“We have met the enemy and he is us.”
In March of 1999, Congressmen Bob Livingston (R-Louisiana) had just been elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, succeeding Newt Gingrich, and was forced to resign from office because it was revealed that he had several extra-marital affairs in his past. This turn of events came shortly after Bill Clinton was impeached for having an affair with 20-year-old intern, Monica Lewinsky, and for sexually harassing Paula Jones while he was Governor of Arkansas. Congress voted to not remove Clinton from office, but forced Livingston out.
Livingston was forced to resign, we were told at the time, not because of his extramarital affairs but because of his hypocrisy. Bob Livingston had been one of the leading voices against Bill Clinton during his impeachment which made Livingston’s sexual improprieties intolerable. It did not matter that Clinton did some of the same things that sent Harvey Weinstein to prison, Clinton kept his job because he was not a hypocrite whereas, Livingston lost his Congressional seat because he was – he tried to hold someone accountable to a moral and ethical standard that he had failed to live up to.
Hypocrisy, we are told, is one of the greatest crimes there is. If being a hypocrite is a crime, then we are all guilty. We see this every day of our lives. Very few people, especially in the political arena, are not hypocrites. We all know that if Barack Obama had done what Donald Trump did with classified documents, all the people who are defending Trump would be demanding that Obama be thrown in jail, but by the same measure, all the people who are demanding Trump be thrown in jail, would be fiercely defending Obama.
In 2016, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton had set up a private server in her home while she was Secretary of State and conducted official state business on that server, including receiving and transmitting classified documents which is a felony. Her emails were subpoenaed by the FBI, and she subsequently “bleach bit” over 30,000 subpoenaed emails off her server and smashed two government devices, which is obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence – all of the same charges that Trump has been indicted on. Hillary claimed that the emails were solely about yoga and wedding plans, but looking at her physique, it is highly unlikely that Hillary does very much yoga, definitely not 15,000 emails worth.
On June 29, 2016, days before FBI Director James Comey was to announced whether he would pursue charges against Hillary, her husband, Bill Clinton had a private meeting on a plane on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport, with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch who not coincidently was James Comey’s direct superior. Clinton claimed the hour-long meeting was solely about golf and grandkids. Yet six days later, Loretta Lynch’s subordinate, James Comey announced that the FBI would not pursue a criminal case against Hillary for illegally possessing hundreds of classified documents in her home, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence. Many of the people who demanded Hillary be thrown in jail are defending Trump right now, while many of those who are demanding that Trump gets thrown in jail, defended Hillary fervently in all her crimes.
And that is the hypocrisy that is destroying our nation. Were both Trump’s impeachments politically motivated? Of course, they were. Was Bill Clinton’s impeachment politically motivated? Of course, it was. Was Watergate politically motivated vs Richard Nixon? Of course, it was. What did Nixon do? He used former intelligence agents to spy on the political campaign of his opponent and then used the FBI to cover it up, which is a crime that should result in criminal charges, but were they going after the corruption or the person?
In 2016, Barack Obama used the intelligence agencies to spy on Donald Trump’s campaign and used the FBI to cover it up. So, the people who claimed that Richard Nixon was the biggest crook in our history, have never once called for legal action against Obama for doing the exact same thing as Nixon. And didn’t Lyndon Johnson use the FBI and CIA to spy on his political opponent, Barry Goldwater, in 1964? Of course, he did. And didn’t Johnson’s FBI spy on Martin Luther King Jr, from 1963 until King’s death in April of 1968? The people who ran Nixon out of office, only care about illegal spying and abuse of power when a Republican does it. But they are fine when Democrats do it.
At the same time, our Department of Justice, is trying to send former President Trump to jail for 100 years for mishandling classified documents, the FBI is refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena for documents relating to accusations against sitting President Joe Biden’s $5 million bribery scheme of selling influence over foreign policy to his son Hunter’s corrupt Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
All of these issues are political, not because there isn’t criminal activity involved, rather everyone sees the guilt or innocence not based on the facts but based on the party affiliation of those involved. Very few people care about truth and justice on either side of the aisle. Very few. If we as a country cared about truth and justice, they would all be thrown in jail. But we demand that the other guy gets the book thrown at him while fiercely defending our guy for doing the same thing.
And that’s fine if it’s all political. Politics is what makes the world go around. I’m just tired of all the politicians and political talking heads, standing on their soap boxes, virtue signaling their ethical superiority when they do not have an ethical bone in their body. Everything they do is for political expedience. So, with all the talk about Trump’s indictment, Biden’s bribery, has there been very much mentioned of the fact that we have a $31.5 trillion national debt? How many people have demanded an audit of the $120 billion of aid we have sent to Ukraine over the last year and a half?
There are over one billion government documents that are designated as classified, documents that the government is preventing the citizens from seeing. And at the same time government is bending over backwards to prevent the average citizens from knowing what they are doing with the power entrusted in them; they are going to great lengths to continue to make it easy for the government to spy on the average citizens. Congress is extending Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows for government to surveille its citizens. It was used by the FBI to spy on Donald Trump and other American citizens. This is all happening but very few say anything about it, but we are distracted by these political skirmishes.
The FISA process has been so widely abused that on Tuesday, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate admitted to Senator Josh Hawley the FBI “unintentionally” spied on 278,000 American citizens. How do you “unintentionally” spy on someone? “Spy” is an active verb which requires motive and intent. How do you “unintentionally” do something with “intent”? So, private citizens cannot know what public officials are doing with their official public duties, but public officials want to know everything private citizens are doing in their private life. It is the exact opposite of the government that was founded almost 250 years ago and the opposite of a functioning republic.
We are all to blame. We fall for this schtick all the time. We must stop it. We must be better than that. We get so caught up in our party winning and theirs losing that we are willing to not only sacrifice our integrity, but also our country for the sake of the party.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.