The report on our president’s behavior has not been made public. The Attorney General has offered a summary that if far too brief for sensible people to be drawing conclusions about what the implications of the findings are–should be–for the president and his administration. But, the fact that the prosecutor will prosecute the president or his children or his in-laws does tell us much that is horrible about the way in which people think about politics in this country and the way in which the political is discussed in the media. The Mueller decision, even with so little so known about it, if the American public were know even history most recent, would see that the powerful urge for immediate explanations for things that happen and fast and simple answers to complex questions leads to disaster. This happened with the war in Iraq–the New York Times issued a seriously important retraction and apology for its dangerously flawed reporting–and it just happened again, the cable news pundits driving the real reporters to, as those pundits do to make their obnoxiously high salaries–speculated at least as much as they tried to get to facts, as much as they tried to get at the truth, this so they would be invited to appear on the pundits’ big money making shows.
The investigation into Russian participation in the Trump election campaign, it is likely, found things about the campaign’s operation and Trump’s business dealings that, if and when they come to light, will show wrong doing, ethical wrong doing for certain, criminal wrong doing, quite possibly. But Trump will be able to say, and he will say it over and over again and loudly, that he was right about the fake media and that his witch-hunt claims were valid, the claims made about his lying invalid because of the sources from which they come. The possibly irreparable damage done is that truth had been destroyed, the possibility of a politics based in truth made impossible.
The bigger story yet is that this will be accepted by politicians and public as the tolerable, just the way things are, compromise, business as usual, best that can be done considering, reality with which we can learn to live. And, in to a large extent, good numbers will be very happy about this state of things because it will insure continuation of a status quo that has been in place for a very long time that benefits the wealthy well–those pundits and the reporters invited to pundit with them, the movie stars and recording artists, the hedge fund managers, corporate investors, corporate heads–at the expense of the “not so lucky,” many of these the ethical who are not willing to be so rotten as to be, capitalistically “pragmatic.”
For a very long time, we, the people of this nation, have accepted rotten as good for what rotten has gotten, what rotten gets. This is because of our economic system that proves to us on a daily basis that such is true. Not being wholly truthful is our operating ethos, not being truthful good, strategic, smart, a critical element in the art of the deal. Trump is not the only lying business man and Trump is not the only politician who is a liar. The status quo is favorable to liars who make money and win power and use power to make money by lying.
Several years ago Matt Tiabbi wrote an expose on Goldman Sachs about its culture of lies that was the culture that allowed it to succeed and succeed enormously because of the size of the lies it with which it was able to get away. Neither democrats or republicans in power liked that story, hoped it would go away, which it did. After the crash of 2008, precipitated by companies like Golden Sachs, several of which came out just fine when many a run of the mill citizen did not. Hillary Clinton made some money off of them by speaking to their bandit gang.
The culture of lying just passed a test that predicts a long future for it. Liars were lied about and so the liars are exonerated because they are not the only liars. Those telling of their lies are liars too. Media bias against liars is real so how can one believe that the stories about the liars’ lies are true? Truth has been demoted even further for now it can be proven that the truth itself is often a lie and no one can be trusted as a truth teller.
The potential for a sane and humane democracy may have been killed once and for all and those who benefit most from the insanity of the present society and from the inhumanity of it will now have to work even less hard to prove that though they are inhumane and lie, they are still good people.
No more time left to call bullshit. We are too deeply buried in it to hope to breath truth again.
Tiabbi on Russia Investigation