On July 5th, F.B.I. Director James Comey announced that the bureau would not recommend criminal charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information during her time as President Obama’s secretary of state. However, he also castigated Mrs. Clinton for her “extremely careless” treatment of our nation’s secrets and, at a later congressional hearing, said that her early statements on the matter were “not true.”

But last week, in an interview on Fox News Sunday, Mrs. Clinton recalled Mr. Comey’s words rather differently. “Director Comey said that my answers were truthful,” she said, “and [that] what I’ve said is consistent with what I’ve told the American people.”

This statement is plainly false. So false, in fact, that it earned “Four Pinocchios”—a rating reserved for “whoppers”—from fact checkers at The Washington Post. But no matter: Mrs. Clinton and her various campaign surrogates continue to peddle this fiction at every turn in the apparent hope that doing so will make her misconduct disappear. In the meantime, the incredulity of those paying even the slightest attention has grown to astonishing proportions. As one television host put it, “it’s like they don’t think we have video tape.”

Mrs. Clinton’s willingness to lie with impunity—even as she faces one of the weakest general election candidates ever fielded by either party—is disturbing. Her first instinct at the onset of this email debacle should have been to take responsibility for her actions, laying out the full truth for the American people. Not only would this course of action have been the right and honest one to take, it would have been politically prudent. Mrs. Clinton could have defused this controversy at the outset and moved on, simply by being forthright.

But instead, she has deceived the American people over and over again, hiding behind complex, legalistic non-explanations of her private email server designed to thoroughly confuse those trying to make sense of her unacceptable conduct. What makes it so hard for Mrs. Clinton to tell the truth, even when the political cost of doing so would be negligible?

There are only two possible answers. Either Hillary Clinton is unable to bring herself to acknowledge publicly that she willfully mishandled classified information, or she knows that there is much more to the email story—the revelation of which would compromise her candidacy. In either case, Mrs. Clinton cannot earn my vote.

Donald Trump is odious. His irresponsible rhetoric, unconstitutional policy proposals, and his inability to handle criticism like an adult are all part of the reason why I will not cast my ballot for him this November. But just as Mr. Trump cannot help himself when he lashes out at the parents of a slain Muslim Army captain, Mrs. Clinton cannot suppress her compulsion to lie, even when doing so can only tarnish further her extensive career in public service.

That Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump are each unfit for the presidency is the main reason why both candidates have appealed to fear rather than pressing a positive case for their own selection. But I reject this notion that I must choose a liar over a blowhard, or vice versa, because one might be “worse” than the other. My vote is an affirmative endorsement of the person for whom it is cast; it must be earned.

It is for this reason that when I submit my ballot this November, I will vote for neither major party candidate. Instead, I will vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Though I do not agree with Mr. Johnson on many central issues, both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump fail to meet even the minimum standards of honesty and decency which we have come to demand from our public servants.

I’m sick and tired of the lies, gamesmanship, and crudity in politics. I can’t vote for a vulgarian, but neither can I cast my ballot for the dishonesty and dysfunction which Hillary Clinton represents.

Categories: Opinion
  • thoughtfulpoliticaldiscourse

    Wonderfully stated. Thinking voters should agree.

  • Richard Bensinger

    Hillary’s unprotected emails are largely her private messaging with her husband. This is why she was not found criminally liable. Trump is a consistent liar (at a 93% level of lies by the St. Petersburg press survey of political discourse v. 29% for Hillary (average for all politicians is in fact 29%). There are no squeaky clean politicians out there (Sanders rates 34%). Check out your own Congressman or Congresswoman at the same site. A vote for Johnson is in fact a vote for Trump. Hillary has some issues; Trump is all issues and it is very frightening to imagine him in the Oval Office. Votes do count and we need a rational head as President.

    • Ian M.

      Doesn’t matter if the unprotected emails were “largely” just messages with her husband. Classified information went through that server. Period. It happened.
      You can talk about having a “rational head” as president, but Clinton is morally questionable at best, and I think its very reasonable to not want someone like that as the leader of the free world. Johnson is a very legitimate alternative. Voting for him will speed the inevitable death of the GOP and the rise of the Libertarian Party, a group with a much more sensible ideology.

  • Interested in the Truth

    I’m not nearly as tired of Clinton lying as I am about being lying about her supposedly being a liar. You seem to like referencing fact-checkers. Well, according to fact-checkers, she’s the most honest candidate, with Bernie as a close second. If you changed how you defined honesty (since it’s kind of hard to put a number on it), you could probably make Bernie out to be more honest, but there’s no way you could get any other candidate. So for God’s sake already, stop assuming she is lying when most of the time that’s just not true.

  • Roshan ara pandit

    I am democratic in my life but this time I am voting for Mr Trump. Thats my pledge. U are untrusty corrupt and dishonest person. U can say anything to get vote to manipulate the votes mind not mine no way.

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