Does the end justify the means?

Does the end justify the means?

We are now 160 or so days into the Trump era and I have been watching and listening in mostly silent and at times stunned amazement at how the polarized factions of the American nation are evolving.  I must say I am not surprised by most of what has been attempted by the GOP-controlled Congress.  For all the token efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act over the past seven years, the GOP replacement is anything but a done deal.  The entire evolution seems to underscore the old adage “be careful what you wish for, you might get it.”  Like the proverbial barking dog that finally caught the car, the House and Senate GOP got the tar baby that is health care reform dropped in their lap and have since discovered, like the 45th President has, that reforming health care is a damned sight more complicated and difficult than it looks.  It is becoming more clear with each passing day that even if the Obamacare repeal is successful the replacement for it will fall far short of any reasonable expectation for a significant number of citizens.  Indeed, despite all that remains unknown about the HCA bill, it is polling at 17% approval.  Regardless, for the here and now though I’m sure all of us individual policy holders who saw our premiums double the month of Trump’s inauguration can look forward to continued price gouging by insurance companies that have limited competition.  That in and of itself makes the best case going for a government option if not a single payer system.  The health care reform debacle is actually the lesser of the high profile daily news items as we reach the halfway mark of 2017.

The Russian hacking scandal seems to be picking up steam daily and expanding like a huge toxic snowball that is getting larger and most certainly is not going away.  It trickled out this week that the Mueller team is following the money and there is ample cause that The White House would rather the general public not know about it.  This is apparently the reason why the President’s media sideshows seem to receive top billing.  Earlier this month a timeline was published on how we got to this point.  It seems with almost each news cycle more information comes out revealing the breadth and the depth of the cyber attack on the 2016 US General Election.  In spite of all of this disturbing news that makes most conscientious citizens at the very least uneasy, the 45th President of the United States insists that all of this, regardless of findings, is the “….single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.”  This has been his standard dismissal despite the concurrence of some seventeen intelligence and law enforcement agencies that the sovereignty of the U.S. election was attacked and there was a decided effort afoot to damage the chances of victory of one candidate.  (See Page 7 of this document published by the Director of National Intelligence.)

You know things are getting tense in the President’s inner circle when his water carriers are laying the groundwork for defending the act of  collusion as “not a crime.”  I never thought I would have dig out an old rightwing meme that was ever present in bumper sticker form during the height of Cold War tension but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t fit the current reality perfectly:

America’s greatest threat is not from fallout,


Let that sink in for a moment.

As I stated in my opening comment, I have been silently watching and listening in often stunned amazement at how the polarized factions of the nation are evolving.  On the extreme right it does involve a great deal of mental gymnastics and moral contortion.  It is most amazing the extremes of cognitive dissonance Trump supporters will tolerate in order to preserve the bill ‘o goods they voted for on Election Day last November and were able to swallow whole without choking in the runup to the election.  The unconditional supporters which comprise his solid base and those he still tweets to and energizes at campaign rallies five months into his tenure are undaunted by any factual evidence of overt corruption or questionable dealings for which they readily condemned candidate Hillary Clinton largely on the basis of hearsay.  Not to jump to immediate conclusions, but if it is proven via thorough investigation that this President or individuals working on his behalf did collude to undermine national sovereignty by manipulating messaging, hacking voter lists or whatever, will the unconditional supporters of this regime still be okay with it?  I think that is the reasonable existential question of our current reality.

Does the end justify the means?

In all honesty, does the end justify the means?  As the old coffee shop wisdom goes, tell me who you go with and I will tell you who you are.  Trump defenders must now understand that they are no longer opposing Hillary Clinton.  They are facing an evermore grim reality that the man they voted for may have an ulterior motive involving a non-friendly foreign entity.

If the facts borne out by the Mueller investigation arrive at an uncomfortable destination, will the 45th President’s supporters be willing to do the right thing and at very least not oppose the course of American justice if any is in fact taken by a GOP-majority Congress?

This I know beyond all certainty, if any voter had no problem marking a ballot for Donald J. Trump for President of the United States last November, anything they believe in terms of religion, politics and especially morality is negotiable.

I realize that regardless of what is discovered by the Special Counsel concerning the hacking issue, future safeguards of national security are imperative.  I also understand that an all-GOP Congress is less likely to act swiftly to impeach or otherwise censure a President of their own party but how egregious must an offense be?  Bill Clinton was impeached for one under oath lie about one sexual act between two consenting adults which was not even a crime (tawdry and sleazy yes, but not a crime) and had nothing to do with compromising national security.  Would it be over the top to ask the Congressional leadership to apply the same standard of scrutiny and censure going forward?

The bottom line for the here and now is the Russian hacking scandal is NOT going away and the longer the President dismisses it as a “Witch Hunt” the longer it will a cause for national division.  Truthfully, there is no guarantee the aftermath of the outcome of the investigation will heal any rift be it actual or perceived in the body politic and the nation a whole.  Mr. Trump is quite the media-made showman but his coping ability with real national problems is wearing thin as the nation approaches difficult and  dangerous territory in an evermore dangerous world.  Foreign policy, economics and things that matter to all citizens like affordable health care are going to require addressing and this growing cancer on the Presidency is hindering progress to the point of standstill.  It is one thing to make a statement by voting for a businessman with no experience in government.  It is another thing entirely to ignore all ethical and potentially criminal problems that have come to Washington with him.  I will pose the query once more,

Does the end justify the means?

Choose you well on this question as your decision will follow you the rest of your days!

1 Comment

  1. Carl A.
    Jun 30, 2017

    Trump supporters are too stupid to understand the difference between the two terms… too stupid to understand the difference between health insurance and health care… too stupid to understand the difference between politics and governance.

    And so – evidently – are Republicans.