Do you remember the election in which a draft dodger was running against a decorated Vietnam veteran, and the veteran was slammed with allegations of cowardice?

If not, maybe the term Swiftboating will jog your memory.

I bring this up 12 years after the event to illustrate a fundamental element in the right-wing playbook: Attack your opponent’s strengths to obscure your own weaknesses.

Which brings us to the Clinton Foundation. The foundation, which has helped millions and is highly regarded by objective charity raters, has magically been transformed into a political millstone around Hillary Clinton’s neck, just as John Kerry’s military service became a dishonorable misadventure.

Media coverage of this “scandal” and the so-called email “scandal” — despite the FBI’s dismissal of the issue and former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s similar use of non-governmental communications channels — has contributed to the public perception of Clinton as an outrageous abuser of power. (The news media’s complicity in this remains something of a mystery to me, perhaps they regard it viewed as sufficient to report a lie told by someone, but not that it IS a lie.)

Clinton, who has devoted her life to public service, is somehow viewed as less trustworthy than Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump a serial cheater of workers, a racist, a bully, a misogynist, who has demonstrably been only in it for himself all his life, gets a pass on his bankruptcies that stiffed ordinary Americans, his scams that bilked thousands (Trump “University”), his incoherent statements about everything from trade to foreign policy (no one is paying for The Wall because no one is building it).

So, you get to choose between a devoted public servant who has worked to help literally millions, and a venal, greedy tyrant-in-waiting.

Here’s a tip: If you want to know who Donald Trump is, listen what he says about Hillary Clinton and apply it to him.