Hillary Clinton gave a fascinating interview recently in which she tried to explain why so many people simply do not trust her.
She was stumped. Hillary struggled to offer an explanation. Clearly, she is very troubled by this perception of her, so she knows it is a real issue for her presidential campaign. Yet she also clearly fails to comprehend it.
Hillary fell back on the explanation that the cause is due to all of the right-wing attacks against her over the years, and she even offered-up the example of Benghazi. But this rings hollow.
Sure, the right-wing attacks against her have been voluminous and disgraceful. And they certainly account for the reason why right-wing Republicans would not trust Hillary. But Democratic voters see through this right-wing nonsense and don't buy it. So this does not account for the reason why Democratic voters don't trust Hillary and instead are supporting her competitor, Bernie Sanders.
If Hillary is going to confront and address this issue, she must look within herself. Time and again, she does not appear to be motivated by the truth, but instead, she behaves like a political attack machine motivated by an insatiable drive to win for herself at any cost.
This aspect of Hillary was on full display in the recent outburst over which of the two Democratic candidates is more "progressive." The truth is obvious. Of course Bernie is more progressive. This has been his political posture for his entire career, even being a Socialist for goodness sake.
But Hillary pulled her switchblade and began fighting. In this political climate, she wants to be viewed as the progressive regardless of the truth. So she cherry-picked a few of Bernie's past votes in the Senate and tried to paint him as not being progressive.
Huh? Bernie not progressive? It just makes no sense. It doesn't hold water. Of course Bernie is progressive. He has always been progressive.
Hillary's motivation here was not truth, but politics. She is all too willing to manipulate, distort, and deceive to try to score political points for herself.
We saw this again in the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire when Bernie stated that Hillary was part of the political establishment. In the current climate, "establishment" is a dirty word, so out comes Hillary's switchblade again. She denied that she was part of the political establishment.
What? This, of course, is absurd. The Clintons are nothing less than the premier political dynasty in this nation. Yet there is Hillary denying it. Stunning. Right before our very eyes we see a politician seeking to manipulate what we all know is the truth in an attempt to achieve political gain. It is indeed disheartening.
And then, shockingly, Hillary takes it even further by claiming that of course she is not in the political establishment due to the fact that she is a woman. Unbelievable. This is political manipulation at its height.
Of course, we all desire to see a woman in the White House. But Hillary played upon our desire by attempting to use it to overcome an unrelated political weakness. Now that's called playing the gender card.
Subsequently, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appeared with Hillary on the campaign trail and admonished women to vote for Hillary solely because she is a woman, saying that "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other." Now that's called doubling-down on playing the gender card.
Hillary denies playing the gender card and says that no one should vote for her simply because she is a woman. Yeah right. So what we have is Hillary blatantly playing the gender card while simultaneously denying that she is playing it.
So what does this make Hillary? Simple. A typical politician.
We have seen it over and over again. In the Democratic debate, Hillary pulled her switchblade again and jumped Bernie for waging a "smear" campaign against her over the issue of Hillary's acceptance of political contributions from Wall Street.
What? This is hardly a "smear" tactic by Bernie. In fact, this goes to the very essence of Bernie's central campaign theme of income inequality. Bernie contends that a major cause of income inequality is political contributions from Wall Street, and it just so happens that Hillary was a prime recipient. In fact, shockingly, Hillary even tried to defend all the money she took. But Hillary has no adequate explanation for this, so instead she attempts to re-characterize it as a "smear" campaign against her. This is a typical device employed by tricky politicians.
Hillary also unfairly attacked Bernie by saying that Bernie wanted to "start over again" with a new healthcare system that would "rip away the security that people finally have." Bernie corrected this false charge by explaining that his plan would improve the healthcare system and of course he would never dismantle the current system and "rip away" anyone's healthcare without having a full system in place.
The debate, in fact, presented quite a spectacle with the two of them on stage. Bernie directed himself to voters as he repeatedly articulated issues and his central campaign themes. Hillary repeatedly attempted to club Bernie over the head. In a rare exhibition of nobility in a political campaign, Bernie declined to club her back.
Bernie refused yet again to attack Hillary on the controversial issue of her alleged misuse of emails. Wow. It is indeed difficult to imagine anyone else demonstrating such integrity in a campaign.
Yet this did not stop Hillary from bashing Bernie for being soft on guns. She is trying to get to the left of Bernie wherever possible and this is just about the only issue she can come up with.
Bernie has been remarkably candid in response, explaining that his state of Vermont is very rural where hunting is widespread and guns are ubiquitous. So Bernie was merely representing the interests of his own constituents. Indeed, if Hillary were a senator from Vermont, it seems certain that she would have done the same. But nonetheless, Hillary is seeking to exploit this as a political issue among democratic voters by attempting to paint Bernie as being on the wrong side of the gun issue.
Supposedly, Hillary is planning to meet with African-American mothers who have lost children to gun violence. This is stunning. It is a blatant political maneuver. It is clearly not motivated out of a genuine compassion for these grieving mothers, but instead, Hillary is playing politics and seeking to exploit the gun issue against Bernie.
Hillary is also using this maneuver to exploit the racial issue because Bernie's support is soft among minorities, including African Americans, and the campaign is now headed south for the South Carolina primary election where support of African Americans is key for Hillary. So she is killing two political birds with one stone -- guns and race. Amazing. Hillary is clearly pulling a political stunt here.
That's fine, Hillary, go ahead with all of your political manipulations, attacks, and tricks designed to misdirect voters.
But you cannot then wonder why people don't trust you.