Fathom Mag

Hillary the Mystery

More than her loose morals, Hillary Clinton remains a mystery to many voters.

Published on:
November 3, 2016
Read time:
4 min.
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There’s a scene in the movie Cool Runnings where one of the Jamaican bobsledders, trying to pump himself up, looks in a mirror and shouts, “I see pride. I see power. I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody.”

A week ago I watched an interview of Hillary Clinton in 1992. Besides the change in her accent—which had a slight southern twang—and the blades coming out of her eyes—she was even more intense back then than she is now—and I saw pride. I saw power. I saw a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody. In the years following that interview she certainly has lived that out.

Hillary the Corrupt?

The first word anyone associates with Secretary Clinton is the word corrupt. Before I even knew she was running for office this year I knew people said she was corrupt. Every politician said it, every newspaper printed it, every American had her corruption implanted in their subconscious. But if asked why she was corrupt, or what she did that made her such a corrupt woman, no one could say anything substantive: their answer was barely beyond the typical sound bites making the rounds.

So, I figured I would do some research. I would figure out if Secretary Clinton really was as bad as people say. I mean, with the increased sexual assault, scare-rhetoric, and plain idiocy of Donald Trump, she seemed like the only legitimate presidential candidate for me. But I didn’t want to cast my vote based mostly off of fear of the opposite party. Call me naïve, but I wanted to cast my vote because I believed in someone.

After about a week of research I was more confused about everything than I ever have been. I read articles about the Clinton Foundation, about Benghazi, about how she is a pathological liar, how she destroyed massive amounts of evidence, and how she gave criminal pardons to hundreds of people. Then I read articles refuting everything in those articles. Then I read articles refuting the articles that were refuting the original articles. And this cycle went on into the black hole that is the internet.

Hillary the Enigma

While I won’t be voting for Trump in this election, I can understand his appeal to many voters: what you see is what you get. Many people just want an honest person who they can trust. And even if that person is honestly an idiot, people just need to be able to trust that he’s an idiot.

A look at the polls
A project by FiveThirtyEight

The reason I think this election is going the way it is, and the reason I think Hillary is not running away with it quicker than she should, is because Americans just want someone they can trust. They’ve dealt with politicians they can’t understand for too long. So when someone comes along and truly is most of the things that he says he is or boasts about, it’s refreshing. Again, it doesn’t even matter if the person is evil. If they say they’re evil, we’re good. If an evil person says they’re good, that’s when the trouble comes in. 

With Hillary we aren’t getting something refreshing. We are getting an exaggerated form of what our government has produced over and over and over again. I didn’t really get to the bottom of whether everything said against Hillary is true or not, but I learned one thing: I can’t trust her.

If a political candidate has this much baggage around her name and has this much about her shrouded in mist, I’m curious why people so quickly adopt her. Is it me that is missing something, or are the people who support her naïve, or more tolerant and gracious of wrong than I am? Whatever it is, what I found was that I simply cannot trust her because of everything that comes close to her becomes surrounded in mystery.

This is really rather unfortunate because Hillary is someone that I want to trust. When I saw that interview of her in 1992, it gave me chills. She looked at the camera, the interviewer, anyone around her and her eyes pierced them to the point that I felt vulnerable just watching the interview. She looked like a mix between someone angry and someone driven. I suppose these two aren’t mutually exclusive. And I immediately felt like this was someone who could make a difference. She could cut through the crap in Washington and restore the government to honesty and directness. 

Hillary’s 2016 presidential logo

As I watched this interview I saw such a determination in this woman that I didn’t even care what she was fighting for—I was drawn in. I loved her. I would have voted for her in a heartbeat if I wasn’t a one-year-old at the time. (Supposedly a good amount of people voted for Bill Clinton in the ’93 election because of Hillary, because they thought she was such a strong woman.) I watched her and thought, “Wow. This is a woman I can get behind.”

Yet the mystery that she is set in today makes me too cautious to cast my vote in Hillary’s pond. Whereas Trump is evil on the inside and out, it feels like Clinton is evil on the inside and presents a perfect picture of herself on the outside. Trump wears the sexual assault, derogatory comments, and viciousness like he does his hair—poofed up and proud. Hillary seems to have a whole castle of secrets and scandals that she just won’t let Americans see. This scares me more than anything else, that with a Hillary Clinton presidency, we just don’t know what will happen.

Maybe I am being too cautious, maybe someone can tell me something that I missed in my research, maybe I am focusing too much on the negatives instead of the focusing on the positive things Hillary can do like supporting women and helping refugees, but something in me just lost all the trust in Hillary that I never realized I had in the first place. I want to be with her—I just don’t know if I can trust her when I go.

Editor’s note: The views represented here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Fathom. We will be featuring differing takes on the candidates in the coming days.

Jonathan Minnema
Jonathan is the video producer for Fathom Magazine. You can reach him at jon@fathommag.com and @jonminnema.

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