The political word on everyone’s lips last week – Bias – has been eclipsed by the new No. 1. Treason.
Bias. That was the buzz word during a Congressional show trial Thursday in which an FBI agent, Peter Strzok, who hasn’t worked on the Robert Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russians for a year, was accused of bias against the president during the 2016 campaign. Republicans eager to defend Trump pointed to anti-trump emails Strzok had sent to a then-fellow agent as proof of the FBI’s institutional bias against Trump. Nonsensical, of course, considering the FBI’s actions clearly hurt Hillary Clinton, to Trump’s benefit. But we’re talking about the United States Congress, so sense isn’t a part of the conversation.
And while we’re talking about bias, let’s explore the word for a moment. It has a negative connotation. But is bias such a bad thing?
Let’s look it up. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines bias as “an inclination of temperament or outlook… a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment.” A pre-conceived opinion. Sometimes unreasoned. Racism, that’s an unreasoned bias.
But often, bias is not unreasoned. If ancient humans hadn’t learned to be biased against eating poisonous mushrooms, evolution would have ended for us eons ago.
We see bias in all creatures. Rather than eat her dry kibble, my dog prefers to snag a rib off of a dinner plate. BAD DOG! But she has learned to be biased in favor of human food.
So, bias is not necessarily a bad thing. It is often built on experience.
Here’s a sampling of Strzok’s texts that he was asked to read, in the hope of embarrassing him, at his hearing last Thursday:
OMG, he’s an idiot.
How is Trump other than a douche.
Trump is a disaster. I have no idea how destabilizing his presidency would be.
Without a doubt, Strzok is biased, based on his investigation into the Siberian Candidate’s campaign. After Trump’s confrontational meetings at the NATO meetings last week, followed by this week’s “summit” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, most of the world seems to agree with Strzok.
Neutrality is a con game. Journalists, judges and cops are supposed to be neutral. But if you are a thinking person, a well-informed person, someone who participates in society, you are likely not neutral on important issues. It is our duty, as smart people, to be all of these.
And it is a canard that intelligent people cannot be well informed and still conduct themselves in a fair manner. We can make personal and reasonable judgments, and still do our jobs.
Treason. We never should have reached the point where the president of the United States betrays our allies and cozies up to a country that attacks an institution vital to us: Our elections. Trump’s job is to protect our voting rights, our legal system, our free press, and our country. To not do so – to sabotage those institutions to protect his own thin skin – is treason.
Trump is a poisonous mushroom. He showed us who he was many, many years ago.
Which leads us to the third political word which should be on everyone’s lips today. Insanity. As in a quote often mis-attributed to Albert Einstein, but words wise enough that the source doesn’t matter: “The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.”
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