The Biggest Difference Between Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin

In March, President Donald Trump came under fire after it was reported that he called recently “re-elected” Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his victory. According to the president’s critics, it was entirely inappropriate to congratulate a world leader who presides over a democratic process largely seen as a sham.

Now, the people attacking Trump over this are right about one very important thing: there is hardly anything democratic about Russian elections. Putin, a former KGB officer, has essentially been in power in Russia for 20 years, some of those as acting prime minister instead of president — although the public perceives him as having been in power throughout.

Yes, Putin rigs elections. His political opponents are routinely jailed for reasons that seem questionable at their very best, and his “98 percent” polling results are objectively ridiculous. But there’s one silver lining here — Putin is relatively open about what a despot he is.

Now, let’s look at Hillary Clinton. Granted, she doesn’t have the near-dictatorship political muscle Putin has (and thankfully never will), but she definitely knows a thing or two about rigged elections. Before the 2016 general election, she snagged the Democratic Party’s nomination from challenger Bernie Sanders despite having almost no momentum behind her, and enjoyed almost universally positive coverage from the mainstream press.

The big difference? She still lost.

~ Facts Not Memes

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