Who benefits if we elect President Trump?

Sexual harassment, WikiLeaks, emails: There will be more mud in a campaign already mired in it. But the race isn't about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Look in the mirror instead.

Hillary Clinton - Donald Trump by Donkey Hotey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/)
Hillary Clinton - Donald Trump by Donkey Hotey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., October 14, 2016 — The latest sweep of accusations—Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails and Donald Trump’s womanizing—has hit the presidential campaign like a storm. The rivers are rising, and the stakes could not be higher.

“Cui bono” means “for whose benefit.” It’s a Latin phrase still used as a key forensic question in legal and police investigations. The answer tells us who has a motive for a crime. The phrase is used either to suggest a hidden motive or to indicate that the party responsible for something may not be who it appears at first to be.

The person or people guilty of committing a crime are usually found among those who have something to gain, usually with an eye toward financial gain. If that party isn’t obvious, that may be because the gain isn’t obvious, or because attention has been diverted to a scapegoat.

Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump: America’s hard choice

With three weeks left before election day, perhaps the claims of each side are dastardly enough to cancel the other side out. If we take gossip, innuendo and flat-out lies off the table, what are we left with?

  • Tremendous cynicism;
  • Disgust;
  • Voter disengagement from the troubling, often disappointing job of citizenship.

Voters on both sides may choose to sit this one out in large numbers, their hopes for finding their perfect leader, the one who’ll never let them down dashed.

That is a defeatist course. Instead of turning away, we can be hard-eyed and clinical as we look beyond the news to “Cui bono?” The election is, after all, about us. It’s still our country, ample recent evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. It is we who will benefit—or not—by this landmark presidential election.

With stiffened backs and discarded, rose-colored glasses, we might do well to turn back to the issues. What will each candidate do for us? How will their policies benefit America? How will our children and our grandchildren fare from four years of a Clinton or a Trump?

We have to decide, not just sit this one out. Opposition political research will always come up with something regrettable about a candidate. Think back over your own life. Surely, given a certain number of years, there’s something there an enterprising sleuth might drag up. Mother Teresa herself probably would be hard-pressed to survive Op-research.

Three weeks out, the American people must put aside the slings and arrows and look instead to the plans and promises made by both candidates. We must hold our noses and vote our own interest. This election is NOT about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but about what they will do in the White House.

Voting for a fringe candidate or writing in your cat’s name will do nothing for anyone going forward. In the final analysis, this election is all about us. So ask where you want this country to go and who is more likely to take it there, and then choose.

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