For much of this election year, WikiLeaks has been releasing hacked data from some part of the Democratic establishment, most recently those of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
As the thousands of emails have trickled through WikiLeaks into the public domain in daily batches, showing various people within the Clinton campaign addressing a plethora of issues, there has risen a clear pattern. While many have tried to make hay of the emails calling them at times shocking and seemingly always full of scandal, what has emerged is that the shocking and scandalous fact that they have revealed is that the Democratic presidential nominee is a politician running a political campaign — and an organized one at that.
The leaked emails show a campaign that is working hard to be aware of all issues, all landmines, and all actors, and working hard at deliberating at how to navigate and message.
Many continuously point to the emails from various news outlets prior to them publishing on a subject related to the campaign or the candidate and claim that it represents the media’s collusion with Clinton, completely ignoring not only the fact that it is a primary tenet of responsible journalism to contact the subject of their reporting, but also that Donald Trump, himself, has been contacted each time there has been a story relating to him, and most famously, his angry tirades when it has been a bad story.
In the single-minded pursuit of using any information in order to demonize Clinton, what has been lost is the absolute competence and sanity of her campaign. For example, a big issue raised by her critics has been her statement regarding having a “public and private position” on issues. Those who criticize the former Secretary of State over that issue fail to realize that virtually everyone, in all walks of life, has exactly that.
And they also ignore that the Republican nominee has been open about having a private and public position, most noticeably in his claims about how he plans to negotiate, or the fact that he will not reveal his plans on how to defeat ISIS. In fact, it would be political malpractice not to have a private and a public position.
Beyond that, it is important to look at what Clinton actually said in her 2013 speech:
“Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching … all of the backroom discussions and the deals … then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position. And finally, I think–I believe in evidence-based decision making. I want to know what the facts are.”
This is just a very innocuous truth about democracy and politics — something that cannot reasonably be disputed by anyone on either side of the aisle.
Then there are emails that show a very deliberative, careful, and intelligent approach to politics and running a political campaign. Critics have made much of the banter about Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The indisputable truth is that Clinton has been much more of a centrist than either senator. One of them was her fierce opponent in the Democratic primaries fighting her right up until the Democratic Convention, in the process leveling a variety of accusations and claims against her.
That there was substantive discussion in the Clinton campaign — which publicly took very few, if any, shots at Sanders or Warren — about how to handle a political opponent should not only come as no surprise to anyone reading the emails, it should be expected. Clinton has had notable differences with Sanders and Warren, and still does, though through the primary process and in forming the Democratic platform, they have largely come to a compromise position where now, Clinton is running on the most progressive Democratic platform ever — and that’s according to Sanders, himself.
And if anyone was expecting that both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will not be battling Clinton from the left if and when she becomes president, they are simply delusional. The pair will be loud voices with whom Clinton will have to negotiate in moving the country forward.
It is without question that many will find Clinton’s attempt to find common ground with Wall Street offensive — and it should be, especially to those on the left. But the truth is that Wall Street and its bankers are part of the political sphere. And setting aside whatever common ground she has attempted with them, Clinton has been warning bankers about the public’s belief that they are bad actors and have caused a plethora of damage to consumers.
Many who have endorsed Clinton have been vocal about the fact that she has the unusual ability to reach across the aisle, and to get consensus. While that may not sit well to those who are sitting on each end of the political spectrum, it should sit well with the American public who can at least be assured that wherever they are on that spectrum, there is someone in office who will at least listen. Regardless, Clinton’s ability and attempts at reaching consensus are far from some sinister ploy — they are just her politics.
The overarching issue with WikiLeaks’ conduct is that they prove that Julian Assange and his anti-secrecy organization have clearly lost their way and if anything, are worse than the entities which they seek to expose.
Specifically, setting aside from the fact the obvious bias of targeting the Democratic party, Assange has obviously decided to time releases of information and even then, only the information that he chooses to release. At least with the U.S. government, there are rules, regulations, and members of various schools of thought to protect against unwarranted secrecy. Citizens can file suit and actually drag the government into court to address secrecy.
With WikiLeaks, everyone is left with the slanted views of some individual holed up in some embassy across the world with no rhyme or reason as to what is being released and why.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant