Hillary’s Dark Night of the Soul
December 19, 2015 § 4 Comments
Hillary Clinton, whether she realizes it or not, is faced with what St. John of the Cross, writing in the 16th Century, poetically called “the dark night of the soul”: A moral flexion point or experience when one must choose between good and bad, just and unjust, moral and immoral. F. Scott Fitzgerald, several centuries later, wrote, “In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning”.
The mystic poet couched this as an opportunity to seek a relationship with God. I am neither religious nor learned enough to analyze that level of his teaching. I have, however, spent significant parts of my life involved in the desperate and stressful combat of political campaigns. I understand how often those contests confront participants with moral choices. I bear the scars of many of them. Some I think of with satisfaction. Many I remember with regret and shame. “The guilt of human action” expressed in the quotation posted in the sidebar of this blog comforts me.
I think, in tonight’s debate, Hillary should distance herself from the unjust decision by the DNC to suspend Bernie Sanders’ campaign. It was a blatant overreach and Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s repeated TV appearances justifying it by slandering the Sanders campaign have been an outrageous attack completely inappropriate for the DNC chair.
This episode could have been handled quietly and swiftly by the DNC without attacking Bernie Sanders. The phony claptrap by DWS that she “admires Senator Sanders” while accusing him of stealing is nauseating.
Hillary has two choices: She can stand by while DWS wages an unjust attack on her rival for the nomination. That is the obvious one. “Don’t blame me. I’m not the one saying you are a thief. It’s your problem.” Or she can say, “I have some policy disagreements with Senator Sanders. I think I should become the nominee of the Democratic Party. But, I don’t believe it was fair or right for the DNC to suspend his campaign. He has assured me that his campaign did not retain any information about my campaign and I believe him. The firewall has been repaired. That should end it. Senator Sanders has been in public life for many years. He has a well earned reputation for courage and integrity. I intend to win this race, but I want to win it based on the issues that affect Americans, not because of unfounded efforts to attack Senator Sanders. That is the kind of politics characteristic of the GOP, as we have all seen during the past few weeks. It has no place in the Democratic Party.”
If she chooses the second alternative, she will erase the perception that she is a “anything to win” politician who can’t be trusted. It will be good politics because it is the right thing to do.