Politics… Ugh. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you stand on, you are going to have very strong opinions and you are going to voice them on social media.
Tonight, a friend of mine posted about bringing charges against Hilary for the email scandal. I wanted to ask “would you feel the same way if the person had been a Republican?” The answer would have been “yes,” but they would have been lying. I know it. They know it.
Being a historian has taught me a great deal about politics and the political machine that runs countries. Not just in the US, but everywhere. Let’s do some comparison…
Did we charge Reagan with treason for Iran Contra? No, we did not. Why? Because the Reagan administration destroyed hundreds of thousands of files during the investigation that might have either cleared Reagan or hurt him. Hell, we didn’t even impeach him. We charged Oliver North and gave him a slap on the wrist for selling guns to a government that was hostile to our nation and then diverting the money to Nicaraguan rebels because we were afraid of Communism.
Most historians agree that it was an act of treason, by the US government, that went unpunished. And it all started when the Iranians took hostages. So, essentially, we rewarded their bad behavior, shushed up as much of it as possible, and found a scapegoat in North.
If Reagan can do it, why can’t Hilary? Is it because she’s a woman? (or is it because we impeached her husband for lewd conduct… another oddity, since his act was far less heinous than the actions of those involved in Iran Contra… and yet, were more severely punished) Is it because her email is considered more public domain than the White House’s paper files?
Did we hold Schultz responsible for the Islamic jihad car bomb that killed 17 Americans and destroyed the embassy in Beirut in 1983? No. It was considered a tragedy. Then why is Hilary responsible for the Benghazi attack that killed 4 people in Libya?
See the problem? Democrats like to demonize Republicans. Republicans like to demonize Democrats. Each side holds the other’s elected officials to a different standard than their own.
The real question is to what end? Laura Bush, our former First Lady, had a car accident at 17 that killed a classmate (she was responsible, as it was her that ran a stop sign). Perhaps we should have banned George Jr. from holding the presidency as a result… Everyone has skeletons in their closet… EVERYONE. And if we dig, we find them… And if they hold or want a political office, we smear the hell out of them and then we wonder why nothing gets done… Nothing changes. It’s because we, the people, are really caught up in all the scandals to the point that our elected officials do not have time to do anything except defend themselves.
Our political machine is broken because the party lines are so entrenched and ingrained that we can’t get past the horrible deeds done by the rivals. Most Americans cannot even explain exactly why they support a particular party.
And before I get a hundred posts about how I must be a Hilary supporter, let it be known that I am not. And I don’t care about the reasons why Hilary’s actions are more heinous than Reagan’s or Shultz’s. I’m sure someone has put five minutes of thought into it and decided that treason is far less heinous a crime than deleting emails and can probably make a somewhat logical argument about it. I don’t even care that former First Lady Laura Bush had a traffic accident at 17 that resulted in tragedy, I’m sure she felt terrible about it.
What I care about is the finger pointing. What I care about is the bitching and whining about corruption. What I care about is how the machine can be repaired.
We, the people, let it happen. We, the people, buy into it. We, the people, know more about the personal lives of the Kardashians than about the jobs held by our elected officials. We, the people, can’t be bothered to take notice when things go right in the political arena, only when it goes wrong and the scent of scandal pulls us away from season 15 of Survivor. We, the people, are the primary source of the problem. Because We, the people, are essentially spoon-feed idiots unwilling to do even an iota of research before declaring something we heard as fact.
Since I’m hard-pressed to believe that Hilary was selling guns to ISIS or channelling black budget money into funding the training of our next radical enemy, I don’t believe any of her emails were really that important. Just like I don’t care that Reagan was probably ears deep in the Iran Contra Affair… He did what he thought was best at the time he was president and it was a disaster. We all have bad days at work and we all have days when those bad days lead to massive fuck-ups. Shit happens. If you are a Republican screaming for Hilary’s head, you should be screaming for Reagan’s as well. If you’re a Democrat defending her, you should be defending Reagan’s legacy as well. They both had bad days, move on.