My Political Disgust

24055032 - washington dc skyline in watercolor backgroundCall me a malcontent, if you wish, but I am disgusted with most politicians, their paid spokespeople, and the media that both cover them, in the journalistic sense, and provide cover for many of them, in the lickspittle sense.

I am disgusted with the Obama administration for misleading the country about, among other things, the Affordable Care Act, which is neither affordable nor caring; for disrespecting the police and the military; and for handling domestic and foreign affairs with gross incompetency.

I am also disgusted with the legions of Democratic leaders for their lockstep support of Obama’s policies, even those that are manifestly misguided and harmful to the American people. Whether these people are driven by fawning or intellectual myopia, they continue to do the country a disservice.

I am even more disgusted with Republican leaders for their spinelessness and hypocrisy. They not only made sweeping promises to support conservative reforms and then did nothing to enact them. They also had the gall to become offended when voters became fed up with their inaction and supported an outsider, Donald Trump.

To make matters worse, many Republican leaders refused to endorse Trump after he won the primary, and others withdrew their support when it was revealed that he had made demeaning sexist remarks about women eleven years previously. Paul Ryan’s comment that instead of supporting Trump, he will work hard to keep a Republican majority is ludicrous. When I first heard it, I thought, “Why put such a high priority on staying in office? So they can continue to ignore their own professed principles and rubber-stamp Democratic initiatives? Democrats are already doing a perfectly fine job of that.”

Incidentally, Republican leaders could have expressed disapproval of Trump’s rhetoric about women without abandoning him. They could simply have said, “I deplore what Trump said but his disgraceful words are not nearly as egregious as Hillary’s deeds.” Such an expression would have been both entirely reasonable and perfectly consonant with conservative principles.

Democrats, in contrast, remain loyal to their candidate. Think of Hillary’s Benghazi, email, and Clinton Foundation scandals. Democrats have either remained silent or defended Hillary, while Republicans have busied themselves attacking and abandoning their own candidates.

I no longer have the slightest doubt that many in the Republican establishment—including both Presidents Bush and presidential aspirants Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Mitt Romney—will be perfectly comfortable having America’s future controlled by Hillary Clinton, the most liberal candidate in the modern era. In other words, they have no fear of borders thrown wide open, an ever-increasing national debt, and a Supreme Court that will undermine many of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

Those Republican leaders either lack the sound judgment they accuse Trump of lacking, or they care more about their political fortunes than about the principles they have long claimed to hold sacred. With friends like them, the Republic needs no enemies!

I am disgusted with Attorney General Loretta Lynch meeting privately with Bill Clinton at the very time his wife was under investigation by the FBI. That meeting at very least raised the suspicion that she was allowing her judgment in the case to be manipulated and thereby compromising her office.

I am disgusted with FBI Director James Comey for refusing to indict Hillary even while admitting she was “extremely careless” with confidential government information, as well for as his giving immunity to knowledgeable people without making it contingent on their thorough and forthright testimony. Comey’s behavior disgraced the Bureau, made a mockery of the conscientious work of his subordinates, and deprived the American people of the justice they had a right to expect.

I am disgusted with the media for rejecting the crucial role society has assigned them—that is, revealing to citizens the facts they need to select their leaders thoughtfully. Instead the media, bloated with arrogance and self-importance, have chosen to torture facts to fit their personal prejudices. In doing so, they have shielded government malfeasance and corruption.

Finally, I am disgusted with Donald Trump for treating so cavalierly his unique opportunity to reform our political system. All he needed to do was put aside his ego, exercise a modicum of self-control, and focus on the ideas millions of people chose him to champion. Instead, he has squandered that opportunity by ignoring his advisors, indulging his arrogance and petulance, and alienating voters whose support he desperately needed.

Am I also disgusted with Hillary Clinton? No. Disgust is not the right word. I am fearful of her and what she is capable of doing to this country. It is precisely that fear that underlies my disgust with those who are making that lamentable outcome more likely.

Copyright © 2016 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved