Hillary Clinton has had a long, troubled history with emails. First came the private email server, a scandal that has scarcely been forgotten by Republicans since it first came to light.
Depending on who you ask, this was either an old woman not understanding technology or an act of utter criminality. What followed was a seemingly endless investigation that culminated in FBI director James Comey chastising Clinton but advising that she not be prosecuted (he’s investigating her some more now, but that’s neither here nor there).
Hillary may have been out of the woods if not for Julian Assange, hacker and founder of WikiLeaks. John Podesta, the campaign manager for Clinton, was hacked, and the behind-the-scenes goings-on of the campaign where brought out into the open.
According to a BBC article titled, “18 Revelations from Wikileaks’ hacked Clinton emails,” the hack revealed everything from campaign infighting to talk of “covert” activity in Syria.
In these emails, there is evidence of favoritism toward Clinton during the primaries. There is the cynical flip flop on her support for the Keystone XL pipeline. There are instances of suspicious fundraising activity for Hillary and her husband.
While the usual suspects are calling for Clinton’s head, there really is a lot of relevant material to unpack here that could reasonably be called embarrassing or even scandalous.
At the risk of blowing everyone’s mind, I’d like to say that politicians do not always believe what they say and do. Do you think that Clinton could have made it this far being honest? What about Trump?
The hack is suspected of coming from Russia. On Oct. 7, a statement was released by James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, stating that our country’s intelligence community “is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent (hack).”
The idea is that Julian Assange is collaborating with Russia to undermine Clinton’s campaign.
This raises a few issues. Will this be the new normal, where foreign interests help decide the outcome of our elections?
Today it’s Clinton. Tomorrow it could be representatives, senators, governors and even mayors. I understand that we can’t ignore a negative revelation about a politician just because it came from Russia. But then again, we are in a way rewarding them for interfering every time we make a big deal of a hack. I don’t think we should so easily devalue privacy; it’s messing with a Pandora’s box of sorts.
As for Clinton’s supporters, this is not going to change anyone’s mind. At the time of this writing, RealClearPolitics has Clinton only needing 18 tossup electoral votes to win (Trump needs 144).
The Clinton campaign has been plagued by issues like this for a rather long time now, and it seems like all the damage that could be done already has been. The popular sentiment among Democrats was summed up nicely when Bernie Sanders declared months ago that people were “sick and tired of hearing about (Hillary’s) damn emails!”
At this point in the election, people just want it to be over; they want to go and cast their votes and be done with the whole thing.
I expect more hacking in the future. The digital world cannot exist independently of the political world, and we are witnessing the collision of both.