Thursday, July 13, 2017

An Inescapable Choice: America or Trump

I've tried not to jump too fast into this Trump-Russia business.

I'll admit, I was one of those who wanted the story to be true. And it was exactly for that reason that I wouldn't believe it. Today's world is lacking in people who can question their own side. We need more second-guessers, we need more caution. Only, it turns out I've been over-cautious with this Trump-Russia story. My excuses for the president sound just like Republican talking points now. "Oh, this is all a liberal conspiracy theory." "Oh, the NSA is more evil." "Oh, he's just a stupid old man that didn't know anything." "Oh, maybe it was just a few bad apples in the campaign, but Trump himself is innocent." Let nobody accuse me of not giving the president the benefit of the doubt.

But that's finished. This week's latest revelation proved I was wrong. Donald Trump has conspired with enemies of the United States*. Say that out loud, if you will, because you need to say it. This is a real thing that needs to be said with your real lips. "Donald Trump has conspired with enemies of the United States." Of that fact, there can be no longer any doubt. The only question is how severe the crimes and whether he should remain president. Or rather, how best to solve the wound that has been inflicted upon the United States right now.

I am writing this post because we have a crossed a line into dangerous territory. Every one of us when presented with evidence like this have to make a choice. Trump supporter, Trump hater, your political past does not excuse you from the decision. If you still don't believe the story, this is no longer just willful ignorance. You cannot pretend this story doesn’t exist. You are actively making a choice if you still support Donald Trump at this point.

And if you're still with Trump, you're choosing something terrible.

Everybody cannot say the story has no substance or that the media is making things up. This is not a "nothingburger". There's a meat patty and it's a double-quarter pounder! If you still believe the whole story is fabricated, the media isn't lying to you. You are lying to yourself.

We have a set of facts that must be accepted, no matter which political reality you have chosen to reside in.

This week we have discovered that Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign. This is backed up by emails Donald Jr. himself released on twitter. These men believed Veselnitskaya was representing the Russian government and were told explicitly they were receiving aid from that government. They acted directly to conspire with a foreign power - an unfriendly foreign power. Jared Kushner, by the way, still works in the White House, despite being connected to this conspiracy.

And there can be no doubt that Donald Trump had no knowledge of the activities of his son, his son-in-law, and his then-campaign manager. He can claim to not know the truth of Michael Flynn, but not the son who bares his name. Donald Trump is a foolish old man who is painfully ignorant of many things. But he was not out of the loop here. Just hours after this meeting Donald Trump held a press conference promising dirt on Clinton. He knew. He made a choice, and he made the wrong one.

The Trump family chose to act for its own interests over those of the United States. That is a fact now.

The Trump family profited from activities of an evil foreign government to undermine our election. That is a fact.

The Trump family has lied to you for over a year about these facts.

Now does this mean everything we've heard is true? Did Trump kiss Putin's ring at any point? Did he really have prostitutes piss on him in Barack Obama's hotel room? I have no idea. But this story has advanced further than I ever believed it could have of. Everything might be true. Maybe more. What does this say about the FBI director's firing? You can't call the expansion of this scandal "self-inflicted wounds". These aren't idiotic mistakes that accidentally make the president look guilty. The president is guilty. Just of how much is the issue now.

What I find interesting is the Republican response. It's the clearest weaseling you can imagine. And I cannot stand weaseling or self-deception. Neither should you.

All through this long Russian saga Trump has never lost the support of his base. They're still acting like Trump and Trump Jr. are innocent dopes, as if that somehow excuses them. "Oh, they're not evil, they're just terribly incompetent!" No, they're evil and incompetent. Because they're grown-ass men and they knew better. You expect better behavior and choices out of your children, why not out of your fucking president?

So what's /r/the_Donald talking about today? Well, they'd rather not actually discussing the substance of the emails or the meeting, Fox News and t_d are looking for holes in the story. Mainly, they're questioning if Veselnitskaya was really a Russian agent at all.

There are plenty of questions remaining of course. Was this meeting the only one? Did anybody in the Trump orbit realize just what they were doing and back out of this devil's bargain? Maybe the new Alt-Right conspiracy theory is true. Maybe Veslenitskaya was an Obama plant and this whole thing was a sting operation. (Ignore the many logical problems with that story.) And while those facts matter, they are not relevant to the choice Trump supporters are making.

Because whether or not this lawyer represented Putin, Trump Jr. still took the meeting. He still said yes to what was a criminal offer. Attempted conspiracy is still a willingness to conspire. The line was crossed. And later, President Trump said "yes" to all of it. He was willing to commit evil.

That's not #FakeNews or the media beating up Trump on every little thing. Complaining about him golfing or eating too much ice cream is "every little thing". This is a crime. Even Trump's most ardent supporters have no way to say the crime didn't happen. That's not an option anymore.

The American people have a right to know about it and judge for themselves. And the American people are now faced with a choice.

If you stills support Trump or refuse to believe this story, you are choosing that Vladimir Putin is better than Hilary Clinton. I want you to say that out loud if you're a Trump supporter. "Vladimir Putin is better than Hilary Clinton." Say it in spite of how insane that is. It's a ridiculous insane thing to believe, but that's the decision you've made. I demand honesty out of my readers, you should demand honesty out of me. Also demand honestly out of yourself. You have picked one evil over another.

You have decided that the Democratic Party of the United States is a bigger threat than the Russians. And by extension, you must believe that all liberals are less your countrymen than shadowy foreign intelligence agencies (Russia's deep state) and the billionaires who would work with them. Obamacare is more a threat to you than a Soviet-esque dictator. People on the other side of the aisle who love their country and want to fix things, even if they are misguided, are worse than Vladimir Putin, a man who hates America. You have to believe all of those things if you stand with Trump.

Look, I don't need to tell you how bad Vladimir Putin is, he's Vladimir Putin. He invades his neighbors, he murders his press, he runs sham elections. The Putin government is the kind of government the Republicans stockpile weapons to fight against. Putin does not believe in freedom, he doesn't believe in anything. You have nothing in common with this man. America and all of its values - left and right - have nothing in common with this man. Trump knew all that and still decided, "eh, I want to win". And I guess you're fine with that too.

Maybe you believe the ends justify the means. Trump and Putin are the evil you must swallow in order to get tax cuts and a smaller government. This is all a temporary extreme situation and you need evil to get through it. I won't even make the parallels to Nazi Germany, they write themselves.

"At least he's not Clinton" you might say. Only every single thing Hilary Clinton was accused of doing turned out to be true. Only it wasn't Clinton who did it. It was Trump. With Clinton it was just the idea that maybe her emails were a conspiracy with a foreign power. Nobody never decided which foreign power, but just the chance she might be working with one was enough to discredit her. "Oh, Clinton would have done the same", you might even yell. Only Clinton didn't - Trump did. And why are you on the wrong side?

With Trump, we know exactly who, when, where, and what. If everything Clinton is accused of doing is true, she can only equal Trump's evil. The fact is, you never cared about Clinton's emails. It was all bullshit. If Clinton had pulled the email scam for real and she were a Republican, you would pull the same rationalizations and deflectings you're doing now.

The problem now is trying to parse out just how much of your beliefs were bullshit. How much are you willing to sacrifice to cut Medicaid? Trump made his choice - he was willing to go to any end to get what he wanted. Are you willing to do that too, Republicans?

Because the choice has been laid out now. You don't have the luxury of not making it. And if you're choosing to side with Donald Trump still, what lengths won't you go to? How dangerous of a person have you chosen to be? How much of America can you sacrifice to get what you want?

How much of America do you hate this badly? How many of your countrymen are so awful to you that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are a better option? What happened to you to fill you with so much hatred for us?

* Probably not "treason" though, according to the strictest definition of the term as defined in the Constitution. We're not at war with Russia and Trump hasn't made direct war against the United States. However I don't think splitting hairs on the terminology really makes the president look any better though. You don't need to have committed full-blown treason to still be a bad man and an enemy of this country.


  1. Technically the Trump family would be charged with espionage if any of this goes anywhere.

  2. The piece is well written as usual, Blue. I do have a few questions if you're willing to answer them though. First of which is this: How do you push a case of rhetoric and reason in a land where aforementioned reason has fallen to the wayside? Furthermore, and specific to the issue at hand, how do we handle the fact that this evil, despite being stark and blatant, still inspires fanaticism in Donald Trump's followers? Thanks!