After the release of the Mueller report, for a one brief shining moment that was known as overly optimistic, I imagined a reaction from President Trump wherein he gracefully accepted the findings which cleared him of high crimes against the USA, and used the opportunity to heal the country of the partisan poison that threatens not only our interpersonal relationships but paralyzes our ability to compromise in a spirit of commonality.
But not to be. At first it was just a little gloating – a goal-post dance if you will, but then it began - the seeking of resignations; the threatening of jail; “lock him up” chants reminiscent of the Clinton reckoning; and of course the sound bite of the week, the suggestion that Rep Adam Schiff, was a “pencil-neck,” “sick” and ”not a long ball hitter.” Oy vey. Those kinds of excoriating attacks make my independent blood boil. Classic Trump, going after his challenger’s like some third world despot seeking retribution. One of my greatest fears from the environment surrounding his presidency is the normalization of the idea of the persecution of political enemies and the denigration of the free press. That tends to quell open thought and communication.
I want President Trump to succeed. I really do. He has done more for the Jewish people than any modern sitting president other than possibly Jimmy Carter. Israel is small and isolated in a sea of hostile Arabs. And I appreciate the folksy way that Trump brings us into his world. I like to see his beautiful family and I’m impressed by his success as a real estate developer. I’m just tired of being disappointed that my desire for a political utopia in which he uses his considerable gifts to advance worthy causes, is always thwarted. This was a golden opportunity to show an ounce of humility, maturity and gratitude. He could have been humbled by the outpouring of support, appreciative of our system of justice, and grateful for exoneration by Robert Mueller and the fine work the Special Counsel did. It’s now about “getting” him, whereas it should be about due process.
President Trump called the Mueller investigation a “witch-hunt.” It’s only a witch-hunt if you are eventually burned at the stake. He was exonerated after a very public exercise in due process. Due process may have been caught up in the muck and mire of partisan politics, and decision-making may have been an exercise in inside baseball - considering that Trump hand-picked the person making the decision to prosecute, but nevertheless, the system worked. It wasn’t played. It played out. It is our great honor to live in a country that allows the greatest amount of freedom, the ability to speak openly about almost anything and the right to vote in a free election.
If President Trump thinks he was unfairly targeted in a way that does not satisfy the constraints of due process, he can avail himself of the judicial system to redress his grievances like any private citizen. As President, attacking anyone who challenges him is a dangerous exercise in political persecution. He should be above that.