A bizarre view of right and wrong dominates America’s political landscape. Perhaps it was always there, but I watched it grow and intensify through my lifetime and now in the age of mass media spin, well, it smacks you in the face over every discussion that involves partisans.
The media also breaks down issues using this partisan lens, to determine right and wrong, saints and evildoers. The President and Congressional leaders all fall in line with this bizarre, two-tiered system of determining right and wrong too. That leaves our judicial system, as our only hope for a sane, one set of rules for all view.
Every American citizen should embrace one set of rules for all and be Americans first, partisans second.
Our partisans have one set of rules for their side and a completely different set for their opposition. The Mueller report serves as an object lesson, if we choose to learn from it.
President Trump and his followers eagerly embraced the parts of the Mueller report that clear Trump and his campaign of conspiring with Russians and they embraced Attorney General Barr’s determination that no obstruction of justice occurred.
If President Trump did encourage other people to lie to investigators, as alleged, I believe that is obstruction of justice, so I disagree with Barr on this point. I don’t believe obstruction of justice rests on whether the target of the investigation is innocent or guilty of a crime. I think it rests on whether in a legal investigation, a target was trying to undermine the lawful investigative processes – for ANY reason. Trump may have been reacting to spin, trying to score political points or just wanted to thwart the investigation, because he believed it was unfair and a “witch hunt”.
Trump’s actions are exactly like the Clintons view of investigations into them. Hillary has whined for decades that they are the victims of unfair “witch hunts”. The Clintons have worked tirelessly to undermine investigations of them.
President Trump and his campaign were trying to acquire Russian dirt on Hillary and just because they didn’t succeed in conspiring with Russians in this effort, the underlying truth is they were totally open to accepting dirt on Hillary – from any source. Likewise, Hillary, her campaign and DNC lawyers actually did set out and, according to their claims, successfully acquired Russian dirt on Trump (the Steele dossier is Russian dirt on Trump). There is no difference in Trump or Hillary’s intentions to acquire Russian dirt and willingness to accept dirt from any source.
Trump and the Clintons operate from a starting belief that the rules don’t apply to them and that whatever their goals are, are so important and the “witch hunt” they are facing is so “unfair”, that any means they take to win are justifiable. That’s the truth. Their followers and people with strong partisan views of either of them, start buying into this, “Well, just look at how awful the other side was acting, so no wonder they did X.Y,Z that skirted the rules.” Another favorite delusion partisans fall into is buying into the belief that the “enemy” is just so awful and the situation so dire (Flight 93 thinking, anyone), that we must support them, because if the “enemy” wins, America is doomed. It’s always “Anyone, but… that horrible “enemy”.
This existential crisis thinking is leading America to lawlessness.
The rules apply to everyone.
If Trump or Hillary believe an investigation is just a “witch hunt”, then through legal efforts, they should try to make that case, but their belief about the investigation does not entitle or justify their undermining the investigation.
We all must live under one set of rules in America, regardless whether a high-profile politician, under investigation, feels he or she is the target of a “witch hunt”. Under no circumstances is it okay for them to lie or encourage others to lie to investigators or bleachbit servers or destroy tens of thousands of emails under subpoena.
We all need to take off the partisan blinders and stick to one set of rules for everyone.