We don’t like our politicians.
We’re pretty sure they’re all bald-faced liars. We don’t respect them. We don’t trust them. We think they’re narcissists. Maybe even sociopaths. They’re horrible. All of them.
We’re pretty sure.
But we tolerate them. Because someone has to represent us. And none of the rest of us are willing to go knock on doors and convince people to give us money and support because we’re self proclaimed transcendent leaders. So we’re stuck with those that will.
They’re a special brand of person.
When we’ve got proof of dishonesty, corruption or grossly poor judgment though, the democratic process burdens us with responsibility. Because as a society, we’re only willing to suffer closeted criminals and liars. Not ones that do it in broad daylight.
Like the kids at the eight year old pool party. You know what’s going on in there. None of them have gotten out to use the restroom for hours. But as long as no one admits they did it, or you don’t see them do it, you’ll let your kids swim in it. But the minute you have proof, it’s everyone out. You can’t, in good conscience, turn a blind eye.
That’s how it works.
With politicians and eight year old pool parties, we’re satisfied with a surprisingly thin veil of deniability. But we still need one. When we don’t anymore, it signals something.
Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey announced that his organization would not be recommending criminal charges against Secretary Clinton. After months of investigation, they did not believe that their findings met the burden of intent or negligence to press charges. Now the world is ablaze with outrage. So here’s what I have to say about that decision.
It’s not that I don’t care. I’m just not looking for the ref to stop the fight. Or for anyone else to do my job for me.
The tone and contents of the rest of Director Comey’s presentation left little to the imagination. If she were holding any government position, presently, she would face administrative action. Which means, that at a minimum, she would have been reprimanded. And it would have been reasonable to expect that she could have lost her job. That was also something I already knew.
Here’s the uncomfortable truth. Secretary Clinton is not presently holding a government position. She’s applying for one.
One that doesn’t require a security clearance or even a background check.
One that requires only the following criteria: That she is a natural born American citizen. That she is over 35 years of age and lived the last 14 years in our country. That she has never been convicted of a crime for which her sentence explicitly states that she’s legally prohibited from running for office-which is not a common outcome for mishandling of classified material. And that she not have previously held the office of president for longer than eight years.
And this last one is really the trick. About 70 million people are going to have to endorse her as the leader of the free world.
Those are the qualifications to be president of the United States of America. Which means, uncomfortable as it may feel, both Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump are qualified by their standing in the first qualification criteria to seek the last. Indictment or not.
Our broad acceptance of candidates is on purpose. Because it ensures, that more than anything, the people have the final word. The outrage that I’m seeing right now is signaling something broader than the specifics of the decision of whether or not to press charges against Secretary Clinton.
The American people want to be taken off the hook for what we’ve brought on ourselves.
For a few years now, the Republican party has been facing the cold reality that the changing demographic of the American population is beginning to make the math of winning a presidential election impossible. And they’ve ignored it.
Instead of crafting a different message or selecting diverse leadership, they’ve sat back and thrown hay makers at the opposition, hoping for a knock out. Hoping, it wouldn’t ever come to a vote.
And when that failed, they lost control of their base.
That base then selected a candidate who’s been standing on the ten meter platform pissing into the political pool for years-his supporters cheering him on as he did because they hate who’s swimming in it now.
On the other side of the aisle, the failure was different, perhaps just as bad.
They had their candidate. And they got lazy. And pushed everyone out of the way. And she got caught. Now they’re paying the price.
Yesterday, they saw their last chance for a do-over sail off over the horizon.
Now we’re all very angry.
Perhaps we should have been angry when Joe Biden refused to run. Or when Jim Webb got pushed out of the race. Or when no one voted for John Kasich.
We’re getting exactly what we deserve. Now it’s time to deal with it. Leave the FBI and its Republican, career law enforcement director alone.
He’s not the problem.
What we tolerate is our standard. And it’s out there for all to see.