Well, there was at least one political prediction last fall that was correct. And I didn’t hear it from the so-called “experts” in the media.
I was taking a break while working at the polls during Early Voting last fall. I had stepped outside for some fresh air, and was chatting with a voter who had already voted. From the way he talked, I could tell he had voted for Donald Trump for President, but that he wasn’t a strong supporter.
Talking about the possibility of a Trump victory, he commented, “It could be good. But it could be bad. But, one thing for sure, it won’t be the same.”
It sure isn’t the same. Early morning tweets from our President. The President firing James Comey, the FBI Director that the Democrats blamed for costing them the election, that now they suddenly love. A former FBI Director, Robert Mueller, is now investigating Russian involvement in our election. Fox is now no longer the number one prime time cable news network, and Bill O’Reilly is gone. MSNBC is now number one, with Rachel Maddow now hosting the number one cable news show. But Fox still leans way-right, defending Trump and attacking “media bias,” and MSNBC is still ultra-left, never missing an opportunity to go after the President. Well, at least some things haven’t changed.
A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me when I was going to write about Trump, and all the things that were going on in Washington. Honestly, I don’t know what to write. (But that won’t stop me. It isn’t stopping anyone else who, like me, can’t determine what is going on, or what will happen next.) And it’s hard to write about a situation that seems to change almost daily, and that may change dramatically from the time I complete this column and the time you read it. But here are a couple of general observations.
We’re all still hypocrites. You need to look no further than the reactions over the past year to the former head of the FBI. When James Comey refused to take legal action against Hilary Clinton last July in the email scandal, Republicans railed against him, while Democrats praised his decision. Then, a couple of weeks before the November election, Comey reopens the investigation against Clinton due to classified emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer, who himself was being investigated for a federal obscenity charge.
The FBI Director was then praised by Donald Trump, saying “it took a lot of guts” to reopen the case. Democrats were outraged, and have continually put the blame on Comey for Clinton’s loss in November ever since. (But isn’t it ironic that the perverted actions of a liberal New York Democratic congressman probably cost Hilary Clinton the presidency?)
But then Trump decides to fire Jim Comey a couple of weeks ago, just while the FBI Russia investigation is starting to heat up. Trump now refers to Comey as a “nut job,” and the Democrats are now calling Comey a hero for standing up to the President.
The former FBI Director is neither. He seems to be a capable man who was put into a tough situation, (thanks to Bill Clinton, Loretta Lynch, Donald Trump, and the rest) trying to do the best he could. And he probably made some mistakes. He sounds like a referee officiating a basketball game. If the calls go for your team, you like him. If they go against your team, you hate him. Whether the call, or decision, is right is determined by whether it benefits your team.
And maybe that’s the real problem; not Trump and the Russians, or liberal media bias. The problem is there seems to be no standard for right and wrong anymore. The standard is now whatever benefits my tribe, my group, and more importantly, me. In other words, it’s what works for me, or pragmatism. Being pragmatic has little to do with right or wrong, but with what works in a particular situation. If the situation changes, what works may change. Those with the most power then make decisions based on what works for them and their tribe at the time, not necessarily for the rest of us, or for our future. But maybe, like the voter told me last fall, it might could actually end up being good. Then again, it could be bad. One thing for sure, it’s not going to be the same.
Mac McPhail is a longtime columnist for The Sampson, North Carolina Independent.