It should come as no surprise to regular readers that I’m not a fan of Hillary Clinton. For more than twenty-five years I’ve thought of her as the potentially most dangerous politician in America. Nothing has happened in those two and one half decades which has caused me to change my mind on that subject.
On the contrary, White Water, the cattle trading scheme, Vince Foster – well, those are child’s play compared to her irresponsible handling of national security and the corruption attached to the Clinton Foundation which would be revealed if a truly objective investigation were to be conducted. Of course, we all know that will never happen under the current administration.
Given my view, you might be surprised that I believe that, if President Obama doesn’t beat him to the punch, President-elect Trump should offer a deal to Ms. Clinton which would include a full presidential pardon. Shocking, you say? Maybe not so much.
In defending my position, let me first say that I believe Clinton is guilty as sin – in numerous different matters. Perhaps that is inherently obvious – otherwise why would we even be talking about pardoning her? Nor do I believe that she has experienced any great moment of contrition which would warrant absolution in a moral or religious sense. I think that if she were to review her past deeds, the only remorse that she might be feeling is that she got caught with an insurmountable amount of evidence suggestive of her guilt, too much to spin or lie away this time.
In an election that was heavily weighted in her favor; the benefits that she inherited as a Democrat because of the electoral map; the one-upsmanship afforded her in her primary contest by the DNC; the adulation of her by the media and the opprobrium heaped on her opponent by them; despite all that, she was up-ended by a political outsider and put the much vaunted expectation of our having our first female president on the back burner – at least for now.
Ms. Clinton proved herself to be an anachronism – and “The Times They Are A-Changing.” Ms. Clinton, the champion of a higher minimum wage lost to Donald Trump, the champion of unlimited opportunity. Clinton was supported by virtually all the self-styled elites. Trump was enthusiastically embraced by people who were struggling to pay their mortgage because their jobs had been lost to Mexico. Clinton espoused a policy of open borders while Trump promised an administration where law and an orderly immigration process would be restored.
So why a pardon for Hillary Clinton? There are several reasons.
The first is that there really is nothing to gain other than retribution and a warning to others that unlawful behavior will not be tolerated and that nobody is above the law. That is an important, no, that is the essential foundation of the American experiment and what differentiates us from virtually every other country. But as you will see if you keep reading, we can make that point in a different way than by appointing a special prosecutor, spending countless hours investigating and arraigning Clinton and then trying and probably convicting her.
The second is that if, and I believe it is, President-elect Trump’s main focus to Make America Great Again, it is best to direct all his and Congress’ attention to getting the ball rolling on doing just that. Let’s not get distracted by what will undoubtedly be spun as little more than partisan politics – although I believe that is a gross mis-characterization of Clinton’s actions.
The third has been obvious to anyone who has watched the news on television in the week since the election. This country is still obviously divided. President-elect Trump is still being characterized as a “loose cannon,” a misogynist, unstable and hateful. The presumed basis for the outrage is that he is not a legitimate president-elect as he did not win the popular vote. If he had won both the popular vote as well as the Electoral College majority vote, I believe you would still have seen these protests. Pardoning Clinton would go a long way to beginning a healing process, reuniting the nation and defusing the allegations about which these sorely misguided people are purportedly demonstrating.
If President Ronald Reagan was the “Great Communicator,” President-elect Donald J. Trump may well be called the “Great Negotiator.” And here’s what I would advise him to negotiate with Clinton before giving her a presidential pardon.
First and foremost, Trump should require that in a press conference, she allocute to the real reasons that she chose to maintain an unsecure, private server despite the laws which should have prevented her from doing so. That she allocute to whether all of the deleted emails were, in fact, personal or whether there were records that were deleted which should be part of the public record. That she allocute to whether or not any of her decisions as Secretary of State were influenced because of donations to the Clinton Foundation. Such an honest allocution would carry the same weight as a lengthy legal process and for those who blindly voted for her might give some reason for pause and reflection.
Second, I would ask her and President Clinton to forgo any pensions, Secret Service protection and any other benefits which are currently proffered on former presidents and politicians. The Clintons have done very well for themselves since they left the White House. Voluntarily stripping themselves of future benefices will hardly impose a financial hardship on the couple.
In my more Draconian moments, I would like to see Hillary Clinton voluntarily give up her U. S. citizenship and move to a foreign country where she might get a fresh start. Brazil comes to mind.
By area, Brazil is only moderately smaller than the United States. It has a multi-racial, multi-cultural population with lots of under served children – and taking care of children is a passion that Clinton maintains has been a focus of hers throughout her life. Furthermore, it has elected a woman president (currently under indictment) – so if she wanted to revive her political ambitions, what more natural place than Brazil?
Furthermore, it is a welcoming country. After WWII it took in a significant number of Germans, Japanese and Italians who may or may not have been involved in the Axis war effort. The Israelis spent a great deal of time in the country ferreting out those who were members of the power structure of the Third Reich. This might be a community with whom Clinton could forge alliances. Whether husband Bill would choose to join her in exile would, of course, be up to the two of them. Of course, this transplant to South America is more on my wish list than my must have list.
If Brazil doesn’t fill the bill for Clinton, an alternative might be Haiti. Perhaps if she chose to live in Port au Prince, she might join in the search to find the fifteen million dollars that the Clinton Foundation allegedly gave to assist the earthquake victims there a few years back and which, by all accounts, is still missing.
In my view, this is a reasonable proposal. But if you have a different view, I hope you’ll accept my apology with a heartfelt, “Pardon me.”