Speed Reads

speaking out

Hillary Clinton says Trump is undermining 'the national unity that makes democracy possible'

In the afterword for the paperback version of her book What Happened, Hillary Clinton writes that "our democracy is in crisis," and President Trump and "his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track."

With the paperback version out Tuesday, The Atlantic published an adaptation of the afterword on Sunday night. In it, Clinton argues that Trump's flurry of outrages "may be the point — to confound us, so it's harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy." Trump "promised to 'drain the swamp,'" she said, so "it's amazing how blithely the president and his Cabinet have piled up conflicts of interest, abuses of power, and blatant violations of ethics rules," not to mention attacks on truth itself.

Trump is also undermining "the national unity that makes democracy possible," Clinton writes, citing his comments about Mexican immigrants and NFL players who choose to kneel. Trump "doesn't even try to pretend he's a president for all Americans," she said, adding that nothing Trump says is "a mark of authenticity or a refreshing break from political correctness. Hate speech isn't 'telling it like it is.' It's just hate."

This is all a long time coming, Clinton said, as the "assault on our democracy didn't start with this election." It started with billionaires like the Koch brothers and Mercer family, "who spent a lot of time and money building an alternative reality where science is denied, lies masquerade as truth, and paranoia flourishes." To fight back, people must vote in the midterms, and "when the dust settles, we have to do some serious housecleaning." Congress passed reforms after Watergate, and "we're going to need a similar process" post-Trump, Clinton said. She suggests that all presidential candidates be required by law to release tax returns, and the process for elections be improved and protected. Read more at The Atlantic.