The title is a question that was posed by Rajneesh (a.k.a. Osho), a controversial Indian guru and mystic. This question came to mind while I watched James Comey’s interview on ABC and while reading Donald Trump’s tweet storm regarding Comey’s actions and character. To me, it is an important question and not just in terms of these two individuals, but for assessing anyone’s character.
Throughout Comey’s discourse, I was struck by his personal convictions or moral code of integrity and honesty, his desire to uphold the rule of law, and to take actions that were just and fair. Being human, he has made mistakes and many could argue the merits of his publicly discussing the Clinton email investigation prior to the election while not revealing that Trump’s Russian contacts were being investigated, too. At this point, I believe, it’s pointless to continue to debate that topic. Instead we should focus on the present and future.
Throughout the interview, it was apparent that Comey is the “good man.” He noticed Trump’s “volatility during the campaign,” Trump’s lack of truthfulness and his “constant series of assertions during their meal” that were false (ie his inaugural crowd size and that he didn’t assault the women accusing him), and he was introspective when he declared that he was horrified that his actions may have affected the election and he should have phrased his response differently when Trump asked him for “loyalty.” But, the statement that had the most impact on me was the disintegration our societal standards of conduct since Trump’s inauguration, “It’s a dangerous time in our country…the norms…if we lose that…what are we?”
Conversely, Trump has called Comey a “proven Leaker & Liar” and belittled him as “Slippery James Comey…Not smart” during some of his tweet tirades on Twitter recently. Trump also alleges, “Comey, McCabe & others committed many crimes,” that the DOJ’s McCabe report is “total disaster. He LIED! Lied! Lied! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey. No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes,” and that Comey was a “weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI.” These outbursts remind me of a line in Hamlet by Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.”
According to https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1423964-who-is-a-bad-man-and-who-is-a-good, Osho asserts a bad man is inconsiderate, disrespectful, manipulative, and believes “he’s the center of the world.” Whereas, the good man is the polar opposite and is one “Who has come to feel that everybody is the center of the world. The world is one, but millions of centers exist. He is very respectful. He never uses the other as a means. The other is an end in itself. His reverence is tremendous.”