Sowing, Reaping, and Locking
One of the great rallying cries of the 2016 election was “Lock her up!” Hillary Clinton was never a very likable candidate, despite Barack Obama’s comment in 2008 that she was “likeable enough.” She wasn’t, really.
And she always just seemed corrupt. Partly it was because she was married to an obviously corrupt man. Bill Clinton (it just never seemed right to call him President Clinton) was a sleazy Arkansas politician, whom numerous women charged with rape. In the end—well, not the very end—he ended up paying a settlement of $850,000 to one of them, and had his license to practice law suspended for lying to a court.
Ponder that for a moment: a former president of the United Sates had his law license suspended because he committed perjury. If you asked a bunch of school children which president it was (and if it wasn’t an open book quiz), they’d probably say Donald Trump. Nope. Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary Clinton.
Some people are just naturally funny. Bob Hope. Johnny Carson. Alec Guinness. Their humor is infectious. It just—spreads.
Some people are just naturally crooked and dishonest. Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton. W. Jefferson Clinton. Hillary Rodham. They are so . . . naturally crooked, we are tempted to say they can’t help it. Balls of fire!
Hillary Clinton’s scandals are too numerous to describe, but the important scandal is this one: while she was secretary of state during the Obama administration, she kept a private email account so her emails wouldn’t be read by people who might reveal to the world what she was doing. Three weeks after her emails were subpoenaed, 31,830 of them were wiped clean from her server.
People are supposed to go to jail for doing things like that. People have gone to jail for things like that. Why not Hillary?
Part of the answer is unknown. But part of it is that there was—is—a general sense (whatever that means) that winners of elections don’t prosecute losers. They only do that in, you know, “banana republics.”
But in banana republics they’re all more likely to be corrupt—winners as well as losers. That is not the American tradition. Or hasn’t been until now.
Hillary’s handling of her emails was clearly corrupt, or clearly corrupt enough to have justified making her defend herself in a court of law. But the Trump administration decided not to prosecute her.
Fast forward to today. The Hunter Biden laptop story clearly indicates that Biden may be far more corrupt than Hillary was. If Clinton had been prosecuted, and if Biden is corrupt, it is less likely that he would have decided to run for president: why take the risk of exposure of his financial dealings with China when he was vice president? Biden says things like, “I never took a dime from the Chinese.” Your fifth grade son would ask if he ever took a nickel or a quarter from them. Your law school daughter would ask if he ever received any money indirectly from the Chinese, i.e., perhaps via Hunter Biden.
If Biden gets elected, he may be one of the most corrupt people ever to assume the office. That could be a disaster for the United States, and for some of our allies as well—particularly, perhaps, Taiwan.
And—and this is important—what are the odds that no one else in the Democratic Party knew of Biden’s dealing with the Chinese? All the more reason to investigate. Donald Trump will bear some of the responsibility for the disaster of a Biden win. He didn’t direct that Hillary be prosecuted. But he can learn from experience. If he wins, he should direct the Department of Justice to investigate Biden and prosecute him if they find crimes.
And he probably needs an out-of-town specialist to run the investigation, which should include investigating the top people at the FBI—who have been sitting on the Hunter Biden laptop for almost a year. Probably the top 100 people at the FBI should be fired. It’s unlikely that there could be so much corruption at the tippy top without its oozing down to the next 100 or so employees.
“Lock her up!” was the people’s cry in 2016. They were wiser than their leaders. We should learn from it. Actions, and inactions, have consequences. Like sowing and reaping.
Daniel Oliver is Chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute and a Director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review.