By Chris Rossini
Politics is a fool's game. The House always wins, and taxpayers always lose. As comedian George Carlin said: "It's a big club, and you ain't in it."
Why does The House always win? Well, politicians can lie as much as they want. In the real world, that's called fraud. In politics, it's known as "campaigning," or "campaign rhetoric."
Politicians can say one thing and do the polar opposite. In the real world, that's known as breaking a contract. But in politics there are no contracts between politicians and voters.
For politicians, the truth and lies are interchangeable. One has no more value than the other. They go with whatever works.
Great deal for them. Horrible deal for us.
Let's zoom in on President Trump's slippery position on Ukraine and Crimea as an example. Putting aside the fact that the U.S. has no business even being involved with these far away lands, we'll see how useless it is to take a politician's word on anything.
At first, Trump had Ukraine and Crimea totally wrong. Here he at a 2014 speech at CPAC:
“The day after the Olympics, he [Putin] starts with Ukraine...And you know, when he goes in and takes Crimea, he’s taking the heart and soul because that’s where all the money is. I was surprised. I heard that the other day. They were saying, most of the wealth comes right from that area.”
You'll notice no mention of Senator John McCain in Ukraine rallying the people who would overthrow the democratically elected government. Nor any mention of Victoria (F**k The EU) Nuland handing out cookies.
After the Olympics, Putin just "starts" with Ukraine.
Trump's opinion changed for the better though and we heard it over and over during his presidential campaign:
I would love to have a good relationship where Russia and ... instead of fighting each other we got along. It would be wonderful if we had good relationships with Russia so that we don’t have to go through all of the drama.
Trump even seemed to grasp the truth about Ukraine and Crimea:
He's not going into Ukraine, OK? Just so you understand. He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right?You can mark it down and you can put it down, you can take it anywhere you want. But, you know, the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also.
This is the stuff that American voters loved to hear. Why on earth would we want a war with a nuclear power like Russia? Hillary Clinton took a very belligerent tone against Russia, and Trump did not. That was a critical issue in voters minds.
But was Trump just "campaigning?"
Was it just "campaign rhetoric?" Wouldn't be the first time. Woodrow Wilson, FDR, George W. Bush, Barack Obama...all elected as the peace candidate. We know what happened.
With Trump, we're going to find out. But like those other presidents, Trump has no binding agreements to keep his word. If he breaks his promise, we can't appeal to anyone. Once war fever gets going, previous campaign promises are like dust in the wind.
The campaign is over and Trump swore to uphold the Constitution (every politician's first official lie).
And now the tune on Russia is changing.
Earlier this month U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said to the UN:
"The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine."
Yesterday, Trump's Press Secretary, Sean Spicer said:
"President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea,"
Also yesterday, General Michael Flynn resigned, and despite his many erroneous foreign policy views, he did actually want to work with Russia.
Do you see the downward spiral taking form here?
This morning President Trump himself tweeted the following:
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?
Is Trump going really start trouble with a country that has more nuclear weapons than we do?
And that's the problem.
Regardless of what ends up happening, it should be obvious that politics really is a fool's game. What we think, what we feel, and how we vote really means nothing.
But our money does mean something to the "big club" that we're not in.
Now let's get back to work.
We have taxes to pay.