A couple of days before election day, Republican FBI director Corney announced Hillary Clinton had done nothing wrong. As plenty inside and outside the US had already predicted, the “new” mails had been duplicates, had nothing to do with Mrs Clinton, were totally irrelevant. Case closed – a second time –; damage done.
For people not living in the US, it really has become hard to believe this election is not rigged. Not as Donald Trump claims: against a Republican candidate. Quite the opposite, it seems.
Professor Bart Kerremans was just one of many political analysts who made a few interesting remarks. Like others, he pointed out problems at voting locations regarding opening and closing times. Monday 7th of November, he explained that the aim was, to make things difficult for minority and new voters. When the interviewer asked why, the professor added that these voters tend to vote in favour of the Democrats”.
Then there was the timing of the mail-stinker. The dropping of that bombshell was simply too sympathetic to the Republican candidate and too damaging to the Democratic one. You may accuse me of cynicism, but the first thing popping into my mind on hearing the FBI’s director’s imputations was: “So how much were you paid? What kickbacks were you offered?”
For from a Republican point of view, the timing was brilliant. Right on the dot to cause enough damage to an adversary’s campaign and tip wavering voters into the Republican bin. Here was the FBI, first exonerating a candidate, then sitting on a heap of mails for months, then dropping the stinker just a few days before election day, finally to “clear up” things just two days before election day. The case was closed when the adversary’s campaign was unable to undo the damage. The second exoneration even enabled the Republican’s candidate to continue whining “the system is corrupt”.
In the meantime, more proof continues to come to light supporting claims Russia continues to try to meddle with this US election. The Russians may deny they are recruiting IT talents and hackers; films showing at least one Russian military think-tank is actively recruiting such talents have surfaced. Wikileaks may not have published Trump’s tax info or info about his unsavoury dealings, they have published information pointing at links between Russian hackers, Russian intelligence agencies and companies the world over which produce spy software.
Brian Bennett of the LA Times is but one of many reporting on this: “… Russia’s attempts to interfere with Hillary Clinton’s campaign is not in doubt, according to US officials. It appears to be driven in part by a personal animus against the former secretary of State, officials say, as well as an effort to raise doubts about the validity of US democracy and leadership around the globe.”
Then there are the media. Last week, a few journalists admitted they handled things wrongly. They admitted the media gave Trump far more media access and attention than Hillary Clinton, because they “did not take him seriously”. So how close to clawing his way into the White House Trump gets, can not be blamed solely on the Republican party, its lack of putting forward serious candidates and its promotion and supporting of Trump and his so-called values. .
Then there are the voters themselves. Trump may be deemed “uniquely unqualified” to lead the US. Some may claim Trump is a candidate “even too stupid for Americans”. The fact remains, that according to polls some 40% of the votes are cast in his favour. Despite his raves, rants, insults, behaviour, there are a far too large number of US citizens who support it all.
If Hillary Clinton is voted in, one can only hope she will choose her team wisely. For to heal all the damage done and rifts created within the country, to steer clear of any further whiffs of scandals, to regain some respect for the US after this election circus … This will need a team of very special people.