Roger Barbee: Private emails another bad decision for Clinton

Roger Barbee

Roger Barbee

When I became a teacher for Shenandoah County, I was given, like all county employees, an email account for professional use, and if I chose, personal use. I had a computer in my classroom to use, and I had access to well-trained IT personnel to help me if a problem developed with my account(s). I did not have to worry about breaches of the account because the IT department took good care of that. No smut invaded the account either.  All I had to do was decide what log-in name and password I would use. Now, I offer you that that is convenient — and free. I never paid for any of the above services. And, as far as I know, the personal email use that I made with the county system violated no rules or regulations.

As I watched Hillary Clinton’s press conference at the United Nations when she explained her actions concerning her establishment and use of a personal email account while secretary of state, I was reminded of Nick’s words in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” to describe Tom and Daisy Buchanan, the wealthy couple. After causing chaos and trouble for other people, Nick tells us how Tom and Daisy “retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together … .” That is where Mrs. Clinton retreated to when she expected us to believe that everything she had done concerning the email account was for “convenience.”

What could be more convenient than an account established and maintained by the United States Government? Mrs. Clinton would have had no concerns for the safety of the account, no expense (remember she was broke when she and her husband left the White House), and, I would hope, well-trained IT professionals she could call on if and when a problem developed. She could have even, I am told, established a private email account. In my book, that is convenience.

Once again, in the long history that we have had with the Clintons, some carelessness has to be explained. Once again, the dark edges of what is legal or moral have to be explained. As I watched Mrs. Clinton’s nine-minute performance at the United Nations, I questioned her decision making if, in fact, she was concerned about convenience, as she expects us to believe. Once again I watched her being defensive because she had made another dubious decision.

I see her motive as one of control, not convenience. Mrs. Clinton would have us believe that she was only wanting what we all want, things made easier. Gosh, that would make her like us. However, she and her husband are not like us because they create their own rules, do what they want or don’t want, then, like the Buchanans, retreat back into “their money, or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together … .”

Fitzgerald is correct that the rich [and powerful] are different from us. And, unfortunately their wealth and power creates opportunities for them that the average citizen doesn’t have access to. However, when someone like Mrs. Clinton is running for president of the United States and insults me with such a sad explanation such as she did last week, I wonder if she has the decision-making skills and integrity to lead our nation. After all, examine her record as first lady, senator, and secretary of state for accomplishments. Then examine the same record for her offering up one lame excuse after another for a decision she made.

She is well known for asking “what difference does it make now?” during a Senate hearing. I offer to her and us that the search for truth does make a difference.

Roger Barbee is a retired educator who lives in Edinburg with his wife Mary Ann, four dogs and five cats. Email him at

Comment Policy

Print This Article

Guest Columns