Truth….

I was once asked to run for public office…not a high office…it was the county planning commission during the days of “Save Our Saluda.”  While flattered, I didn’t have to ponder running for even an instant.  “No way, no how!”  My refusal wasn’t that I didn’t care about the Saluda River or our environment.  I do and attempt to be a good steward of the environment I live in…or on.

My reason for turning the opportunity down was primarily what has played out in the news for the previous week(s), on social media and what will be played out in the tarnished halls of the Senate today (Thursday).

I feared copious amounts of dirty laundry might be made visible from the drying line that was my previous life.  I also admit to being lazy and somewhat apolitical at the time but my laziness and apoliticalism (word?) paled in comparison to what I perceived was my lack of morality from my rebellious twenties…and thirties.  When it came to rebellion I was a late bloomer.

Today there will be a hearing in the halls of the Senate, in fact, it has already begun as I write this.  The hearing won’t be for some low-level public office but for the highest court in the land.  At the center is a man accused of sexual assault thirty-five years after the fact.  That is worrisome.  Worrisome because thirty-five years ago I would have been a year away from enlightenment…and hopefully, atonement.

Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged dirty laundry will be displayed along with Christine Blasely Ford’s.  What will not be displayed are the facts.  The hearing will simply be “he said, she said” proposition at best.  No corroborative testimony will be offered.  On social media, both participants will be crucified along party lines and the outcome will have no effect on the confirmation vote to come.  My cynicism is showing.

Worse, I believe, the conclusions we arrive at today will be the same conclusions we had when we began the day…conclusions partly arrived at by our own personal cognitive dissonance and subject to party affiliation.  Conclusions that have little to do with the actual truth.

Blame will be laid, one’s sides blame will be different than the other’s and we will still be just as divided when this day ends as we were when it began.

A microcosm of the sorry state of politics and society in the United States today?  The outcome will be about the hypocrisy of the people in the room, those who support them and those who simply bought into a specific party line.  The idea that the only truth that matters is the truth you believe in.  The issue is partisan hypocrisy and neither group is without blame.  Truth is the biggest loser.  Whose truth I wonder?  When this day is over I still will not know.

The image is from The Foundation of Economic Education at https://fee.org/articles/the-media-and-trump-are-both-to-blame-for-the-death-of-truth/

Further musings by Don Miller can be accessed at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

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Our Hypocrisy

I am laughing to keep from crying.  People arguing why one side is less or more hypocritical than another side.  A strange Bud Light commercial with old white men in business suits yelling “Taste Great! Less Filling!”

To my unsophisticated taste buds, the reduction in calories is not worth the shitty taste light beer leaves in my mouth.  I feel the same way about arguments involving hypocrisy between those of the left and those of the right.  It’s not worth the shitty taste I get…but yet, here I am biting down on a turd.

The bad taste is about John McCain.  In death, a man of the right who is suddenly embraced by the left because he stood up to Donald Trump and now, maligned by the certain members of the right for the same reason.

Let me first admit to my own hypocrisy.  Anyone in politics standing up to Donald Trump gets my vote…well, like Doc Holiday, ‘My hypocrisy only goes so far’, I have no respect for Omarosa.

McCain?  I thought very little about McCain until he ran for the countries highest position…with Sara Palin.  Despite what I considered to be a poor choice in running mate, he intrigued me. Part of the intrigue was his service record during the Viet Nam War.  If not a hero, as some on the right are NOW trying to convince me, a heroic man at the very least.  I almost voted for him despite his running mate.

A heroic man in one respect and just a man in the other.  Heroic to have survived almost six years as a prisoner of war and yet somewhat prone to bad mistakes or at least bad luck.  He did survive five crashed airplanes in his career.

He was a war hawk from a military family and supported many military ‘excursions’ that I now deem misguided.  Again, my hypocrisy is showing.  At the time, I might have supported such excursions but now am blessed with perfect twenty-twenty hindsight.  As I have moved into the Autumn of my time, I am more prone to supporting peace over action.

As soon as McCain passed, maybe sooner, articles surfaced maligning McCain’s service record, both in the military and in Congress.  Rumors of Songbird, Presidential pardons, and causing a fire that cost one hundred and thirty-three lives were paraded over social media.  Many were shared by ardent Trump supporters, others by people I considered the middle of the roaders.  Regardless, they were rumors I’ve found no truth in.

Not so long ago, these were rumors supported and pushed by the left when McCain ran for Presidency and defended as “nothing but poppycock” by the right.  Fast forward.  These same rumors are NOW supported and pushed by certain members of the right and NOW defended as “nothing but poppycock” by the left.  Our hypocrisy has come full circle it would seem, but there is still little if any credibility to many allegations being circulated.

Even after saying, “I like people who weren’t captured,” our President made a tactical withdrawal by saying, “I respect his service to the country.”  I’m not sure this qualifies as hypocrisy but Mr. Trump first questioned Mr. McCain’s heroism publicly in 1999 despite having never having served himself…just like me, although I never sought or paid for deferments.  Is it hypocritical of me to say that?  If it is, I will wear it.

Our heroes don’t walk on water.  Some are heroes due to extreme bravery at the moment, others because of a lifetime of service.  They are all mere mortals prone to making mistakes in judgment, morality or ethics…just like me and I’m not the least bit heroic.  Just like you, just like anyone regardless of political affiliation.  Should we focus on heroic efforts without ignoring faults and missteps or should we just tell the truth?  Should we ignore our own hypocrisy while focusing on the hypocrisy of others?

I’m a retired history teacher and while I’ve allowed myself to be fooled, I do have a love affair with the truth…as long as it is the truth about someone else.  “My hypocrisy knows no bounds” I guess.  Maybe I’m choosing to believe the good about, or in, John McCain.  I believe there was a great deal of good to be found.

For more of Don Miller’s “stuff” that bothers him so… https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM