An interesting editorial over at The American Interest observes a mostly overlooked angle on the narrow focus on former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's "carelessness" about emails that relate to national security.
The focus on carelessness obscures the question of why Clinton went to all the trouble to set up a private email system. In concentrating on her carelessness, we also miss the sea change that has taken place in our political system and the network of elites who constitute a new ruling class:
The Clinton Machine’s variety of “honest graft” conducted through elite social networks doesn’t exactly conjure up voters’ highest ideals or bring out the best of American democracy. Clinton is the second most unpopular major party nominee in recent history for a reason.
Machine-style politics is often ugly, but the fault for this goes deeper than the Clintons. At a time when party organizations are weaker than ever before—the Democratic establishment did not have a single candidate who could compete with Clinton in the primaries, and the Republican establishment simply collapsed before Trump like a house of cards—our political system increasingly rewards candidates who have access to independent networks of fundraising power and celebrity influence.
In both parties, “bosses” have lost the ability to structure politics. On the Democratic side, the unsavory Clinton operation stepped in to fill the void.
The Clinton scandal, and the damage it will inflict on the public trust whether or not she makes it to the White House, is about more than careless email management, or the questionable judgment of one individual. It is about how our political institutions are structured, and how they will be structured going forward. And the verdict is not hopeful on either of those fronts.