I don’t believe that she’s as corrupt as either Donald Trump or her many detractors think she is. Many of Hillary Clinton’s challenges come from the fact that what she believes is a requirement for privacy is seen by others as a penchant for secrecy. She’s not a natural politician, she has long sought privacy for her family – especially her daughter, during the White House years – and that has led to a series of decisions which have probably been politically flawed.
Let’s not forget that the decision not to release details and paperwork related to the Whitewater property development in Bill Clinton’s first term was made not by the President but by the First Lady. It’s been referred to as the worst mistake made by the Clinton Administration. It was Hillary Clinton’s desire for privacy which led to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, which led to the discovery of Monica Lewinsky, which led to the impeachment of the President.
In the 1980s, when Bill Clinton was the lowly-paid governor of Arkansas, he and his wife entered into a land deal with friends of theirs, to develop holiday homes along the White River. It was during the property boom of the 1980s. The Clintons thought they’d put some money in, build some properties, and sell them for a profit. That didn’t happen, and then their business partner got himself involved in the savings and loan scandal which dominated American politics during George H.W. Bush’s term in office. So quite understandably, questions were asked.
The roots go back to Hillary Clinton’s eagerness to make some money on the side during her time in Arkansas, to try to raise a nest-egg for her family – or a bit of a fast buck to compensate for the fact that her husband at that point wasn’t making very much himself. It’s funny – it was Bill Clinton who was born into, if not poverty, then certainly the wrong side of the tracks. Yet has never appeared to care too much about money. But Hillary was born into a middle-upper-class family and has never been short of money, yet she’s the one who always gets questions asked about her finances, and trying to generate money above and beyond her salary.
In America, you’d think ‘why is this a big deal?’ Perhaps the problem is that they’re Democrats, and this is something greedy Republicans are supposed to do. Hillary Clinton has dedicated her career to those who have suffered in society. She has been a very forceful advocate of women’s rights and children’s rights. At the same time, when opportunities have presented themselves, she’s been very quick to try and make some money on the side. It’s about maximising her name and position for personal financial gain. Donald Trump of all people should recognise that this is fundamentally at the heart of the American dream.
If we go as far back as the early 1990s, an awful lot of the issues – the supposed scandals – surrounding the Clintons have proved to be smokescreens, and politically motivated. There was a very good book written by Joe Conason of the New York Times called The Hunting Of The President, which revealed the existence of something called The Arkansas Project – a network of operatives set up to discredit Bill Clinton before he became president, then besmirch him as president.
There was a concern among many on the right that if Bill Clinton could take hold of American politics, it could spell disaster for the Republican Party – to have a young, moderate, southern governor become an effective chief executive. But they’ve been investigated ad nauseam by Congress, by special prosecutors, and on no occasion has Hillary Clinton been found guilty of any wrongdoing. And if Donald Trump had lived his life under the microscope she has, what would have come out is beyond me.
Dr James D. Boys is the author of Hillary Rising: The Politics, Persona and Policies of a New American Dynasty and Clinton’s Grand Strategy.