by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 19, 2019
This is embarrassing. It is surprisingly difficult to watch elected members of Congress make fools of themselves. Obviously these people deserve to bare the shame that they are bringing on themselves but that does not make it any more acceptable. There are lessons here for us all.
The most obvious lesson is not to attempt to support the unsupportable. On a personal level, while there is legitimacy to supporting your family, friends and team, there is nothing to be gained by destroying your own ethics, morality, and credibility when there are no extenuating circumstances.
In those situations you should start from a position of trust and then make your determination of truth. There are reasons for the legal tradition of not expecting spouses to testify against each other. But, otherwise, the weight of evidence should give you pause.
At his level I’ve come to see the old saying often attributed to mothers as the best option: If you can’t say something good about someone, then don’t say anything at all. If the person in trouble is mentally unstable, an inveterate liar, and a confessed criminal with no history of remorse, you should be quiet and walk away. If accused of not supporting the team, you can make the logical statement that you are supporting them by not making the situation worse. Silence should be valued.
Next it is not morally defensible to publicly defend someone for personal gain. Obviously lawyers are not included in this as their professional ethics require them to do the best for their clients although ignoring proof of crimes and lying like a rug may make them rich it will destroy their reputation in the end.
Now this can get messy if what you would gain is, for instance, not being killed by the goons of the person demanding that you defend them. But that is a very straightforward legal matter, at least, until the legal system is so corrupt that they are owned by the problem person and associates who is demanding your defense. The number of attorneys in prison for working for Donald Trump is a lesson in itself.
As for the Republican members of Congress this is a potential problem but I don’t think Trump has yet managed to get any ‘nevertrumpers’ or ‘traitors’ as he calls them, wiped. But that is just a matter of time so Lt. Col. Vinden’s example is a very smart move. If you refuse to lie then ask openly for police and, if necessary, military protection for you and your family.
If you cannot defend such people due to the weight of evidence that they are criminal and dangerous, make it public and ask for protection. No reason to risk everything from those with high expectations of being guilty (whether or not they will be formally found guilty). This is, after all, real world pragmatism.
A very good lesson to apply in these situations is to avoid at all costs being forced to defend someone who is bug fuck crazy. This is important enough on the broader, public level, that even if it is your mother there is only potential loss for that attempt. Psychopathy and malignant narcism are good reasons to claim ‘nothing good to say’ and consider some time on the opposite coast. In fact this might be a good time to look for an official position in another country.
For members of the Republican Party this is very complex. If your entire life and professional career are devoted to conspiracy theories,corruption and exploitation of the poor and non-white population it can prove very difficult to determine an adequate level of criminality that would cause you to act on a moral basis. But my point is, it can make a very large difference in your time spent behind bars or on the run and in hiding with your family. Please take a serious look at these possible outcomes.
Last, but not least, there is a very strong case for doing what is right. While this may be difficult to grasp for people in politics, particularly the Republican Party, there are centuries of arguments on how this can benefit your life. This has, unfortunately, nothing to do with the religionists that you have been forced to accept as experts. They are simply stooges for the people who you are being asked to defend who, on inspection, are indefensible.
I would suggest checking out some books on stoicism and/or Buddhist philosophy. These things are not entangled in conspiracy theories or precious medals wealth creation and you don’t need to send anyone any money. And, while you won’t be guaranteed to become rich, you don’t have to declare anything or even admit to reading about it.
It’s amazing how much better life can be if you don’t have to try to agree with a babbling idiot who’s lies are impossible to track or keep bizarre conspiracy theories organized. And it can be exhausting justifying diverse immoral and criminal actions not to mention having to spend all of your time with obnoxious assholes.
Besides, in the future, not having to lie to your children and grandchildren about what you have done and why may be more valuable than anything else.