Is anybody else feeling a little, for lack of a better term, stupid these days? I’ve been trying to decipher who did what to whom regarding Russian influence in the 2016 election, as well as keeping track of FBI personnel that seem to have spent more time figuring out ways to de-throne Donald Trump than they did to catch bad guys. Added to all that is the ongoing Congressional probe into whatever the heck James Comey was up to when he was investigating shenanigans surrounding presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of an outside server while she was U.S. Secretary of State.
Basically, I think at this point I’m totally confused. And I’m guessing I’m not alone. Every day there seem to be more names and more information added to the mix. Documents are released, but they’re never a full set. One, two, three, even twelve hundred key pages, paragraphs, and even punctuation marks are always missing. Is it any wonder something of substance seldom gets done in Washington?
Virtually everyone elected to federal public office, and that includes members of both political parties and independents (no group appears immune), must take a secret class in obfuscation, mystification, and confusion. Actually I think it all has to do with survival. Perhaps it’s perceived as job security if We the People can’t understand what’s going on. The thought may be we’ll just blindly accept what we’re told, continue to return folks to office, and get back to what really concerns us – you know, things like food and jobs and why does my knee hurt all of a sudden.
The mass media is of little help, if any, in the matter. The pundits and talking heads all act is if they know exactly what’s going on. Here’s an observation: They don’t. I’m not even sure the people at the center of all the investigations know which end is up.
Oh, sure, there are some basics that seem pretty cut and dried. The story about those two FBI employees who were trading emails about their next assignation and obvious hatred for candidate and then President Trump is pretty easy to understand. But Comey’s email probe and Russian influence? There are more plot twists, ever-expanding casts of characters, and unpronounceable names than any Robert Ludlum and Fyodor Dostoevsky novels combined.
One part of the news that is definitely easy to keep up with is the vitriol being spouted by loudmouths with any sort of platform. While that’s a widespread practice among many, it’s particularly disconcerting to hear abject hatred and spleen-splitting scorn heaped on those who disagree by individuals and groups who preach tolerance as a rite of membership into their club.
If I read the Constitution correctly, we’re all entitled to an opinion. Now, of course, our own personal views are always correct and others’ beliefs are downright idiotic, with the purveyor of opposing ideas not fit to draw breath on this planet. But when violence or the threat of it occurs, that’s a major cause for concern.
But I’ve moved off track. I was talking about feeling a bit unwise. I have to admit that the current state of affairs on the political front may have weakened my brain cells. That perceived lack of knowledge was exacerbated one day this week by my ongoing ineptness regarding the use of a computer. And I believe that has added greatly to my frustration.
It seemed a simple matter. Due to some totally unknown reason – the technician tried to explain, but he was speaking an unfamiliar language – it was necessary to install some new software so I could actually do something on the machine besides stare at that continuously rotating circle on the screen.
I bought the new software, followed the instructions, put in yet another password I’m supposed to remember, and keyed in the activation number.
Nothing happened . . . besides the aforementioned spinning circle.
Three hours and $250 later, I now have a working version of Microsoft plus a guarantee that if anything goes wrong, it’ll be fixed. I was also invited to call them monthly for updates and other items of interest. Even after spending all that time on the phone with two nice gentlemen with just a hint of an accent, I could not describe to you one single thing they told me that made any sense whatsoever.
As with Congress, it’s just much simpler to let those folks go about their business and fork over the money. It may be stupid to do so, but perhaps that’s the wisest course of action.
©MMXVIII. William J. Lewis, III Freelance Writer