A thousand wrongs don't make a right

As anyone who’s ever been in a relationship or marriage can attest, using the “well, you do it too” defense in an argument is almost never a winning strategy: neither side ends up happy, and responsibility for bad behavior is projected onto someone else. Why, then, is this line of thinking the modus operandi in Washington, D.C., where the serious adults in the room are supposed to be making our most important decisions?

           

The last few weeks have been exhausting, even by Donald Trump presidency standards: he fired the FBI director and then couldn’t get his story straight on why he did it (no way it could’ve had anything to do with that Russia investigation), he may or may not have leaked classified information to a Russian ambassador (naturally, he declared the allegation fake news), and talks of impeachment have heated up like never before just four months after inauguration.

           

In typical defensive significant other fashion, however, Trump has shot back with the classic “Well, you guys did it too” line at the Democrats, and you know what? He’s right.

           

Now-former FBI Director James Comey became liberal public enemy number one when he reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails just a week before the election, despite the fact that he was an Obama-era appointee who craved the media spotlight more than any sort of partisan adoration.

           

“Let’s blame our election loss on anything we can except for the fact that we ran an uninspiring candidate who exemplifies the status quo in a change year,” Democrats seemed to say in unison.

           

But Comey’s undoing, of course, was his willingness to investigate the ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, specifically former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and if the Donald has shown us anything as president thus far, it’s that he’s brash, impulsive and honors absolute loyalty over dignity and/or duty to country.

 

Suddenly, Comey is a conservative scapegoat (Rush Limbaugh in particular has been hammering him on recent episodes) and a liberal hero (Keith Olbermann, who’s been fired by almost every news organization in existence except The Grundy Register, is hailing Comey after calling for his resignation when he reopened the e-mail investigation), and it all makes perfect sense. If you actually do your job in Washington, everyone’s going to hate you. When the only thing one side has to say about its bad behavior is that its opponents are doing the same thing, shouldn’t everyone start holding themselves to a higher standard?

           

Sadly, this defense has become the primary talking point not only for the Beltway insiders but pretty much every Trump supporter I speak to in person. There’s no way to justify half the things he says and does anymore, so it’s easier to just claim that Democrats do it too and get on with the charade. Is America great again yet? Has the swamp been drained? Maybe I’m biased, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

           

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and it’s always a great time to reflect on just how lucky we are even on days that we fail to realize it. Because of the strength and resolve of the American military at various points throughout history, we live freely and without fear in the greatest country in the world. But of course, as the cliché goes, freedom has never been free.

           

Millions of brave Americans have had to give up their lives on the battlefield to get us to where we are today. Any good thing is worth fighting for, especially democracy, and no matter our political divisions, we can come together on this special day to say a big “thank you” to all of those who are no longer with us because of their valiant sacrifices.

           

Around Christmas, we’re often reminded to remember “the reason for the season,” and I believe that adage is equally fitting on Memorial Day. It’s not just time to grill out and kick off the summer. It’s a time to be thankful that we’re lucky enough to enjoy a way of life unrivaled throughout the world and that the battles of today aren’t being fought on our turf.

 

“There is no reason in the world why we shouldn't fight for the preservation of a chance to live freely, no reason why we shouldn't suffer to uphold that which we want to endure. May God give me the courage to do my duty and not falter”- Nile Kinnick