Supporters of both Presidential candidates will often say the opponent is “just out for power”, or “doesn’t care about principles–they just want more power”. The Republicans constantly say Clinton is so corrupt, and involved in so many scandals, that it shows she just wants power and will stop at nothing to get it.
Democrats say that Trump is trying to gain the powers of the Presidency to satisfy his own ego, and that his willingness to lie, scream and bully his way into office reveals him as a power-hungry maniac.
If you asked Clinton if she wants power, she would probably say no, she wants to “bring us together” and “help people”. If you asked Trump the same question, he would probably say no, he just wants to “fix things” and “make America great again”.
In politics, it works like this: “I want to help people and solve problems. They are power-hungry monsters.”
The truth is, both of them want power. How do I know this? Because there is no other reason to want to be President. Actually, I imagine that being President is fairly miserable, since you can’t go anywhere or do anything on your own, and you and your family live under constant threat. The reward for all that is the power.
“Power” is just the ability to get things done–to accomplish meaningful change. But it has a negative connotation. Nobody gets mad when someone says “I want to make a difference in the world”, but they do if someone says “I want power”. And yet, they are the same thing. Power = ability to make a difference.
The real question is “what will someone do with power once they have it?” That’s the important part. To figure that out, you have to study the candidates’ policies, background and statements. But all politicians try to sidestep this by using the rhetorical maneuver that condemns their opponent for the simple fact they are seeking office.
For the record: Clinton seems likely to use Presidential power in much the same way that both her husband and Barack Obama did as President. A Clinton administration would be close to a third term of Obama. Trump, on the other hand, seems very impulse-driven and knee-jerk. If he had power, he would probably do whatever struck him as a good idea at any given moment.
In the words of Prince Feisal in the movie Lawrence of Arabia: “You may judge which is more reliable”.