Why I don't trust Hillary

Point/Counter-Point: To see the other side of this argument, read "Why I Trust Hillary", here.

The majority of Americans polled by Quinnipac don’t trust Hillary Clinton. It’s not complicated to understand why — it’s because she is not trustworthy.

While it’s true that some of this is due to the constant flip-flopping on issues that our Corsair Opinion Editor has so diligently tried to defend, this isn’t the reason people don’t trust Clinton. Arguing on these grounds, however eloquent it may be expressed, is fundamentally missing the point.

Clinton changing her viewpoint more often than a hotel changes sheets is normal with career politicians. As a rule, they have to alter their beliefs (or at least say they do) in order to keep up with whatever the public feels like worrying about today. Yesterday’s consensus might as well have been written on an Etch-A-Sketch to anyone who has been in Washington for more than five minutes. With the exception of the most ardent political Pollyannas among us, it’s to be expected.

So Hillary first saying the TPP is a great idea and later reneging isn’t important. Her stance on LGBT issues isn’t important. Her stance on immigration isn’t important. These are not why people mistrust Clinton.

The heart of the issue surrounding Hillary and trust, lies in the infamous life of scandal that has plagued the Clintons since Bill first ran for governor of Arkansas in 1974 and has only increased its focus on Hillary since he left office in 2001. While the younger readers of this article are no doubt familiar with the latest email scandal, or the potential for conflict of interest with donors to the Clinton Foundation, to cover the full history of Clinton family impropriety would require a literal book (and there are several out there).

Consider one of the older incidents: the Clinton pardons. On his last day in office on Jan. 20, 2001, Bill Clinton made the vast bulk of his presidential pardons, letting 140 people off the legal hook, including FALN terrorists and fugitive Marc Rich, whose ex-wife donated $450,000 to the Clinton library and over one million dollars to democratic campaigns.

The pardoning of Almon Glenn Braswell and Carlos Vignali was more pertinent to Hillary — more specifically her family. Braswell and Vignali, a convicted fraudster and cocaine trafficker respectively, had each paid $200,000 to Hillary’s brother, Hugh Rodham, in order to represent their pleas for clemency to the then sitting President Clinton. Rodham would later return the money once public scrutiny began settling in on him. Both Bill and Hillary claimed to know nothing about his receiving of funds, saying it was “deeply disturbing”. The fact is, the men were both pardoned upon a condition of payment to a Clinton relative.

It wasn’t a smoking gun, but just another shady deal in a long history of shady deals.

Now to be fair, most of these scandals follow a now familiar script: something outrageous comes out about the Clintons and it’s later disavowed by them entirely or turns out to not be as bad as it first seemed. Most of the accusations are entirely politically motivated, with Republicans being involved somewhere along the information chain, either pushing the seriousness of the claim past its limit, or often being the original sources of said information to the media.

Occasionally, you get a Lewinsky affair that proves yes, the Clintons did in fact know something about the accusation and then lied to the public when it came time to cover it up or were involved in some other improper activity.

This happened with Benghazi, where it turned out there was little that Clinton likely did wrong during the original incident, but her Senate testimony confirmed that Hillary used a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. The private server has now led to an FBI investigation about whether classified intelligence may have been potentially accessible through an insecure channel.

So it goes. Again and again, the pattern is repeated, usually with similar results. In all likelihood this incident will be like most of the others — Hillary won’t go to jail over it. It hasn’t happened yet, and probably never will.

Consider that. Clinton is a presidential candidate where such a possibility is going to be a constant refrain. It’s a Nixonian legacy that follows the Clintons like a fog, an atmosphere of an untrustworthy crookedness that pervades even if most of the incidents are politically motivated and even if they never get pinned down under any of them.

There’s just always more dirt that can be found for Republicans to make attacks next time. And over time, all of these incidents add up into a gestalt that indicates there’s just no possible way to trust the Clintons, even for moderates and certainly (to hear it from Sanders fans), a good chunk of Democrats.

So how often do you like watching Senate Subcommittee hearings?

Because what’s going to happen if Clinton wins the Presidency, is that there will be investigation, after investigation, after investigation of things she’s said to have done but that can’t quite be proved, as well as things that can be proved that she’ll brush off saying she had no knowledge of them. There will be gridlock the likes of which will make the interplay of the Obama presidency seem like blasting down the autobahn.

And it will all be a under that cloud of suspicion that can’t quite be shaken off, no matter how much the Clinton’s try to blow it away.