Watergate was an event that roiled President Richard Nixon to leave
office. It involved a group of men who
burglarized the Democratic Nation Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel
in Washington, D.C. While Nixon did not
commit the crime or direct it, Nixon chose to attempt to cover-up or prevent
investigations of the crime. It took
investigative reporting, non-partisan political hearings, and cooperation of
some independent minded men in the bureaucracy to expose the issues. Nixon, conferring with Republicans, realized
he could not avoid impeachment and, rather than fight, put the country in front
of his personal interest and resigned.
Fast forward to 2016 and, we argue, this election cycle is Watergate
2.0. However, in this version the press
helps Nixon, the Republicans circle the wagons around Nixon, the bureaucracy
covers for Nixon, and Nixon puts his interests in front of the country. In 2016
Hilary Clinton is Richard Nixon and Watergate 2.0 poses a great threat to our
liberty and prosperity.
The framers designed the Constitution to separate power so that no man or
group of men could consolidate power. It
also protected the most fundamental rights of freedom of speech and press to
assure free men could speak to and against power. But when government, press, and politicians
conspire toward a political person or ideology, then freedom itself is at risk.
Clinton represents a collusion to consolidate power. It is incredible that a candidate with a 30
year history of failure and corruption could advance to the highest political
office, and doing so with relative ease.
Backers of Clinton argue this is a historic moment to elect the first woman
president, and that she has the temperament and experience to effectively
pursue her legislative agenda. But
electing a woman for a women’s sake is not the purpose of any election. Looking at her tenure as Secretary of State
there is a trail of failure that follows her in Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq and,
of course, Benghazi. Europe fared no
better with the Russian intervention in Ukraine and China was allowed to expand
its military in the South China Sea.
When assessing Clinton’s domestic policy she declared to be left of
President Obama. If we give credit to
Obama policies for seven years of a growing economy, slower increases in the
cost of healthcare expenses, lower unemployment
(U-3 Index) to under 5%, cutting the budget deficit in half, and high stock
market, then we must also give him “credit” for the slowest economic growth
since the Great Depression, the highest increase in health insurance premiums,
the highest level of real unemployment (U-6 Index) of over 9% seven years after
the recession ended and the lowest workforce participation since the 1970s,
cutting the budget deficit to exceed the highest level previous to his taking
office with a doubling of the debt to over $19 trillion, and providing low
interest money to give the highest stock market in history and fueling the
wealth of the richest Americans.
Regardless of who wins the office of president, either candidate will
face a battle after election. If Trump,
then press, Democrats and even some Republicans will work against him on a host
of issues. Trump, as a neophyte in D.C.,
will have to find allies with political savvy to make him relevant and during
his campaign he has offended many of the allies he will need in Congress. If Clinton, who is knowledgeable in the ways
of D.C. politics, she will face a united Republican opposition who will
continue hearings in her potential crimes and fill the air with the specter of
impeachment, all of which will work against her efforts to be relevant.
The problem with the Clintons is the daunting threat their actions pose
when concealed or protected by politicians, agencies and press. This enables the consolidation of power. This disheartens voters. This is acid on the trust of fundamental
institutions. This breeds populism that
can heighten into the tyranny of the majority.
Policies left of Obama means more regulation, taxes, expanded
unaffordable entitlements, growing debt and ballooning deficits if these
policies are enacted. Policies to the
left of Obama mean the president will continue to attempt circumventing
Congress to enact laws by decree. And a
liberal Supreme Court will be a threat to the Bill of Rights when liberty
collides with liberal views of whatever they deem “equality”.
Liberals clasped their hands and told us the lesson from Watergate was
that no man is above the law. But the
real lesson was that no Republican is above the law. It is another story if you are a Democrat
where the liberal battle cry is the nobility of the ends justifies the
means. A President Clinton is Watergate
2.0 that will stab at freedom and growth.
Arguably, neither Trump nor Clinton is an existential threat but they do
represent what could be a zenith to the America followed by a gradual decline –
the new normal of deteriorating growth and dependency on government. The way to avoid this is for Americans, who a
majority surveyed, believe both choices are bad, demand better. The hope we have is for a one term President
Clinton or President Trump and that the institutions that protect liberty
remain strong enough to weather the next four years.
We must recapture our political processes. We can do this if we are informed and
vigilant. The great 18th century
political thinker J.J. Rousseau famously wrote about the people of England in
The people of England think they are free. They are much mistaken. They are
never so but during the election of members of Parliament. As soon as they are
elected, they are slaves, they are nothing. And by the use they make of their
liberty during the short moments they possess it, they well deserve to lose it.