Let’s assume for the moment that President Trump is correct in his assertion that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians during the 2016 campaign. Indeed, to this point, there is nothing but conjecture and innuendo to show any such collusion.
Let’s accept that premise.
Let us also agree that there is compelling evidence that the Russians intentionally interfered with the 2016 election seeking to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected President. I think this is a legitimate contention. Not certain, but less speculative than most other scenarios.
Which leads us to the question, why did the Russians go to such extreme lengths to interfere in the election and derail Hillary Clinton’s candidacy?
President Trump also makes another viable contention. The Russian interference began as early as 2014, long before he announced his candidacy when it was clear that Hillary Clinton was favored (as it turned out, the fix was in) to win the Democratic nomination and, at that point, the Presidency.
If these reasonable and defensible points are factual, then the Russians feared a Clinton presidency more than any other candidate back in 2014. One could conclude they saw Mr. Trump’s later entry into the process in the same light. Better for Russian interests.
If this is the case, one can also suggest one of two probable corollaries. Mr. Trump’s campaign actively worked with the Russians to secure their own purpose or were duped by the Russians.
Either one is troubling.
Divining Russian motives is not an exact science, but once again we can rely on ole’ Occam’s razor for guidance. Look for the simplest explanation.
One of the frustrating characteristics of debating with supporters of Mr. Trump is their proclivity to interject accusations or criticisms of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or other Democratic figures. I have often asked the question if, assuming all these various charges are true, how does that mitigate or negate the criticisms leveled against the President?
The most common answer is that I am deflecting the discussion. A reasonable interpretation of this response is that they are guilty of their accusation. No one answers the question. I can only assume that his supporters believe pointing out some perceived grievous behavior in the past serves to inoculate Mr. Trump from any criticism.
Nonsense. Someone getting away with robbing a bank does not automatically grant absolution for another caught in the act.
This got me thinking about the most absurd accusation promoted by the right. President Obama, fresh off his fooling the entire country with his birth certificate scam, convinced the FBI, CIA, NSA, DOJ in their entirety to target the Trump campaign and help Hillary win.
This must be the worst conspiracy in the history of conspiracies.
The other conspiracy propagated by the right is Mr. Mueller orchestrating his investigation for the sole purpose of dethroning Mr. Trump. Once again, it boggles the mind.
On September 8, 2001, the FBI was considered the premier criminal investigative agency in the world. It’s reputation outstanding, not perfect, and universally admired. With the advent of the 9/11 attacks, the FBI transformed itself, almost overnight, into the premier terrorist hunting agency on the globe. They added enormous intelligence-gathering tools to the US arsenal, targeted and captured the chief conspirators of the 9/11 attack, killing Bin Laden with the cooperation of US Special Forces as the point of the spear.
Robert Mueller guided the transformation of the FBI. Talk to anyone at the FBI. They will tell you this is a fact. Mueller is as honest, capable, and incorruptible as they come. If he can’t be trusted, no one can.
The other laughable conspiracy theory is the Clinton Murder Machine. Some rightwing nuts would have you believe the Clintons have methodically, surreptitiously, and, so far, successfully eliminated those who would offer evidence against them by having them killed.
Not even the best written Stephen King novel could pull this off convincingly.
If you looked at the history of President Clinton and the FBI, Clinton held Louie Freeh, his FBI director, in contempt. They did not care for each other. Since a Republican followed Clinton in the Whitehouse, if such an allegation of organized homicide to silence critics were true the FBI would have jumped at that chance.
These conspiracy theories are nothing but childish games dredged up from some immature and uninformed minds.
The real problem isn’t just Trump, or the Republicans, or the Democrats. It is a combination of them all.
Democrats and Republicans all seek power, the path to power is the key here. The difference is the path they choose. One caters to a pro-business, isolationist America the other caters to an open border welcome all and keep them dependent.
The pendulum of politics swings back and forth from conservative to liberal. The voters are supposed to limit the swing of the pendulum, to keep it from the extremes. But our world of instant unfiltered, unverified, unsubstantiated continuously breaking news has altered reality. Made-up headlines and slanted reporting replace in-depth analysis and thoughtful discussion. 255 character Tweets, complete with spelling and grammatical errors, are considered Pulitzer prize level writing.
Both sides are guilty.
The genius of the founding fathers was a government that to function it must cooperate. No one policy dominates, but the blending of the best each offers. The beauty of our system emulates a time-tested recipe. Taken alone some ingredients may be bitter, or spicy, or overly sweet, but in combination with just the right blend, they create a masterpiece.
Both parties have chosen to ignore the recipe for success in their selfish pursuit of power. Until we insist, by way of the voting booth, to a return to a government of compromise and cooperation nothing will change.
A forceful debate is a powerful tool for creating ideas. However, it is only useful if both sides listen. Maybe the first qualification for a candidate should be a hearing test.
The next big hurdle to take back control of government is term limits. There are people in Congress who have been there before the invention of cell phones and personal computers. Think about that for a minute.
P.S. As always, dissenting points of view are welcome. I’d be happy to post your thoughts on this or any topic of interest. If you would like to submit a piece feel free to contact me. No topic is off-limits.