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Wikileaks: New Emails Confirm Old Notions of Clinton

Credit: Jim Bourg via AP

Hillary Clinton might be the modern day Willy Loman. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller depicts Willy's singular goal to make a name for himself in business. His myopic focus on being well liked and successful at his job causes a slow, tragic demise over the course of the play. He gave his all in business, and business failed to return on Willy's life investment.

"I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. 'Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?"

The death of a salesman sounds eerily similar to the life of a politician.

On Friday, thousands of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, were posted online. Included in these emails were what appears to be excerpts from transcripts of closed-door speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street companies after leaving the State Department. WikiLeaks posted more than 2,000 emails from Podesta and promised to release more from a trove of more than 50,000 the group said it has access to.

The emails appear to only confirm what many already believed about Clinton – that she says whatever that audience wants to hear. She oscillates her positions like a fan. Unfortunately, the Clinton fan often blows air that leaves many hot and frustrated.

In a 2013 speech, Clinton spoke to members of the National Multi-Housing Council on the "need for both a public and a private position" in politics. "I mean, politics is like sausage being made," she said. She went on to say, "It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position."

During a speech to Brazilian bankers, she spoke that "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future." The concept of open borders is a term often used to describe unrestrained immigration, something Hillary claim has claimed to oppose.

While none of these remarks disqualify her from the presidency, they do shine an unflattering light upon Clinton. However, she is not the first person to be subject to such light.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was often in the light, appearing to be contradictory. He was a source of frustration among those in his cabinet and those in the orb of the presidency. He both solicited opinions and received rants on a wide range of issues, all the while having the capacity to empathize with them. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously noted Roosevelt had a second-class intellect but a first-class temperament. That temperament allowed him to inspire those around him to give their best. It also included a masterfully capacity at being able to understand what people wanted to hear, but he did not go so far as to commit himself to their desired ends.

It appears as though the same cannot be said for Mrs. Clinton. She knows her audience but has left the audience not knowing who she is or the positions she holds.

The president is elected by the people to lead the people, not necessarily to reflect the people. If they are to reflect the will of the majority, it would make sense that they would change positions, seeing as how Americans often change their position on issues. But if the populace elects a president based upon their competency, repeatedly changing positions reveals an insecurity with their decision rooted in a desire to please people instead of leading them.

Changing positions in and of itself is not bad. The Scriptures speak highly of the person who remains teachable (Proverbs 9:9, 13:18). But such changes should be spurred by new information, not the desire to please a particular group of people. Because then, you are no longer a free leader, but an avid follower of a free people.

Hillary is running on her past record, but the private emails that contradict her public statements may be the reason why her unfavorably rating is unusually high and her trustworthiness is historically low.

Willy Loman worked hard for the company his entire life. But towards the end, his expectations of reward and accolade failed to come to fruition. Instead of rewarding him for his life's work, they diminished him, he felt. "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away—a man is not a piece of fruit. "

They didn't want the orange, and the American public is unsatisfied with this version of Clinton.

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