lives and dies. But politicians are the ones who demand more and more power over our lives, who seek to replace our God-given free will with their master plans. Like the serpent said, they believe themselves to possess superior knowledge of the nature of good and evil. They try to create heaven on earth and wind up doing just the opposite.
This is why honesty matters in politics. It is also why power should remain decentralized and limited, as our Founding Fathers intended. Power leads many good men and women to arrogance and hubris. They start to think of themselves as being above the rest of humanity, like gods. But as anyone who has ever read or watched The Lord of the Rings knows, evil cannot be used in the service of good. We must stand on principle. We must be honest about where we are going and how we are going to get there. We cannot allow ourselves to be led by people like Hillary Clinton, who has demonstrated time and again her disregard for the truth.
In 1969, a young Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis on Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a primer on political immorality to rival The Prince. The dedication is noteworthy:
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.”
There is a reason Satan is called “The Great Deceiver.” Evil only prevails by disguising its true nature. Eating the forbidden fruit did not make Adam and Eve all-powerful; instead, it consigned them to a life of toil and estrangement from God. We all inherit this original sin, a reminder that we too must learn to humble ourselves before the Lord. We must value God’s truth over our personal quests for power.