October 16, 2016
You might wonder how Trump can dismiss accusations of political malfeasance with no repercussions, while Clinton has to spend half her life giving depositions to various oversight committees.
I think the answer is the obvious one: Donald Trump has never been vetted.
The vetting process, at the top government levels, is a level of investigation that private citizens never go through, for legal and logical reasons you can probably guess. It would be insane to hand the launch codes over to someone we aren’t completely sure has no skeletons in the closet that might conflict with the job of serving the United States and its citizens.
Hillary Clinton, who lived in the White House for eight years as the First Lady and later served in the Senate and as Secretary of State, has been under the government’s vetting process magnifying glass for decades.
Trump, who has never served in any government capacity, has never been under that magnifying glass.
The general public doesn’t hear about all the scandals, questionable transactions, potential conflicts of interest, and outright crimes Donald Trump may be involved in.
We occasionally get a whiff, usually because of Trump’s own angry tweets. We heard about the Trump University court case because he accused a Hispanic judge of bias. We recently heard about an old Trump five-minute medical report, which was passed over by the media with little comment several months ago, because Trump accused Clinton of lying about her health.
Trump has twice divorced, been sued so many times the actual number isn’t public knowledge, and gone through four bankruptcies. The media reports on these things when they happen, but the short attention span public quickly moves on to the next angry tweet.
Angry tweets are fast food to the media, quick hitters that take little or no effort and sell the most papers (ok, generate the most web traffic these days) while stories about bankruptcies, bribes, lawsuits and divorces are tedious and take time and money to build. By the time one of these thoroughly investigated, painstakingly put-together stories are ready, the public has lost interest. Only a select few news organizations – fewer every year – have the wherewithal to build these types of stories and get them in front of the mainstream public.
The vetting process, on the other hand, is built to cover these “stories” thoroughly and (hopefully) dispassionately and without bias. I am sure there are any number of investigative agencies working on Trump’s vetting as we speak, but the process takes time and Trump, who is still technically a private citizen because he has never been a public official, can stonewall parts of the process that a public official cannot. For instance, he can dismiss a 25,000 dollar possible bribe while Clinton might have to appear in front of an oversight committee because of a free meal.
Clinton, because she was the First Lady for eight years, a public official for another twelve and a presidential candidate in two election cycles, has quite possibly been as thoroughly vetted as any candidate in American history.
Because Trump has never held public office, he has not.