By Arab News
By Trisha de Borchgrave*
Whether the latest addendum to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail debacle is over-eager bureaucracy by FBI director James Comey, or a procedural necessity in terms of accountability, it is clear that the orthopedic boot of containment that Hillary’s team has placed on her Achilles heel of questionable judgment has still left her hobbling for votes.
Parents’ advice to their children has always been to be careful of the company they keep. However, this can be difficult for the person who goes on to attain worldwide fame and influence when the modest roots of a childhood beanstalk grow to the dizzying altitudes of sycophancy, and tear into a lifetime’s hard work and commitment to public service.
Hillary’s drive has been turbo-charged by the childhood humiliation experienced by her mother, whose impoverished beginnings forced her into domestic service at fourteen, and by the betrayal of the man she was in love with. The chronic nature of Bill Clinton’s infidelities hurt her deeply and evolved into angry exasperation at his potential ruination of her own chances at fulfilling her own ambitions, which she deservedly believed herself more qualified to reach, albeit without his orator’s skill and charisma. Not only did it feed into her obsessive need for privacy, as sought by many a jilted spouse, but worsened her persistent blindness to compromising professional situations.
Corporate greed will only ever be embraced by the corporate greedy which constitutes about one percent of the voting population. Hillary’s substantial one-off remunerations from the likes of Goldman Sachs may have helped her prove her punching weight inside a formidable marriage of equals, when instead she should have been flagging up to his acolytes her husband’s sloppy sourcing of funds, be it in the name of the Clinton Foundation’s coffers or Chelsea’s inheritance.
Rarefied living corrodes judgment, just as the rich and famous, such as John Kennedy Jr. or Princess Diana, perceived themselves above mortality when piloting a plane in zero visibility or speeding 70 miles an hour down a Paris tunnel with no seat belt. For Hillary, rarefied living, blind ambition and public service became one and the same thing, and led to an astonishing lack of discipline when applying insight to handling her top aide, Huma Abedin’s, predicament. It is even more difficult to comprehend when watching the documentary “Weiner” how she could possibly have trusted Abedin with any sense either. It is a film about ogling two people’s embarrassing relationship, Abedin’s with her husband, disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner. The viewer reels between open-mouthed disbelief and embarrassed flinching at Abedin’s efforts to win sympathy, while shaming Weiner into non-repeat offending of what is clearly a serial disease.
Faced with the double emotional whammy of being put through the stocks of public indignity and singled out as a Muslim non-patriot, Hillary’s loyalty toward her “surrogate daughter” blindsided her yet again to what was an untenable position for Abedin as Hillary’s professional confidante.
As a result, the gaping reality for Hillary is that she could still lose to the awfulness that is Donald Trump. If she wins, nothing will have better prepared her for prioritizing the need to find common ground among a populace united and divided by hatred. She will owe the electorate accountability in her position as commander-in-chief of their lives. It is still frustrating to know that men in her position have got away with far worse, yet now is the time to lead by example, and not make stupid decisions based on insecurity. That is the domain of the male ego.
In an election that could be described by millions of discontented voters as, “What rat are you rooting for in this rat race?”, both candidates will be under investigation should they enter office. She, with the long-on-innuendo-short-on-fact FBI disclosure, and he, on proceedings relating to allegations of rape of an underage girl that a federal New York judge has filed for counsel. The standards for gender gap answerability have never been so hypocritical.
With the optimistic ray of winter’s fading light, perhaps it might be easier for Hillary to plug the hole of public trust she is teetering over, in ways that the tsunami wave of hope that threatened to drown a planet’s expectations of Barack Obama, has inevitably left some disappointed. She might even defy those who have held their noses at the voting booth. Or, then again, Americans might set fire to government buildings instead.
Donna Brazile, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, advised voters this week: “Keep your focus, keep your eyes on the prize.” The trouble is that the prize is simply the lesser of two evils, including for many African Americans who turned out to vote for Obama and indeed for Bill Clinton. Jeez, there he goes again, pipping her to a post that must seem like it is made of mercury.
*Trisha de Borchgrave is a writer and artist based in London. She can be reached at www.trishadeborchgrave.com and through Twitter @TrishdeB