I had an epiphany recently. It came after a five-day Twitter attack Donald Trump carried out against the parents of a US Muslim serviceman killed in combat, who had spoken at the Democratic convention.
My thoughts: The election is over; Trump has lost; no need to read any more prognosticators. I am liberated.
Following the Republican convention, 538’s Nate Silver gave Trump a 55 percent chance of winning. Had Trump gone on a two-week vacation after Cleveland and shut down his Twitter account, he’d likely be in the same position today.
All he had to do was convince the electorate that he has the minimal emotional stability to be president. But even that proved too much.
His responses are Pavlovian: Speak badly about him and he will immediately and without calculation attack viciously; speak nicely about him, and he will say nice things about you, even if your name is Vladimir Putin.
Nor has Trump shown sufficient respect for the office he seeks by at least attaining a basic literacy on the major issues he would confront.
LET NO one conclude, however, that I am resigned with equanimity to Hillary Clinton’s election. Her Supreme Court appointments will surely fall into the category of the “evil men do [that] lives after them.”
The Democratic Party’s nomination battle this year proved that the party has no bench of upcoming talent. Otherwise, it could never have settled on Clinton, the second-most reviled politician in America.
Her victory would place Tim Kaine, the senator from J Street, in the on-deck circle.
Kaine has received more money than all but one other senator from J Street, the chief cheerleaders for the Iran deal.
The group has never heard a criticism of Israel, including support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, it considers beyond the pale.
OF LATE, a number of conservative stalwarts, including Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal, have argued that Trump inhabits an entirely different, and lower, moral universe than Clinton.
She, they claim, is just another run-ofthe- mill, lying, corrupt politician, without discernible principles.
True, no parent who cares about his child’s moral health should ever hold up Trump as an exemplar. But from a Torah point of view, Clinton’s sins are far more disqualifying for high office.
King Saul sinned in his capacity as king when he listened to the people and did not slay Amalekite King Agag. And he lost the kingship. King David sinned as a private person and did not lose the kingship.
Both Clinton’s email scandals and the interwoven relations of the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during her time as secretary of state are sins in her public capacity. FBI director James Comey detailed how Clinton’s explanations offered in mitigation of her use of a private server to conduct State Department business, including her “extreme carelessness” in the transmission of highly classified information, were a lie.
And why did Clinton set up the private server in the first place? To avoid pesky Freedom of Information Act requests, like those that have exposed the cozy relationship between Hillary’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation, whose primary work is providing cushy sinecures for the Clintons’ large array of political factotums and travel in style for Bill, Hillary and Chelsea.
The Clinton Foundation is just the most audacious pay-to-play scheme of the Clintons because it is conducted right in front of the public. It is the brainchild of the same lifelong grifters who rented out the Lincoln bedroom, made off with tens of thousands of dollars in White House furniture, and sold pardons in Bill’s final days in office in the manner of the pre-Reformation Church selling dispensations from hell.
Large donations to the Clinton Foundation or obscene speaking fees for Bill or Hillary buy access for foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia, corporations such as Boeing, and individual wheeler-dealers. In Clinton Cash, Peter Schweizer lays out the entire sordid pattern of influence peddling, including how the Clinton State Department facilitated Russia gaining control of 20 percent of the United States’ uranium reserves, at the same time that million- dollar donations were pouring into the Foundation from controlling shareholders of the Canadian mining company sold to Russia.
THE CLINTONS have been under continuous investigation since entering the White House for activities going back to the Little Rock statehouse. Because Hillary never ended up behind bars, some assume that she has escaped unscathed from those investigations. Not true. The smoke is too thick to see.
The brokerage firm through which the trades in cattle futures that netted Hillary a nifty $490,000 profit on a $5,000 investment received the largest fine in the futures exchange history. The trades were all placed by James Blair, who represented Tyson Foods, Arkansas’s largest employer and heavily regulated by the state.
The Clintons’ former business partners in the Whitewater Development Corporation and Hillary’s former law partner all went to jail for offenses unearthed by the Whitewater investigation.
The Clintons escaped their fate when Susan McDougal spent 18 months in jail for refusing to testify against them, until pardoned by Bill. It didn’t hurt that billing records of Hillary’s Rose Firm went missing, only to turn up in the Clintons’ private White House quarters 19 months later, after the close of the investigation.
Shortly after entering the White House, Hillary ordered the entire White House travel office staff fired and the multimillion-dollar business transferred to Clinton cronies. A scathing General Accounting Office report led to the reinstatement of all the fired employees.
Three more investigations were triggered by a White House request for 900 FBI background checks on Republican officials. The White House personnel director was forced to resign when he refused to divulge who ordered the checks. In another egregious abuse of power, a senior IRS official admitted that Clinton opponents and female accusers of Bill were subjected to IRS audits.
The Clinton campaigns have also been fecund sources of scandal. A Justice Department report found evidence suggesting “a level of knowledge within the White House – including the president’s and first lady’s offices” – concerning millions of dollars of Chinese government money funneled into Bill’s reelection campaign, the Clinton Defense Fund, and the Democratic National Committee.
SO, GIVEN the choice, what should we voters do? Either stay home in the millions or vote for the goofball Libertarian candidate, so that whoever wins cannot claim a mandate. Then repair to our shuls, just as our ancestors in czarist Russia did, to pray that God grant wisdom to our leaders. The writer is director of Jewish Media Resources, has written a regular column in The Jerusalem Post Magazine since 1997, and is the author of eight biographies of modern Jewish leaders.