Letter to the editor: ‘Build bridges that will unite us’


YOUR VIEW

To the editor:

Regarding the letter “Clinton ‘has lied, gotten away; with scandals” (July 29): Truthfulness should be at the heart of every presidential campaign. And it is time to shine the bright light of truth on the specious attacks on Hillary Clinton’s integrity and to straighten out some of the fallacies being blithely tossed around about her.

The writer suggests that Secretary Clinton tells lies (at least) 51 percent of the time (“maybe at least if she were halfway truthful … but she is not”). It is not clear what this is based upon. Certainly not the Benghazi hearings. These hearings were about potential lapses in tactical operations and security, not accusations of lying or perjury. After seven different congressional hearings, including an 11-hour grilling of Secretary Clinton by the Senate Select Committee, it was determined there was no wrongdoing (though recommended changes were made).

The email “scandal”? Use of private email accounts was not unique to Hillary Clinton. Previous secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell both used private email accounts to receive what was deemed to be confidential information. Hillary has accepted responsibility for the decision to use a private server. The question of veracity comes down to three emails. According to the New York Times, FBI Director James Comey said that three emails included “portion marking,” in which certain paragraphs of a document are marked with notations indicating that the material is classified. The State Department argued that those markings were, in fact, included by mistake. After a thorough investigation by the FBI, Director Comey recommended in no uncertain terms that no further action should to be taken.

The author then goes back decades to bring up Whitewater, which was related to real estate and loan transactions that occurred in the late 1970s. He doesn’t bother to mention that after thorough investigations by special federal prosecutor Kenneth Starr, the Clintons were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Guilty of occasional bad judgment over the past 35 years? She’s human, just like the rest of us. But unlike the rest of us, for most of that time she dedicated herself to public service, and has done so at the highest levels, and has never shied away from the ongoing scrutiny and criticism that goes with it. And I would put her integrity and judgment up against Donald Trump’s, and a host of others, any day of the week.

But let’s talk facts and data. A chart comparing the truthfulness of key statements made by all the presidential candidates for the past 10 years was assembled using the six-point “truth” scale from the well-respected fact-checking site, PolitiFact. Of the 20 candidates whose statements were tracked, the two most truthful were President Obama and Secretary Clinton. The least? Donald Trump.

And no, Hillary Clinton is not trying to repeal the Second Amendment or take away your guns. She was very clear about that during her acceptance speech: “I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.” Statistics show that the majority of Americans (55 percent, Gallup 2016), including gun owners and those in the NRA, agree with the need for more strict laws governing the sale of firearms.

The Clinton/Kaine stance on guns: Keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals and the severely mentally ill by supporting laws that stop domestic abusers from buying and owning guns, making it a federal crime for someone to intentionally buy a gun for a person prohibited from owning one, and closing the loopholes that allow people suffering from severe mental illness to purchase and own guns. She will also support work to keep military-style weapons off our streets.

Yes, Trump is concerned with our military, and believes he knows more about ISIS than our generals and tells us he gets his military intel from Sunday morning talk shows. That should scare everyone, and is an insult to anyone in the military or State Department, not to mention those at the highest levels, such as current and former secretaries of state.

Yes, we need to address our drug problem, and interdiction is a key part of that. But understanding and addressing the demand for illicit drugs is critical to solving the issue at its core. And a key component of that is education — just not the type offered at Trump University.

Yes, managing immigration and undocumented aliens is certainly a priority. Right now, the U.S. has some of the toughest vetting standards of any country (a two-year process). Donald Trump wants to deport 11 million undocumented aliens (and their families). Not only doesn’t this address the core issues, but Trump’s form of xenophobia makes a mockery of our legacy as an immigrant nation — which is a key part of our this country’s DNA, and much of what makes us already a great nation. Instead, he wants to build a wall which doesn’t address the core issues, and in the process throw a veil over the Statue of Liberty. Hillary wants to honor our national legacy and build bridges that will unite us, not walls that will divide us.

Brian Jaffe

Powell

YOUR VIEW

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU