Can you be trusted to vote wisely?

Imagine that you are on your way to the voting booth, intending to vote for Candidate X.  Just as you are almost there, you hear the news:  the FBI has announced that candidate X is under investigation for (insert the worst crime you can think of).  Do you change your vote?

In 1992, just a few days before what might otherwise have been President George H.W. Bush's reelection, Iran contra prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh indicted Bush's secretary of defense, Casper Weinberger.  Whoops: Bush lost the election to candidate Bill Clinton.  How many Bush voters were deterred from voting for him?  How coincidental was the timing of that indictment?  We will never know.  Weinberger was later exonerated, but by then, it was too late – Bill Clinton was president.

Then, on October 28 of 2016, just a few days before the voting, Hillary Clinton was poised for election to the presidency.  Another whoopsy: FBI director James Comey announced that he was re-opening an investigation into Clinton's e-mail scandal.  After Clinton lost the election, she blamed, among many other reasons, Comey's announcement.

How many Clinton voters were deterred from voting for her?  How instrumental was the timing of that announcement?  We will never know.

Back to the original question: Do you change your vote?  How vulnerable are you to the news cycle?

In 1992, circumstances were quite different.  Federal investigators were much more highly regarded then than they are now.  It's a matter of trust.  If someone I deeply trusted advised me that there was compelling evidence that Candidate X was implicated in significant illegal deeds, then I would seriously consider my alternatives.  Should I vote for X, for Y, for third party Z, or not at all?

But today, my trust in the FBI and DoJ are severely shaken.  From the secret meeting on the tarmac, to blanket immunity for Clinton accomplices, to the destruction of subpoenaed evidence, and the overt political favoritism that went far beyond mere bias, my opinion is that the highest officials in government should be the ones being indicted.

Government without the fully informed consent of the governed is a recipe for what happened in 1776.

Image: Bill Smith via Flickr.

Imagine that you are on your way to the voting booth, intending to vote for Candidate X.  Just as you are almost there, you hear the news:  the FBI has announced that candidate X is under investigation for (insert the worst crime you can think of).  Do you change your vote?

In 1992, just a few days before what might otherwise have been President George H.W. Bush's reelection, Iran contra prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh indicted Bush's secretary of defense, Casper Weinberger.  Whoops: Bush lost the election to candidate Bill Clinton.  How many Bush voters were deterred from voting for him?  How coincidental was the timing of that indictment?  We will never know.  Weinberger was later exonerated, but by then, it was too late – Bill Clinton was president.

Then, on October 28 of 2016, just a few days before the voting, Hillary Clinton was poised for election to the presidency.  Another whoopsy: FBI director James Comey announced that he was re-opening an investigation into Clinton's e-mail scandal.  After Clinton lost the election, she blamed, among many other reasons, Comey's announcement.

How many Clinton voters were deterred from voting for her?  How instrumental was the timing of that announcement?  We will never know.

Back to the original question: Do you change your vote?  How vulnerable are you to the news cycle?

In 1992, circumstances were quite different.  Federal investigators were much more highly regarded then than they are now.  It's a matter of trust.  If someone I deeply trusted advised me that there was compelling evidence that Candidate X was implicated in significant illegal deeds, then I would seriously consider my alternatives.  Should I vote for X, for Y, for third party Z, or not at all?

But today, my trust in the FBI and DoJ are severely shaken.  From the secret meeting on the tarmac, to blanket immunity for Clinton accomplices, to the destruction of subpoenaed evidence, and the overt political favoritism that went far beyond mere bias, my opinion is that the highest officials in government should be the ones being indicted.

Government without the fully informed consent of the governed is a recipe for what happened in 1776.

Image: Bill Smith via Flickr.