“The consequences that are rendered
I’ve stretched myself beyond my means.” –Aarron Lewis
There comes a time when it’s hard to know the difference between a banana republic and the greatest system of government devised in human history. Sometimes it’s just a Thursday. Dictionary.com defines a banana republic as “any exploitative government that functions poorly for its citizenry while disproportionately benefitting a corrupt elite group or individual.” Gee, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
There are any number of biases we have to sift through on a daily basis. The worst one is what I would lovingly call the superlative bias. In short, it is the concept that whatever event we are currently going through is the best or worst event of its type in history.
In some sense it makes perfect sense. Sensationalism sells and nothing kills the sensationalism like the admission that we have been through this before. Just this week we saw reporting that pointed to what most people would call treason during the Iran hostages scandal of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Americans back then would have been flummoxed to hear that news if it had immediately come out, but the fact is that it wasn’t unique even back then. Fortunately or unfortunately we did not hear about those events until long after they actually happened. If American voters had known Richard Nixon was conspiring with North Vietnam then maybe he doesn’t become president. Maybe his ass winds up in jail. Then again, maybe no one would have cared and he would have gone on to be president.
The job of the media is becoming increasingly more difficult as these stories become news instantaneously. We learned about Russian interference in the 2016 election almost virtually as it was happening. We learned about various Trump scandals almost immediately. We had all of the evidence we needed. Hell, it was all on tape.
It has to be difficult when things are that simple. In a nation where conspiracy theories reign (and rain), it can be difficult to stomach something so out in the open. We keep getting told that arrests and indictments are imminent. We saw that in 2017 and 2018 with the Russia scandal. We saw that with the first impeachment following Ukraine. We saw that with the second impeachment and January 6th.
Every time an arrest or indictment doesn’t happen it makes you doubt the story itself. The press is just crying wolf again. Maybe this is another “trumped” up charge. It’s really not that serious. Someone that is such an accomplished businessman would never do something so blatantly obvious like that. Except he did at every turn.
The current and former jackass in chief is even leaning into it. He is releasing his own rumors that he will be indicted. Why? It leans into the narrative. If he gets indicted for Stormy Daniels then it is a blown opportunity on a grand scale. He did all this other stuff and it is a one night stand with a porn star that gets him? He must not have done any of those other things.
Political prosecutions are tricky business. If you overplay your hand then you guarantee the other side will do the same when they get the opportunity. There was talk from day one about impeaching Joe Biden. What’s the charge? They don’t know and couldn’t explain it if they did. They just know that it’s not fair that you busted our guy when he obviously broke every law in the book. Just rest assured that this latest scandal will be the worst of all. At least it will be until the next one.