Okay, so Hillary Clinton won’t be charged with a crime, won’t be put on trial, and certainly won’t be starring in a reality show version of "Orange is the New Black." And plenty of legal analysts say based on their assessment of the evidence against the former Sec of State, the FBI’s decision not to prosecute was correct.
But make no mistake: When it came to doing the public’s business from a private email server in her house, her professional conduct was found overwhelmingly, undeniably and egregiously wrong – not by some vast right wing conspiracy – but by the Democratic administration she served. The facts say as a member of President Obama’s cabinet she broke with standard operating procedures, was careless with national security, and then deceptive about it.
I realize seeing this in print or online will infuriate many Democrats who will no doubt jump onto Twitter to excoriate me. Two things: Please be specific – which lake? And leave room for some of the Trump followers because they hate me too for pointing out his many falsehoods.
I don’t care. Whether you like a candidate, intend to vote for him or her – of even if you think he or she is sometimes unfairly attacked – you need to face up to a painful truth. Both major contenders in this election are playing fast and loose with the truth.
Of course some are going to shriek “False equivalency! My candidate lies, but not as often as that other snake!” On any given day you may be right. Congratulations. But to borrow a phrase from Clinton herself, “What difference at this point does it make?” The evidence and the polls say many voters face a dreadful choice this fall between two candidates they have good reasons to mistrust.
This does not mean picking one is futile. Who knows? When all is said and done perhaps we’ll wind up with the greatest president of modern times. But we will have to find some way to measure that, because when either candidate asks us to take his or her word, we now know for sure we can’t.
CNN’s Tom Foreman is a troublemaker and the author of My Year of Running Dangerously