Boy, this happens to me a lot. Really, all too often. Mostly, since my niecelings were born. There is constant griping about their Mom. It sounds horrible. My sister is such an ogre. Then she calls me and tells me her side of the story. That is why I am well aware of the danger of listening to only one side.
Obviously, based on the picture for this post, you know I’m going political today. You’ve got your early warning, so stay or go as you prefer. I still think it’s worth the five or ten minutes of your time (hey, I don’t know how fast you read!).
So, I’m going to give two examples of one-sided situations of the current administration. Both will illustrate the need for patience and attention. And both will illustrate the danger of listening to only one side.
The Trump Tower meeting
A big hullabaloo has developed over this meeting. A lot of “facts” have been issued about the meeting. Strangely, the “facts” have changed over time.
Of course, that’s always interesting. We think of facts, normally, like “the sun rises in the east” and “humans need air” or even, simply “gravity”, as things that don’t change.
But, let’s look at all the statements for that increasingly infamous meeting. Note: All these statements are out in the open and easily researched. Don’t be hitting me with any “political bias” claims.
– Back in June, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. gets an email saying Russians want to provide some dirt on Hillary Clinton
– DT Jr. says, in part, “if it’s what you say I love it”
Interjection: By law, it is illegal to receive contributions from a foreign country to influence our elections
– Donald Trump makes an announcement during his primary victory speech that a “major speech about the Clintons” will be coming a few days later.
– The next day the meeting with DT Jr. , Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Russians takes place.
– Trump senior does not deliver a “major speech” about the Clintons.
– Donald Trump states, decisively, neither he nor his staff have had any contact with Russians.
Interjection 2: Since that statement, it is found that, within Trump’s campaign and administration staff, Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos (to name a few) all have had contact with Russians
– Donald Trump states that, speaking only for himself, he has had no contact or involvement with Russia
– The NY Times obtains information about the meeting in Trump Tower
– Trump senior says he has no knowledge of the meeting
– Trump Jr. goes on Hannity and claims there was nothing to the meeting and it was basically about adoptions.
– The White House releases a statement from Trump Jr. saying about the same thing.
– Trump senior’s lawyers deny Trump had anything to do with the memo
– The Press Secretary say Trump “weighed in” on the memo
– It is revealed, much later, that Trump dictated the memo
– A short time ago, Trump senior admitted the meeting with the Russians was an attempt to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. He still claimed he had no prior knowledge and that nothing came from the meeting.
Given the string of “fact” changes throughout this affair, it would not be totally incredible to think of two possibilities. One, Trump senior did have prior knowledge of the meeting. Two, something actually did result from the meeting.
The danger of listening to only one side of this conversation would mean not knowing the truth.
The Mueller investigation
Mueller is appointed after Trump’s firing of James Comey and the recusal of Jeff Sessions due to conflicts of interest (namely, meeting with Russians).
His charge is to investigate Russia’s attack on our elections, including any possible involvement by the Trump campaign. He is also looking into Trump’s potential acts of obstructing justice.
Trump has branded the investigation in the most negative terms and, from day one, denied any collusion and, later, obstruction. Recently, Trump has not denied obstruction as often.
Also recently, Trump has begun shifting from “no collusion” to “collusion is not a crime”. The cynical might suspect that is because there is growing evidence of some collusion within his campaign.
Interjection 3: Collusion is a crime, just as a rose is a rose by any other name. The crime is more correctly called “conspiracy”.
Currently, Trump has his TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, making all sorts of claims about Mr. Mueller and the “conditions” for interviewing Trump for the investigation. The danger of listening to only one side of this “conversation” is that it appears there is actual negotiating going on.
Mr. Mueller is doing what he is charged to do, without fanfare or public posing. It is an unnatural feeling, considering the headline-grabbing need of everyone from both sides of the aisle.
Some worry that this gives Trump and Giuliani “free rein” to set public opinion ahead of the final report from Mr. Mueller. And that may be.
But, as I can say from firsthand family experience, beware the danger of listening to only one side.