Paul Manafort guilty on eight counts ….none of which have anything to do with Trump or the election. The most recent crime happened in 2014. That’s not stopping the usual suspects. WaPo, NYT, CNN, MSNBC, etc, etc…..they’re all publishing headlines in 24-point font. TRUMP ASSOCIATE GUILTY blah blah blah. There’s already opinion pieces on how this shows the Mueller probe isn’t just politically motivated, on how this is only the first step, etc. Let’s be clear: Manafort just got found guilty of crimes, mostly tax fraud, that happened before he ever met Donald Trump. The entire trial had nothing to do with Trump at all.
Mueller’s investigation is supposedly about Russia, Trump, and the election. Manafort just got convicted of tax fraud that happened years before the election in question. As far as the 2016 election goes, Manafort is completely irrelevant. In fact, I would argue that Mueller’s failure to prove Russian collusion so far is an excellent sign that there is no collusion to be found. He’s been at it for two years, he’s spent millions of dollars, he’s raided Trump’s lawyer, he’s leaned on Manafort as hard as he can…….and this is all he can come up with.
My opinion has not changed. The FBI investigation is meant to attack Trump in two ways. 1: entrapment. They want to get him on anything they can, no matter how irrelevant. This is one reason why getting an interview with Trump is such a big deal. If Mueller interviews Trump, even the slightest inaccuracy will be called perjury.
2: media. The anti-Trump media campaign is so all-pervasive that every living human has heard about it. There are probably nomads living in central Asia who think Trump’s an asshole. I’m certain that uncontacted stone-age tribes living in the deep jungle discuss the evils of Trump over their campfires. Jokes aside, everyone should be able to see that a propaganda campaign is under way. It’s pretty hard to deny, and some reporters have even admitted it, saying that opposing Trump is the right thing to do. It goes further then that; I believe certain media outlets and the FBI are cooperating. Specifically the NYT and WaPo. Mueller’s operation leaks to the press constantly, and always to those two papers.
The ultimate goal is impeachment. In theory, the relentless media barrage will help Democrats retake congress this fall. The Mueller investigation will provide a pretext, probably perjury or campaign finance violations. Boom, impeached. Am I being crazy? I don’t think so. Reporters have been mentioning impeachment since Trump got elected, and WaPo is already running editorials discussing how Manafort’s trial is related.
(WARNING: RANT INCOMING)
There are some attempts to be a little more subtle, like opinion pieces last month about how Democrats should lay off the impeachment talk for the time being. Politicians know the average Joe doesn’t approve of manufactured criminal charges. But then, politicians don’t approve of the average Joe. Contempt for the masses is easy to see in every essay and speech. The elites, happy in their east coast echo chambers, think the people are idiots. They think they know better. After all, they went to (insert Ivy League school here). They worked their way to the top of the pyramid. They have money, connections, and power. That’s why they think manufacturing crimes against Trump, and then destroying him, is justified. He’s uncouth, ill-mannered, and a jerk; obviously one of the unwashed masses here to order them around and belittle them.
The people don’t understand, of course. They’re idiots. They must be made to understand. So the elites get on the phone to their media contacts, who are equally appalled by the situation. Journalists begin shaping public opinion. Modern journalism has nothing to do with the truth. They never even mention the truth anymore. It’s all about shaping the narrative for a higher goal. And if they have to lie a bit, distort a few facts, it’s justified, because it’s for the greater good. So what if the study on global warming had to fudge a few numbers. We’re saving the planet! So what if Iran gets a bunch of money. We’re preserving peace in the Middle East! So what if we have to make stuff up, destroy some innocent people, and pervert the course of democracy? Trump is evil! And the people are dumb anyway.
They never ask: what if we’re wrong? They never ask because they literally cannot. Their self-images are tied up in the media campaigns and Noble Causes. They have to be good, you see, because the cause is good, and they must be too. Their opponents, naturally, are evil and must be destroyed. Compromise? With evil? Impossible. They’re blind to the fact that they’ve been consumed by their own simplistic narrative. Good versus Evil is a five-year-old’s understanding of politics…..actually, scratch that. Even five-year-olds sense that they don’t understand what’s going on. The elites believe they know How Things Work. They are incapable of the introspection necessary to realize that their concepts of the world are laughably simplistic. Any mistakes will simply be rationalized away as incompetence or lies. This allows the elites to prevent their self-image from being damaged. This may sound trivial, but it is one of the most painful and disturbing things a human being can experience.
When I say “damage to self-image” I don’t mean small things like “I thought I was good at basketball”. I mean the foundational beliefs, the bedrock that our minds are built upon. things like God, nation, science, and so on. These people have given themselves completely to a view of the world with themselves at the apex. The essential, unspoken core: “We are unique. We are special. We are better then everyone else. We know better then everyone else. We deserve our power.” Imagine their panic if they realized that they were not, in fact, better then anyone. That they had been living in a mass delusion of their own creation; that reality was far more dangerous then they had assumed; that not only were the people fools, they were too. Perhaps worst of all: that no one is in control.
I believe there’s some deep psychological reasons behind the hysterical opposition to Trump. Power is a large part of it, of course. The elites have a good thing going, they don’t want it screwed up. But cold calculation doesn’t account for the emotion we see. Emotion can be faked, sometimes, but reporters are not actors, and the public demonstrators are definitely not actors. (Ignoring the marches in Hollywood for the moment). The edge of hysteria comes from the unconscious suspicion that they could be wrong, and according to the simple good vs. evil worldview, that makes then the tragic villain. Any dissent must be destroyed to save them from knowledge of themselves, for that would be too painful to bear.
In my opinion.