A Brief History
On October 10, 2015, we ran an article called “9 Sensational, Sorry, Stupid and Sordid Political Scandals” in which we told you about some of the worst such scandals in history. Although many countries have experienced ridiculous political scandals, including murders, thefts, and Bunga-Bunga parties, we only listed one scandal that was not from the US. Well, today we again concentrate on the sorry state of American politics and discuss the scandal driven 2016 US Presidential election.
Turns out due to hackers leaking information, we have learned that the Democratic National Committee conspired against Bernie Sanders getting the nomination in favor of Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Hillary is beset by her own email scandal from when she was Secretary of State, using a private email and server instead of the provided government account and server, causing many to believe she had things to hide. Additionally, it seems at least some of those emails contained classified information contrary to US secrecy law (although no proven loss of secret information has been alleged) and her failure to provide something like 30,000 emails she claims were “private” has tainted her candidacy and credibility.
If Hillary did not have enough problems with emails and the crooked way the DNC ran the nominating process, she has also been rocked by allegations that foreigners and others had to make donations to the Clinton Foundation in order to gain access to an audience with Secretary Clinton, what has been termed “Pay to play.” Then, for good measure, more hacked and leaked information (quite possibly by Russian operatives) was made public in which she casually dismissed her middle class roots and stroked the egos of Wall Street financiers, contrary to her populist public persona.
Stick a fork in this guy, he is done. Incredibly, as of October 9th when this article is written, he still has the support of most of his followers, just not the ones with power or money. There is a quite realistic chance the Republican National Committee will kick him off the ticket, perhaps depending on how tonight’s (October 9) Town Hall style debate goes. Plus, his credibility as a successful businessman was rocked by the revelation that he lost nearly a billion dollars in one year (1995), perhaps allowing him to avoid paying income taxes for over a decade.
Although not really a factor in the presidential race, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, former Republican governor of New Mexico made his own blunders that might not amount to a scandal, unless you consider nominating a moron a scandal. John proved his lack of necessary knowledge to be a viable presidential candidate when he showed he had no idea where or what Aleppo is. (We forgive you if you do not know, because your are not running for president.) Aleppo happens to be the biggest city in war torn Syria, and is the epicenter of the refugee crisis bedeviling European and American politics, and threatening to draw the Russians and Americans into direct conflict. If this gaff was not bad enough, Johnson had another “Aleppo moment” (his term!) when he could not name the leader of any country in the world!
Question for students (and subscribers): What would be an example of an excusable versus an inexcusable political gaff? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Farquhar, Michael. A Treasury of Great American Scandals: Tantalizing True Tales of Historic Misbehavior by the Founding Fathers and Others Who Let Freedom Swing. Penguin Books, 2003.
McHugh, Erin. Political Suicide. Pegasus Books, 2016.
Thompson, John B. Political Scandal: Power and Visability in the Media Age. Polity, 2000.