When you think about Watergate, you think about President Richard Nixon’s downfall, underscored by a series of events that few could fathom to be accurate at the time. The same holds true for the situation, currently, unfolding around Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. I’ve termed this debacle “Server-gate” due to the similarity between these two black marks in U.S. history.
No doubt, the players, timing, and technology may have changed but the reckless use of power, the secrecy, and the fact that both infractions took place immediately preceding presidential elections (by the candidates or potential candidates, themselves) remain, very much, the same. Republican or Democratic representatives, alike, neither situation bodes well for the trust the nation has placed in its highest office nor how serious that trust is taken.
In President Nixon’s case, his sentence came in the form of a botched burglary, a hidden taping system, and a series of incriminating tapes, misused donations, and traceable evidence that, ultimately, led to his own resignation. In Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s case, she and her campaign for President are drowning in a sea of conjecture, investigations, and attacks arising from the misuse of a personal server, donations to a foundation that continue to amass all kinds of questions, and her own silence counter-balanced by moments of sheer annoyance, a discernable superiority complex and an unrelenting string of faulty judgment calls.
In both cases, the end result is simple. The people of the United States feel duped by the very same officials that they’ve elected to safeguard them from such harm and more. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s plummeting public approval (and believability) numbers speak to this, as do the growing number of names now considering a run for the Democratic Presidential ticket.
Unlike Watergate, however, where the damage done could be contained, the damage resulting from server-gate can’t even be fully surmised due to both the power of the internet. To that same point, if any real criminal act is committed as a result of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of her personal server, how does one fit the punishment to actually meet the crime, given that we will never fully understand just how damaging that crime has been to our nation? The implications are beyond measure.
Truthfully, I wouldn’t be surprised if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t have the server now in question installed in her home for her presidential campaign in 2008 as a result of what she learned from President Nixon and Watergate in 1972-1974. Taking certain information out of the office, especially that which is specific to a Presidential run, might not be ethical or legal … but beneficial? Especially if that information reveals much more than the nation bargained for when enlisting you to be their representative.
And let’s face it, the alibi of convenience just doesn’t apply. If you wanted convenience, you would never choose to accept responsibility for millions of people and their futures. You would be the 7-Eleven attendant down the street, not the person who could invite tragedy into out lives worse than that of 9-11.
Those who lead trade in convenience for accountability, and with that accountability comes extensive documentation. Why do you think the first words out of any president’s mouth (in the public or private sector) are “keep everything?” The larger the paper trail, the more he will have to produce in his defense given he needs to do so whether it be for the IRS, clients, or others. It is only when he does not want to produce something, can that something not be found. In President Nixon’s case, the missing eighteen minutes following the recovered tapes. In Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s case, the missing emails following the recovered server.
I happen to agree that part of the noise around Hillary Clinton’s mess today does stem from her presidential run, but had she not loaded gun while in office, the pulling of the trigger by the Republicans would have resulted in nothing more than making the Republican party look bad. She would have been handed the presidency on a silver platter and had the parties, the people, and the press cheering from east to west, north to south.
The final results remain to be seen, but to expect that consistent bad judgment will transition to sudden good judgment by that same individual placed in an even more powerful position is unlikely. Leopards don’t change their spots.
Suffice it to say that history repeats itself. Where Watergate once was, Server-gate is now. It would be nice if we had a president that actually shut all of those loathsome “gates” and placed duty back at the forefront of the presidential office. Although I, too, would like to see a woman become president, I’d rather make history by electing an honest president that may or may not be a woman but who certainly puts the people first like he or she is supposed to do. That’s the history (and legacy) we all should be concerned with when voting in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.
It’s the only thing that truly matters. It also warrants the question, “How much more convenience is Hillary going to need if she becomes President of the United States?”
Laura Wellington is a successful media and technology entrepreneur, award-winning television creator, author, major media blogger, television personality, and consultant. www.threadmb.com