A relative of mine said she supports the president because of the stock market. I told her the market went way up when Barack Obama was president. She said, “No, it didn’t.”
In truth, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 7,949 on the day President Obama took office and closed at 19,827 on his last day as president, but she probably doesn’t want to know that. Some people tend to avoid any information that contradicts what they want to believe.
We should all know by now how dangerous it is to believe what we hear without questioning the motives of the source. Just ask one of the people who’ve been scammed into revealing their financial or personal information because they believed scammers. The trouble is, not all scammers are after our money; some are after our votes.
Take Russia. Their barrage of propaganda on social media convinced many liberals to not vote at all, or to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein instead of Hillary Clinton. Their online army spread lies about Clinton that some Democrats and many Republicans believed. Our intelligence community proved it, and the Mueller Report showed pages of evidence of the disinformation campaign against Clinton.
But most people aren’t going to read a more than 400 page report. It’s much easier to believe what they hear from Facebook friends or biased networks. I guess they didn’t see the photo of Stein in Moscow at a 2015 event for RT, the Russian-funded television channel. There she was, sitting at a dinner table with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Michael Flynn. It’s not a coincidence that Flynn became one of Trump’s top campaign aides or that, after he was elected, Trump appointed him as his national security adviser. But Flynn’s contacts and lies caught up with him. Soon after his appointment, Flynn was convicted of lying to the FBI about his close ties to Russia and its intelligence services.
Why was Russia working so hard to get Trump elected? Could it be they have information they’re holding over his head so he’ll do whatever they want? If so, it’s working. Russian farmers, instead of American farmers, are now selling soybeans and corn to China. Russia has now established a firm foothold in the Middle East, something they’ve wanted for years. That’s due to Trump working for the corrupt Turkish government whose forces slaughtered or pushed back the Kurds who’d fought beside our troops against ISIS before Trump withdrew U.S. forces.
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In Ukraine, the new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is trying to save his country by kowtowing to Trump. Putin, who wants to take back all of Ukraine, is happy as a clam to hear negative things about its recently elected president whose popularity has fallen since Zelensky’s phone call with Trump.
There are still more questions we need to ask: If Ukraine was so corrupt, why did Republican senators vote to give them military aid, which Trump held back without explanation, because they were making great strides in combating the corruption in their country? And why did Trump put a hold on those funds without first warning Congress, and the Office of Management and Budget that controls the funds?
Why did Trump have his personal lawyer investigate the so-called corruption of Joe and Hunter Biden, rather than having the State Department and Department of Justice do it? And why did he want Ukraine to investigate only the Bidens, and not the many instances of real corruption that occurred under the previous Ukrainian president?
If Trump has nothing to hide, why won’t he allow his staff and appointees to testify and why has he ordered them to ignore legal Congressional subpoenas? If he were innocent, wouldn’t he want them to prove it?
If, as Trump and many Republicans in Congress claim, Ukraine, and not Russia, interfered in our 2016 elections, why has Trump’s Justice Department not dropped the charges it brought against the 12 Russians for that?
As for Trump’s constant claims of “fake news,” why doesn’t he give any examples? Does he think we’re so ignorant that we believe only Fox and Breitbart News provide the truth, while PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS, Time magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, New York Times and all the others are lying? Unfortunately, as my relative proved, some people choose to remain ignorant.
As for House Democrats, why aren’t they concentrating on the ten pieces of evidence in the Mueller Report that show Trump obstructed justice on numerous occasions? In fact, he obstructs justice every time he prohibits someone in his administration from testifying in the impeachment inquiry.
So many strands to untangle. We can only hope that, as Launcelot said in Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” “at the length, truth will out.”
Pat Nash has lived in the Baraboo area, off and on, for more than 35 years. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.