Opinion

On Mueller and Trump

I’m disappointed by the Mueller report but not surprised by it. I’m trying to tell myself that Robert Mueller was working within very narrowly defined legal terms based on exactly two extraordinary cases of presidential negligence (that went to impeachment, at least). I said when the investigation was underway that I would accept the results and I want to stay true to my word and not let my personal bias get in the way.

It does trouble me though. If Donald Trump and his team didn’t cross the line into criminal collusion, they certainly toed right up to it. We know that Donald Trump, his son, and several prominent members of his staff agreed to a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. We know that Donald Trump instructed his associates to cover up a plan to build a record-breaking tower in Moscow, even offering Russian President Vladimir Putin the penthouse suite. We know that Donald Trump has resisted any and all efforts to release his tax returns. We know that Donald Trump defers to Vladimir Putin on nearly every single issue, refuses to allow administration officials into their face to face meetings, and refuses to explain why.

I think on the face of it, if you or I had done even 1/100th of these things, we would be in a jail cell right now. The people who carried out these orders and stymied federal investigators are going to prison, some for a very long time. Still, it’s not enough. The convicted did not commit these crimes of their own volition. The obvious goal was to benefit then-candidate Trump. I don’t know much about the court system in this country but I do know that wealthy, influential people can beat any rap, no matter how heinous. I don’t know what it takes to make anything stick to people worth a lot of money. 

I don’t know where to go from here. My trust that America was set up so well from the start, well enough to eventually wrestle the presidency away from obvious ne’er-do-wells, is shattered irrevocably. There’s no putting my feeling of disgust back in the box. I wonder why I even bother to do anything. I wonder why I should play by the rules. I wonder why I should respect laws and institutions at all if they can be whored around this publicly.

Of course, the simple answer is money and my lack of a lot of it. I’m sure if I was a billionaire’s son, slicked-back hair in a suit that costs a factory worker’s annual salary, I would have learned this lesson a thousand times or more from the side that always wins.

As it stands, I have to make due with the meaningless freedoms that are shoved in my face by the villains in this story we call life: I have the freedom to die from preventable illnesses. I have the freedom to have my life destroyed by falling on hard times. I have the freedom to have a zealous police force make my life hell if I forget to cross an I or a T on something. I have the freedom to listen to the superstitious base secular law around their worthless holy books. I have the freedom to lose my retirement benefits. I have the freedom to be polluted by the corporations that control every aspect of our lives and I have the freedom to destroy the world even more by buying clean consumables to keep schlepping another day. 

I don’t ever want to forget that while I’m bellyaching over ideals, this country’s Christian hatred of people of color, the impoverished, the differently abled, the young, the old, the sick, the women, the gender-fluid, the religious minorities, and anyone else I can’t remember are dealing with the concrete realities of this sham of a game show presidency. The other day, a whale was cut open and it had about fifty pounds of plastic in it. How much garbage are we stuffed with here on land? When will the people with voting clout in this country decide to take things seriously? I don’t have any answers anymore. I guess we’ll just have to hope things don’t get even worse. Don’t hold your breath.

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Categories: Opinion

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