I’m with her.  Many are willing to define Hillary Clinton as lying, untrustworthy, criminal, etc. Much mud has been slung. Little has stuck. The most common lament is that we must choose the lesser of two evils in this presidential election.  It’s no contest.  Hillary Clinton is indeed a politician, adjusting her positions as needed to suit both polls and the shift from primary to general election. But she is not Donald Trump.

The Democratic National Convention had many wonderful orators giving rousing and heartfelt speeches.  The one that stuck with me was a simple interview on the floor of the convention with a woman named Betsy Ebeling.  She has maintained a close friendship with Hillary Clinton since their grade school days in Park Ridge, IL. In January, Ebeling and about 50 of Hillary Clinton’s high school classmates had traveled to Iowa to knock on doors on her behalf in the last days of the Iowa primary. Those who actually know her like her.  There is no similar story for Donald Trump. 

Betsy Ebeling doesn’t see Hillary Clinton as conniving and untrustworthy.  She has known her for over 50 years.  When she witnessed some fresh-faced young man ask Hillary Clinton, on camera, what she would say to people who viewed her as a lying cheat, Betsy Ebeling was infuriated, both at the implication and the incivility.  Besides, if you believe someone incapable of honest response, why ask anything?

Sometimes you can believe that where there’s smoke there’s fire.  In this case it may be only smoke.  The general narrative about Hillary Clinton has been gradually constructed from a relentless series of accusations and invective since she became First Lady in 1993.  The opposition party began berating her for attempting to overhaul America’s health care system and has never let up.

Where the use of private email servers was overlooked in Cabinet secretaries before Hillary Clinton there is now clamor for repeated investigations and charges.  Where the many attacks on American embassies and outposts were noted with gravity and sorrow in previous administrations, Ms. Clinton has endured at least seven investigations by hostile legislative committees for the attack in Benghazi.  Those stalwarts grilling her were the same that had denied increased funding for embassy security.  Hillary Clinton warned in 2012 that failure to increase security funding put embassies in politically volatile countries more at risk.     

With all the cunningly timed and well publicized investigations they were not able to find real wrongdoing.  It could be that these were the least competent investigative panels ever assembled or it could be that the investigations were initiated for the sole purpose of inflicting political damage.

So…before you join the chorus accusing Hillary Clinton of dishonesty be sure that you provide documentation and cite evidence.  She has been advocating for children and people trapped in poverty since her college days.  She has a long and extremely well documented history of service to this nation.  President Obama said that no candidate has ever been more qualified to assume the Presidency.

If you believe that Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, or Hillary Clinton can by themselves change the course of the nation you have forgotten that it is Congress that makes law; a group of very wealthy men past their pull date. The legislative branch, not content with impeding only the executive branch, now cripples the judiciary branch by refusing to confirm a judge. If it’s change you want start with Congress.

(Don Vowell gets on his soapbox regularly in the Keizertimes.)