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The Mueller Report, American Polarization, and the Future

The OLD Philosopher – John M. Miller


The long awaited Mueller Report, redacted, has been made public. Those who thought it would clearly indicate obstruction of justice by the President and some of the White House staff are convinced it did that. Those who thought it would do no such thing are convinced it did no such thing.

Mitt Romney seems to be the only American whose mind was changed by the report. The 2012 Republican presidential contender from Massachusetts and current US Senator from Utah has decided Mr. Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation should be investigated. Otherwise all others seem to have wavered not a single scintilla from where they stood before the report was released. The Mueller Report has only hardened our polarization.

On the right, Fox News did not concede an inch that there was anything damaging in what the sizable Mueller staff had to say. On the left, MSNBC and CNN found scores of pages which shrieked of collusion with Russia, but much more, of obstruction.

On one item, however, both sides expressed agreement. The redactions may have little effect on the essence of the report. To Republicans the redactions shall draw no blood, and to Democrats major arteries have already been slashed, even without the redactions. For the moment, though, everyone seems think the redactions may be beside the point. Either there is enough “there” there, or there is no “there” there.

We shall see, when – and if - the House Democrats manage to get the un-redacted report, minus its grand jury section, which they all realize must be redacted for legal reasons. But if Congress can also convince the courts the redactions must be made public, the volatile climate could become even more volatile, hard as that is to imagine.

For the past forty years, the American electorate has slowly become more divided. The election of Donald Trump has sped up that process to a truly alarming degree. Mr. Trump’s modus operandi is to divide and conquer. Thus far he has conquered in an astonishing display of political legerdemain.

Polarization is the name of the Trump game. Now the Democrats and the political left will become ever more polarized. The left of the left will demand impeachment proceedings. The right of the left will warn that will only more firmly unite the right, among whom there seems to be no one who is to the left of right.

Reading the news in acceptable and honorable printed news sources is the best way to try to maintain objectivity in a highly subjective period of American history. Televised and cybernetic programming are media which have become far too hot for keeping an even keel in our troubled political waters.

For the good of everyone’s mental stability, it is probably wise that from now on, no one should watch more than the PBS News Hour or one-half hour of ABC, CBS, or NBC evening news. More than that will likely only add to our disastrous polarization. In the meantime, up until November of 2020, conditions are bound to get worse. Happy Easter.  


John Miller is Pastor of The Chapel Without Walls on Hilton Head Island, SC.

More of his writings may be viewed at www.chapelwithoutwalls.org.



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