Afterimage Review

America, Get Ready For A Scandalous Presidency


Clinton or Trump, the next Presidency will likely be saturated in scandal, according to political analyst, Richard Wagner.

Scandals are nothing new to the Clinton family.  Many of these were sex scandals, including a rape allegation against Bill Clinton.  There was the real estate scandal with the Whitewater Development Corporation.  Many were convicted, but the Clintons were not.  Then there was Benghazi in 2012.  As Sec. of State, Clinton neglected to provide adequate security for the US embassy in the very unstable Libya.  Hillary Clinton, and Pres. Obama, claimed that the attacks resulted merely from an anti-Islamic video called “Innocence of Islam.”  This developed into a scandal because evidence shows that the attack was not merely a spontaneous reaction to the video, but was premeditated.  The Benghazi consulate had requested more security, and Clinton did not meet their request.  Therefore, she may have lied about the cause of the attack in an attempt to cover up her negligence.  

Hillary Clinton isn’t even President yet, and the scandals continue.  The email controversy is being considered once again by the FBI.  So far, no convictions.  But among those emails, wikileaks revealed evidence that the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders in the primaries .  Debbie Wasserman Schultz bit the bullet and resigned as chair of the DNC.  Once again, the Clintons came out unscathed (except by public opinion, that is).  Not only that, but the very next day after Schultz’s resignation, Clinton decided to slap Sanders supporters in the face by hiring Schultz for her campaign.  Some of these charges, if found guilty, could result in a prison sentence.

And Trump

Trump is no stranger to scandal either.  He was charged in the 1970s with discriminating against African American tenants.  He never admitted guilt, but did settled the cases.  The Trump University case is still in the courts.  Like Bill Clinton, Trump has also been accused of rape.  Then, of course, there are the women who have claimed that Trump assaulted them sexually, following the Access Hollywood release of Trump’s crude private comments in 2005.  The rape case is a “civil suit” now, so it could not lead to prison.  However, if Trump were to be found guilty of sexual assault against any of the three women who have recently come forward, it could lead to a prison sentence.

Conviction unlikely, but here’s why it matters

In all of these cases, conviction is unlikely.  Aside from the usual “innocent until proven guilty” principle, clearly Trump and Clinton can afford the best legal team that money can buy.  We may never know what these three (Bill, Hillary, and Donald) are guilty of.  Some will say that without proving guilt in a court of law, it’s irrelevant.  However, “not guilty” in the court of law doesn’t literally mean “not guilty”.  We are voting for President, not serving on a jury.  A jury must rule “not guilty” unless “proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”, even if they think that the person is guilty.  But as voters, such a legal burden does not apply.

Unfortunately, there is no moral high ground here.  It is unlikely that they’ll be convicted, but it’s also unlikely that they are innocent of all charges.  When powerful people have that many charges and investigations, they are likely guilty of at least some of it.  You take a great risk falsely accusing a powerful person of rape, or fraud, or anything else.  They can sue for libel, after all.  Of course, like with the criminal charges, libel would need to be also proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

What’s to come

Dr. Phil has said many times – The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  In the Clinton camp, many will say that those mean Republicans are just picking on poor Clinton.  But if that’s true, where are all the Obama scandals?  They hate Obama more than they hate the Clintons.  They spent the first year saying no to anything and everything, forcing the Senate to try to overcome filibuster after filibuster.  If the Republicans were in the practice of making one far-fetched accusation after another against Democratic Presidents, then the Obama administration should have been, like the Clinton administration, one scandal after another.  But it wasn’t!  There were only two – “fast and furious”, and Benghazi.  The latter, having more to do with then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton than Obama.  

I doubt that Trump is a rapist, but I also doubt he’s innocent of everything.  Yes, I remember his comments about walking into the changing rooms of Miss USA contestants – Are you OK?  Are you OK?  And not paying, or underpaying contractors is reprehensible, even if it was technically legal.  I’ll be more forgiving of the taxes, since he didn’t write the tax code and he isn’t directly causing harm by simply using perfectly legal means to minimize how much taxes he pays.  (For the record, I said the same about Obama when it was revealed that he paid a very low effective income tax rate…as well as Romney.)

November 8th will be a sad day for America

I’ve explained before why I consider Trump to be preferable to Clinton.  It has nothing to do with the above scandals and much to do with just how dangerous I think Hillary Clinton will be to stability in the Middle East, as well as my wholehearted support for Trump’s trade policies.  However, I have no delusions about the man.

This is sad that in this great nation of 380 million, in this election which started out with so many excellent candidates, such as Jim Webb, Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, and others who didn’t run such as Susan Collins, Corey Booker.  We have so much talent, so much potential, and Trump v. Clinton is what we’ve come up with?!  

Whichever one becomes president, we will see a series of scandals throughout their entire presidency.  They will never be found guilty, but others will take the fall. Either way, Obama will be missed.  



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About the author

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He conducts independent study on the American conservative movement and foreign policy. When he is not talking politics, Richard is an aspiring novelist, and culinary hobbyist. Richard holds MSc from London School of Economics in Political Science.


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