In this presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is telling the world our economic system is rigged for the benefit of the rich. In truth, our economy is more dynamic and fairer than she claims. Our legal system, however, will not be if she gets away with her email scandal.
It is, of course, rather “rich” that Hillary is attacking the American economy as unfair. Few, if any, have benefitted from an abuse of the system and power like Hillary. No other person in history has served at the highest level of government and approved large speaking fees for a spouse.
No one else has benefitted from a foundation that can pay family members from the donations of foreign countries while she was Secretary of State, nor have their child get paid $600,000 for a job for which she had no experience. Please tell us how her daughter was able to pay for a $10.5 million apartment?
It is beyond hypocritical that Hillary is complaining that our economic system is rigged any more than the biggest recipient of corporate welfare could complain. Actually, Hillary is worse since she wants even larger government. We know that every place and every time in history that such governments exist, they are plagued by corruption and the rigging of the system in favor of the well connected like her.
Now the question is whether Hillary will be able to game the legal system the same way.
Keep in mind that the American experiment in government is unlike any before it in history and any since. It allows for direct voting for congressional representatives and the Senate, and the president elected by an Electoral College. The third branch of the American experiment is an independent judiciary. No other government in history had such an elegant, balanced system.
Our system was designed to decentralize power and has worked in unprecedented fashion when compared to the rest of history, but it is not without its problems.
Money plays a role both during and in between elections. That is not new to our time. Governments have been corrupted and politicians succumbed to the lure of money. So prevalent in history is that dynamic, that there is even a term for governments dominated by the wealthy, a plutocracy.
There is no doubt that money in elective politics is exploding today. We spent more money on the 2014 U.S. Senate elections in Iowa, North Carolina and Georgia than George W. Bush spent in 2000 to become president. Billionaires spend a fury on Super PACS.
The reason there is so much spending on elections is because government is doing so much. Powerful governments are worth controlling in the eyes of many who want to fight over spoils and the right to dispense them. The larger government gets, the more that will be so.
To a significnt degree, however, our legal system has been above that. Yes, the rich have greater access to our legal system. As a lawyer of 28 years, I see the power large companies wield in the legal process everyday. On the other hand, our system allows historically unprecedented access to those who aren’t rich.
The most important question is whether the laws apply equally to each person. You would have to have a rather rose-colored view of life to say in all cases that was true. Nevertheless, the fate of Richard Nixon establishes the fairness of our system.
All of which brings us to Hillary. Even she admits the government didn’t sign off on her email system. She signed a document acknowledging the need to protect the information. It has been proven that she sent classified information, notwithstanding her claim she didn’t send anything marked. As the Secretary of State, she of all people should know what should be marked. A responsible person errs on the side of caution – just not the first person with her own server.
If General Petraeus broke the law transmitting his location to someone with clearances – information that also wasn’t marked classified – then Hillary clearly broke the law as well by doing the same about other classified people to people without clearances. The difference, of course, is that the volume of information Hillary communicated dwarfs that of Petraeus.
The FBI knows all of that. They also know her staff was involved.
The question now is whether Hillary will be held accountable. Given what we know, the real question is whether our legal system is rigged for her. If it is, it will be the largest black eye on the one branch of government that has resisted being rigged the most. The wise Republican candidate would oppose her false arguments for economic fairness with a sincere call for legal fairness.
Tom Del Beccaro is the former Chairman of the California Republican Party and current candidate for U.S. Senate.