Hillary Clinton and the erosion of legitimacy

On 12 July 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to explain the legal reasoning behind the decision not to hold Hillary Clinton responsible for her mishandling of classified information.  Thus, neither the director of the FBI nor the attorney general would explain this decision.

Does this mean that Hillary Clinton is above the law?  Does the political elite enjoy special privileges? 

You cannot have order and satisfaction in a country without consensus on what is legal and what is right.  Moreover, legality is more than laws; it also includes the legal procedures to enforce rules, regulations, and laws.

Legality matters.  But ethics, justice, morality, social norms, customs, and traditions also matter, for they determine what the people consider right.  Legitimacy exists when people believe there are both legality and right.

America is unique in that the people are the sovereign.  This means there is bottom-up authority, not top-down rule.  America was founded on an unwritten social contract that requires laws to be applied equally to all citizens.  Of course, no legal system is perfect, and there are mistakes and miscarriages of justice, but right, morality, and ethics of the social contract require that those errors be corrected and there be no cover-up. 

People want their legal system to be respected.  But if the people are the sovereign, there should be as few rules, regulations, and laws as possible and as much decentralization of power as possible.  This was the vision that America’s Founders established in America's social contract.

It appears that this is no longer the case in the USA as a result of the erosion of doing the harder right rather than the easier, self-serving wrong.  While legality still exists, it appears that legitimacy is now in doubt, since many Americans think the social contract is being violated.

This acceptance of situational ethics appears to be what is behind the special treatment for Hillary Clinton.  It erodes the legitimacy of the government of the United States.  Or in words the Chinese might use, it endangers the Mandate of Heaven.

The current election shows that the people are unhappy with the political elite.  And they know that double standards are wrong.  But are today's Americans ready to rise up and do what is necessary to prevent servitude?  Do Americans still consider themselves free citizens who are the sovereign?  Or do they consider themselves subjects of an all-powerful government that determines social justice through rules, regulations, and laws?  Are the people now willing for the political elite to have special privileges?  Or are they as strong, as God-fearing, and as courageous as the Americans of the 18th century?

Sam C Holliday, Armiger Cromwell Center, LLC.

On 12 July 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to explain the legal reasoning behind the decision not to hold Hillary Clinton responsible for her mishandling of classified information.  Thus, neither the director of the FBI nor the attorney general would explain this decision.

Does this mean that Hillary Clinton is above the law?  Does the political elite enjoy special privileges? 

You cannot have order and satisfaction in a country without consensus on what is legal and what is right.  Moreover, legality is more than laws; it also includes the legal procedures to enforce rules, regulations, and laws.

Legality matters.  But ethics, justice, morality, social norms, customs, and traditions also matter, for they determine what the people consider right.  Legitimacy exists when people believe there are both legality and right.

America is unique in that the people are the sovereign.  This means there is bottom-up authority, not top-down rule.  America was founded on an unwritten social contract that requires laws to be applied equally to all citizens.  Of course, no legal system is perfect, and there are mistakes and miscarriages of justice, but right, morality, and ethics of the social contract require that those errors be corrected and there be no cover-up. 

People want their legal system to be respected.  But if the people are the sovereign, there should be as few rules, regulations, and laws as possible and as much decentralization of power as possible.  This was the vision that America’s Founders established in America's social contract.

It appears that this is no longer the case in the USA as a result of the erosion of doing the harder right rather than the easier, self-serving wrong.  While legality still exists, it appears that legitimacy is now in doubt, since many Americans think the social contract is being violated.

This acceptance of situational ethics appears to be what is behind the special treatment for Hillary Clinton.  It erodes the legitimacy of the government of the United States.  Or in words the Chinese might use, it endangers the Mandate of Heaven.

The current election shows that the people are unhappy with the political elite.  And they know that double standards are wrong.  But are today's Americans ready to rise up and do what is necessary to prevent servitude?  Do Americans still consider themselves free citizens who are the sovereign?  Or do they consider themselves subjects of an all-powerful government that determines social justice through rules, regulations, and laws?  Are the people now willing for the political elite to have special privileges?  Or are they as strong, as God-fearing, and as courageous as the Americans of the 18th century?

Sam C Holliday, Armiger Cromwell Center, LLC.