The United States is embroiled in a crisis that is reminiscent of the late 1850’s. Even the turbulent 1960’s did not rise to the level of unrest that we are seeing today. The country is literally divided in half regarding our destiny and the ideology that will take us there.
The issues are actually identical with those fomenting before the Civil War. Disregarding the specific issue of slavery, which became the focal point of both sides, the more fundament underlying principle was a dispute on where the final seat of authority lay. Republican’s led by Lincoln maintained the centralized or federal government was the final authority, while Democrats viewed the States as being sovereign. Both saw these positions bolstered by their interpretation of the Constitution. It was a matter of perspective. Interestingly enough these two sides have switched positions over the last 150 years. Conservatives now desire a smaller centralized or federal government while liberals are focused on the consolidation of power in Washington D.C.; and at the fringes of this ideology to eventually bring a global centralized governance to bear.
Unfortunately both sides of this dispute are being somewhat disingenuous in their analysis of the behavior of their opponents. In every government there is the need to keep certain information private or classified. This is information that can compromise our dealings with other nations, undermine our nation’s security or place in jeopardy individuals who are acting on our nation’s behalf. These leaks rise to the level of treason or sedition and are typically punished in severe ways. However there are other leaks that do not rise to National Security levels and are primarily motivated by political concerns. Information about an individual is leaked with the intent to embarrass or otherwise demean him/her with the purpose of either forcing them to resign or rendering them ineffective in their office. This is what I believe is happening to President Trump now.
Trump supporters have called for the President to identify and charge those individuals responsible for leaking information. These unknown people have been called “low life’s” by the President and his supporters, and such they are. However there is a blaring lack of consistency shown by those who are upset by these leaks. When Obama and Hillary had people on their staff (or outsiders, i.e. Wikileaks) expose information that was damaging to either of them those people were exalted as whistle blowers and heroes for standing up and telling the truth. This is clearly inconsistent. Of course the stories surrounding Trump are not analogous as many of them are complete fabrications while the revelations concerning Obama and Hillary raised very real concerns.
I am angered by the feigned indignation on both sides when their opponent does something that they did just a week before. Case in point, Shumer’s tears recounting the plight of refugees under a temporary immigration ban. He supported Obama’s ban of Iraqis and never expressed any criticism of Carter’s ban of Iranians. This is clearly hypocrisy.
I am a Trump supporter and am therefore biased. I tend to give Trump the benefit of the doubt and assume he is telling the truth. On the other hand I believed Obama to have a sinister agenda and assumed he was lying whenever he spoke. Hillary was seen through the same lens. I recognize this and am unashamed of this bias as I arrived at this conclusion based on a careful analysis of what they said and what they did.
This being said I offer a word of caution to others and myself who support this most enigmatic President. Although there are true National Security concerns, this terminology is sometimes used to camouflage questionable behavior and end all inquiry. It would be wise to understand the difference between the two and not allow this terminology to dissuade those who would seek truth. To borrow a line from a movie, “There are too many secrets.” It is always a good idea to hold the feet of those in power to the fire and resist becoming so enamored by a man that he is not held accountable.