So now we have the Mueller report . And, let us confess, it is kind of a bust for most of us. Whether because it was extensively “redacted” (a lovely term that sounds a bit like a flying, prehistoric lizard) or because there really isn’t any proof that Trump is a traitor, the report reveals a great deal of smoke, but very little fire.
If you’re like me, that is an vast disappointment. I, for one, was hoping that on Thursday the report would be released, that it would contain enormously damaging material — proof positive that Trump was a Russian agent, or something along those lines — and that by Friday impeachment proceedings would have begun. The evidence would be so damning, I’d hoped, that even Republican Senators would have no choice but to vote the Orange One out of office.
But it was not to be. At least for the moment, unless much more is revealed, the Mueller Report does not look like the answer to answer to our problems.
However, and this is where I may surprise you, what if that is for the best?
Let me explain. Suppose that we had gotten the Mueller Report we wanted. And suppose that Trump, after what would have been a long and exhausting fight, had left office. What would that have meant?
Well, it would have meant that Pence would have moved to the White House, which is not something that we would have have wanted. And, more importantly, the Democrats would have been able to go back to business as usual. For our 2020 candidate, we would have nominated some “safe” establishment insider (I’m guessing Kamala Harris would get the nod, as she may anyway, even now), and that person might win the election…or maybe not, the way that Hillary Clinton didn’t, even though Those Who Knew Best were certain she was The Chosen One.
And…and!…we would not have had to address the underlying problems that led to Trump’s victory in the first place.
We wouldn’t have to ask how we can really address the growing inequality in the country. We wouldn’t have to ask how to fix social media so that it doesn’t function as a danger to public safety. We wouldn’t have to ask what to do with Fox News and the vast and intricate collection of billionaire donors who have pushed us so far from democracy. We wouldn’t have to ask how the Left’s favorite pariah, White Working Class Males, could be incorporated into our movement and our nation’s future.
In short, we would have done as we were doing, smugly drifting toward destruction, certain that demography and changing sex roles would assure that the Future Was Ours…even as it slipped away, even as we slid into the darkness.
So, maybe this is a blessing in its own way. A disguised blessing, admittedly, and one which comes with much pain. A blessing which is also a chastisement. But a blessing all the same.
For it means that we will have no easy answer. And so are forced to address concrete reality.
Thus to discover solutions which are not so easy…but which will, in the end, endure.
Michael Jay Tucker is the “sort of volunteer editor” of LR Net. He is also a writer and journalist who has published material on topics ranging from the Jazz Age to computers. (Among his small claims to fame is that he interviewed Steve Jobs just after that talented if complicated man got kicked out of Apple, and just before the company’s Board came begging him to come back.)
Tucker’s most recent book is Padre: To The Island, a meditation on life and death based on the passing of his own parents.
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