OPINION: Corruption in the 2016 presidential election

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Here we are, proud residents of the land of the free and the home of the brave. People from all cultures and stretches of the earth migrate to our beloved country for one reason: freedom. For centuries America has been regarded as the promised land, a beacon of free speech and democracy for those abused by their previous leaders. The pretty picture painted of America sounds too good to be true, and lately many, including myself, are beginning to think it is. A nation’s president is responsible for keeping the American Dream a reality, so let’s take a look at the current candidates for the 2016 presidential election.  

First, there’s Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has mysteriously swept details of national intelligence and millions of dollars from The Clinton Foundation under her large, tangled rug. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton failed immensely in handling foreign policy. Examples include ISIS now dominating Libya and her catastrophic attempt at resetting our relations with Russia. Hillary was also instrumental in the Obama administration’s massive cover up of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Furthermore, Clinton was caught emailing users through a private server that hadn’t received proper security clearance, later deleting these emails in order to avoid potential prosecution.

Clinton’s floundering foundation has also been notorious for controversial deals and donations. According to CharityWatch, a “minimally effective” organization spends around sixty percent of its donations on charitable grants. However, The Clinton Foundation has reportedly spent, at the most, 15 percent of its earnings on programs since 2009. So, where is all of the money going? In 2013, 45 percent was spent on salaries, luxuries, and travel for the foundation’s staff. While the allocations of The Clinton Foundation’s earnings are shameful, it’s nothing compared to the sources of the donations.  Major donors include notorious figures many of whom have all been convicted of crimes involving financial fraud, money laundering and even attempting to bribe politicians.  

On the Republican side we have billionaire, media mogul, GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Trump should write a book titled "The Trump Method: How To Win the Presidency with a Big Mouth and a Fat Wallet", because not only is he funding his entire campaign, he has little to no formal knowledge involving politics, yelling “We must build a wall!” every chance he gets. Jeb Bush, another current presidential candidate has commented on this idea as well, saying that Trump’s views on immigration are “way out of the mainstream of what Republicans think.” Along with his little political knowledge, Trump is lacking in diplomatic skills, constantly being referred to by American citizens as misogynistic and racist.

Trump is a great example of how the extremely rich influence politics through financial means, only Trump took it a step further, essentially attempting to buy the presidency. Aside from his controversial image and financial corruption, Trump also has shaky political ideologies. Switching from one party to another, Trump is an unreliable Republican. Most of his political contributions have gone to Democrats within the last ten years, including Hillary Clinton in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. His various contributions bring me to my last point about Trump: Is his campaign for presidency just a ruse to ensure the election of his great friend Hillary Clinton? While this is merely a theory, it’s a bit unsettling that these accusations are possible.

From shady financial deals and foreign policy cover-ups to shaky political ideals, the current presidential front-runners are exhibiting the political corruption many fear. So, while you sit back and watch our beloved country continue to be controlled by crooks and thieves, remember that no one, not even the president, is above the law.

 

-Miller is a first-year intended political science major from Avon, Indiana