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.

Hillary’s Opportunity

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.


§ 4 Responses to Hillary’s Dark Night of the Soul

  • Jim Simons says:

    You are right Bob. I will be interested to see Hillary’s reaction but I feel somewhat detached. I am voting for Jill Stein of Green Party.


  • wisconsincurmudgeon says:

    You have stated Hillary’s situation quite succinctly. She should do as you said and endorse the integrity and honesty of Senator Sanders. She should then demand that access to the VAN system and data be made available to Sanders’ campaign immediately.

    If Hillary chooses the first option of standing by and doing nothing it may well cost her the election as she will then look like the power-hungry opportunist that she is often accused of being.

    She would likely lose the support of of most swing voters and many disillusioned Democrats.

    I and many of my politically involved friends have used the VAN as it goes back to at least 2006 – 2007 when Howard Dean had it developed as part of his Fifty State strategy. It is old and creaky software which should be replaced with a new cloud-based system which incorporates mobile technology.

    Also, DWS should have the decency to resign and tend to her re-election to the House.


  • Sid says:

    Bob, while I agree with your comments, I see Hillary as a deeply wounded soul, not a morally challenged one. I believe that had anyone been through the last 30 years that she has, beset by mindless wolves on all sides and at all turns, accused of everything from murder to theft time and again and then publicly betrayed and humiliated by her own husband… I think that anyone would be as protective as she is. As she said when she first went to Washington and the Vince Foster suicide became THE issue du jour, she remarked (not the first) that Washington politics was a blood sport. She has come to trust no one… and probably with good reason. She’s adopted the ‘fool me once…’ viewpoint, and has vowed never to trust again.

    Bernie has disarmed her twice now with his honest and sincerity, and she’s been unable to respond in kind… which I believe she is entirely capable of doing. It’s just that that door is pretty stuck from disuse.

    Just my humble opinion. I like them both and either will kill nationwide.


    • Bob Hall says:

      Sid, I agree fully with your comment. I think Hillary is truly trying to embrace the ideals she cherished when she began her political life. If she manages to accomplish it, she can be a truly remarkable president. The GOP’s complete disintegration offers her a rare opportunity to offer America an inspiring embrace of our ideals. Because of her past, that message would have added emotional impact.


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