Quick Thoughts – Donald Trump Jr., Tit-for-Tat Politics, and a third party

As I said in a post elsewhere, the time for understanding and tolerance of any domestic support for President Donald Trump is coming to an end. Many can’t fathom why anyone supported Trump for any reason at any time, but what is clear is that whatever rationale Trump supporters may have had in the past has since been replaced by blind obsequience to a leader and an administration that is directionless, disorganized, backwards, and scoffed at by every other country in the world save Russia. It’s time to admit that no swamp draining is going on, Mexico isn’t paying for the wall, and ISIS hasn’t been defeated, among a hundred other things.

Donald Trump Jr. has admitted to meeting with a Russian lawyer after his father won the Republican nomination. He’s been so open about the meeting that he’s admitted to it several times now, and in a few different ways – I assume to add a little bit of spice to an otherwise dull news cycle.

Now a third revelation has come to light via DTJ’s emails: Donald Trump Jr. knew in advance that the meeting with a Russian connected lawyer was to discuss possible collusion between the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russia and that Kushner and Manafort were also in attendance. And, most importantly, the emails suggested that the lawyer was acting as “part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy.”

Donald Trump junior took a meeting with an official he thought was an agent of the Russian state to benefit his father’s campaign. I’d encourage you to read up on 52 USC 30121 and CFR 11 120.20 and see if you think the law was broken here. To me, these emails seem like a nice checklist of violations. DTJ released these emails out of the goodness of his heart and also to get in front of the NYT release.

According to DTJ, nothing came of the meeting, but it certainly doesn’t look anything other than suspicious and I’m not sure I even believe that. As I’ve said numerous times, if this admin isn’t guilty of collusion (which at this point seems impossible given the revelations about Flynn, Kushner’s SF-86 omissions, and now this new information about Donald Jr.), they are doing a singularly terrible job at damage control which makes me even less confident in the administration’s credibility and ability to lead. If it’s OK with Donald Trump, our glorious leader, I think now would be a perfect time to release his tax returns.

The most infuriating thing of all, however, is the resistance of this administration to any inquires regarding Russian collusion when they jumped at the mere suggestion that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had somehow colluded with Russia. And yet they cry persecution when people ask questions about their own ties to Russia. Despicable, distasteful, disingenuous, and hypocritical to a degree that can only exist in a higher dimension.

Trump supporters have brought up Hillary Clinton’s own contacts with Ukraine during the election as ammo in support of DTJ’s actions, which would be a fair point if (1) it had occurred between a Ukrainian official and, say, Chelsea Clinton in an top-level advisory role to her mother and (2) Hillary had won the election. This is not to say that I am Clinton supporter or that I think Hillary’s contacts with Ukraine are ethically permissible – I am an ardent Clinton detractor after her failure to accept any responsibility for her campaign’s failures and her involvement with the DNC scandal – but the point is simply this: unethical, illegal, and immoral actions by another party do not give a free pass to political opposition to do the same thing. Still further, our elections are being actively influenced by corporate interests abroad and there’s hardly a peep about this. We’re trying to put out a match in the middle of a brush fire, generally, although direct collusion is another matter entirely.

You cannot, today, criticize a politician without at least one person bringing up in defense a similar action committed by a politician from across the aisle. It is, without a doubt, the most consistently troubling, mind-numbing, idiotic train of thought I have ever seen. It’s like we’re all still children, but all of our parents are too drunk to listen to us tattle on one another.

The Democrats have failed you. The Republicans have failed you. The infighting and tit-for-tat blaming will do nothing to fix the fermenting political mess that gave rise to Trump’s brand of vapid populism in the first place.

I urge anyone who feels the same to begin to support centrist candidates, progressives, and third party candidates based on their stances instead of on political affiliation. Start local and don’t expect immediate results. For Democrats, understand that the party has learned nothing from this election and will continue to masquerade as progressives, and for Republicans understand that the party of the rational, God-fearing, small-government Buckleyites has long been extinct. There are still good individuals out there on both teams, but they’re sitting on the benches.

There is a middle ground here, but it’s one of pragmatism and compromise. I don’t look forward to a future in which administrations simply reversing the decisions of the last one while the population grows ever more foolish, sicker, and poorer.

 

2 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts – Donald Trump Jr., Tit-for-Tat Politics, and a third party

  1. To me, libertarianism is the middle ground. Even if Gary Johnson wasted the best hope they had in ages. Here in Europe we have a long tradition of left-libertarianism which sees the state as the perpetuator of inequalities and the right have their libertarianism too and both are totally compatible because it means you leave other people alone. They also want to end the huge corporate welfare programs that america has which not even the democrats want to do because it gets them votes.

    1. Libertarianism in the US is a catch-all for a lot of political beliefs. Most of our Libertarian candidates and incumbents are utter fools.

      I do think we can adopt some beneficial Libertarian thinking (personal liberty, privacy, freedom, etc), but the movement here is too nebulous to really get behind.

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