Political ideology and justification are strange things.
This week, Donald Trump Jr. released an email chain in the name of transparency depicting his willingness to meet with who he was told was a member of the Russian government to discuss dirt on his father’s eventual presidential opponent.
He claims the exchange was innocent from the get-go. He thought he was getting opposition research. That bit of mental gymnastics is a column for another time.
But I am curious about something regarding the supporters of our current president and his family. After combing through about 10 different threads from local and national news sources, I found the majority of Trump supporters were defending the President’s son with a “Clinton did this,” or “what Clinton did was worse” argument.
This perplexes me to no end. Frankly, I wasn’t and still am not the biggest fan of Hillary Clinton. I was actually hoping Marco Rubio would be our next president.
Still, I don’t get why believing she did things that are worse than what Trump Jr. did is a justification for his actions.
That rhetoric alone creates the notion that Trump Jr. did do something wrong, it just wasn’t as bad as his father’s opposition, so we should ignore it.
So I looked to myself.
In 2008 I was a 22-year-old college student casting my vote in my second presidential election. I voted for Bush in 2004 simply because I believed leaders shouldn’t change in a time of war. But in 2008, I was excited to vote Barack Obama.
By 2012, I wasn’t thrilled.
I found The Affordable Care Act to be a mess that was ratified far too quickly. Our actions regarding drone strikes left little to be desired and his speeches moved form confident to whiney. I get really sick of ‘the opposing party is making my job difficult’ argument.
Still, I never argued that my misgivings about Obama were fine because Mitt Romney liked to fire people.
This has lead me to believe that most are way too attached to their chosen political party. It’s similar to religion in a way — typically a person raised Democrat will remain a Democrat, just like those raised Muslim will remain Muslim. Obviously this isn’t always the case, but it’s the vast majority for both political ideology and religious identity.
Democrats and Republicans alike both love to argue that their chosen candidate’s opposition did something worse than whomever they support.
That’s not the answer. People are flawed. One of the reasons I liked Rubio is after the ‘small hands’ gab during a primary debate, he flat-out said that comment was beneath him and he felt he’d let his family down.
That’s true leadership. But more importantly it humanized him.
Our democracy works on the pretense that we elect people we see best for the job, but nowhere does it say they have to be perfect. They will all make mistakes.
The decision is whether those mistakes are an acceptable chink in the armor of the candidate.
The President’s armor has taken a beating the last six months, and for the good of the country, the investigation into his campaign and its possible collusion with the Russian government needs to finish up, so our country can take the appropriate action or move on.
Until that time, choosing to use Clinton’s flaws as justification for Trump’s is a bad policy.
It would be equally bad if the roles were reversed.