Wednesday, January 24, 2018 2:30 PM
I Prefer the Corner Facing the Door (2018Jan24)
Do we have laws? Or do we just have rules that apply when and if it’s convenient? Do we forgive the Trump-campaign’s fervor in ignoring ethical guidelines—on the excuse that they were young, foolish, and inexperienced in the ways of Washington? Do we say, “Oh, Trump’s just learning as he goes—teaming with Russian hackers to campaign, leaking classified info to Putin, raking in emoluments hand-over-fist, signing pro-racist XO’s that destroy separation of Church and State—these are just the clumsy stumblings of a puppy.”?
Well maybe, if the ‘puppy’ weren’t in his dotage—maybe if the Caligulan House-members with the dead eyes weren’t smoke-screening for this corrupt con-man, enemy agent in chief, racist sex-deviant Trump—maybe if… Never mind. That’s not even the point.
Did previous presidents have some ‘fatal flaw’ that, without affecting their fitness in any way, would have been politically damaging? Yes. And did party faithful rise to their defense, thinking that masking this one thing was a lesser sin than losing a good leader? Yes—I’m sure they must have. Was this criminal? Well, in all prior instances of the question, the answer is murky—and depends a great deal on one’s own politics.
The thing is—this is virtually unavoidable, since no angels have been elected to the presidency thus far—and, while we can expect many things from a president, we can’t expect perfection. Previous presidents have had to make their way in the world, catch the public’s eye, display character, and wield influence—at a minimum—to reach a place where they could be considered a presidential candidate, much less to win the election.
The average president, until now, has been a public servant as much as a public figure—usually an attorney-at-law. I assume they start to see politics as a way to ‘win a case’ for everybody, instead of one-at-a-time. Or maybe they just prefer social activism to the courtroom. In many cases, their charisma highlighted their character, rather than disguising their flaws. But life if not simple or easy—for them or for you—and no one reaches middle-age without having seen some shit—and, yes, even been in some shit.
Truth to tell, you wouldn’t want a president who hadn’t been tested by life and come through the other side with some character. Trump may be the first president to ever attain office without ever having been tested by life’s trials in any significant way.
And excusing a single flaw of Trump’s would be a piece of cake. I wouldn’t blame a single Republican for excusing Trump’s single flaw. But you know as well as I do that Trump has got an effing telenovela going on here—it’s not one thing—it’s not even one hundred things—it’s a non-stop firehose of flaw and unfitness. And defending that is where the Republicans have gone wrong.
Hey, GOPs—cut a corner here, cut a corner there—hell—it’s politics, after all—but you can’t just throw out the whole rulebook and expect the rest of us to trust Republicans. And I’m not talking about trusting Republicans over Democrats—I’m talking about trusting Republicans enough to turn my back on them.