There’s a lot that’s unfair in this world, some of which matters and most of which does not.
There are the more mundane “unfair” aspects of life, like how that one guy in school seemingly never had to study, but he always made perfect grades.
Then there are the aspects of life that are a bit more heartbreakingly unfair…why some people live in fear and in poverty while others enjoy unspeakable luxury, preferring to waste rather than redistribute wealth and resources; or why some people are damned to suffer for their sins, however proportionately and justly so, and others…are not.
Life isn’t fair. Life sucks. None of this is real, anyway, so nothing really matters.
But as Brandon Flowers of The Killers said,
“This is the world that we live in. We still want something real.”
So, while we’re here, we’ve got to make it count. We’ve got to do something positive with our time here, because otherwise, what’s the point?
The theme is “moving forward.”
The last few weeks (and really, the last few years) have been riddled with an onslaught of “Why is this happening?!” and “Where is justice when you need it?!”
It’s left a lot of us feeling helpless and hopeless, and like nothing matters anymore. It’s left us feeling gaslit, where we can see the evidence plainly before us, but people keep telling us we’re crazy for believing our own eyes. We’re left either pulling our hair out and yelling at the television or shrugging our shoulders in defeat and resignation.
But justice is a hard thing to exact, isn’t it? In many ways, it’s relative. In other ways, it’s really not. For instance, the law is a good starting point. If you break it, you should be punished. If you don’t break it, you should generally remain unscathed. Relativity comes into play when the law is subject to interpretation and that interpretation is undoubtedly influenced by the political and social landscapes of the time.
Furthermore, sentencing is relative to other crimes. Firstly, there are usually several factors to consider when determining the sentence for any single crime committed, but on top of that, who’s to say whether one crime is worth a longer sentence than another? Does having some weed in your car’s glovebox merit a longer sentence than, say, bank fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion?
Most would say the latter is far, far worse than the former. Weed grows in the ground. Bank fraud does not. Having one in your back pocket seems much more insidious than the other.
And yet, people often serve life sentences for marijuana possession, while people like Paul Manafort are sentenced to less than a decade in prison for a witch’s brew of collective crimes against the country.
The Mueller investigation resulted in several indictments, convictions, and sentencings. On top of that, Mueller passed investigations that were out of scope with his own investigation to other prosecutors. Also, it’s worth repeating because some people seem to forget – Mueller released his full report, and we (including members of Congress, the press, you and I) have seen none of it.
People on the left are pissed off, frustrated, and (still) full of questions. People on the right are gluttonously and insufferably victorious, reveling in vindication and exoneration, even though they, too, have seen none of the 300+ pages of the Mueller report.
Has justice been side-stepped, or worse, has it been completely disregarded for the sake of protecting certain generally despicable parties? Will all of the questions that have gone unanswered remain unanswered? Will the president get away with appointing an attorney general who wrote an unsolicited 19-page memo arguing that President Trump did not obstruct justice before he was ever even involved in the investigation? Should we be surprised that the same man, who failed to confirm that he would make the findings of the Mueller investigation public during his confirmation hearing, then offered a mere four-page summary of Mueller’s 300-page report?
Here’s the thing – the Mueller investigation is done, which means that Robert Mueller is done. The rest is up to those other aforementioned prosecutors, Congress, Attorney General Barr, and a whole host of other parties to exact justice where it still needs to be exacted.
If there’s one thing this investigation did, it opened our eyes to how rampant corruption is in our government, which goes beyond the absurdity we see on a daily basis.
Case in point – just today, President Trump mentioned that his father, who was born in New York, was born in Germany.
Just for fun, I guess.
Anyway, none of this is or should be surprising. People had put so much faith in the Mueller report that it’s anti-climactic end was disappointing, to say the least. But it’s just the beginning. Do I wish Mueller would have actually come to a conclusion on certain points? Of course I do, but I can’t be mad at him for closing his investigation seemingly prematurely because I don’t know why he did. Again – I haven’t seen the report. Maybe the answer’s in there.
I’ll say it once more, for good measure – we haven’t seen the report. It ain’t over yet, and hope is still a thing. Let me be clear, though. The hope isn’t that Trump gets convicted of collusion, campaign finance violations, or any other impeachable offense, for that matter. The hope is that outstanding questions are answered, that the final results are publicized, and that justice is eventually served either way.
Sweet, sweet justice.
Like I said earlier, there have been several moments of “Why is this happening?!” lately.
Let’s take a look at the Curious Case of Jussie Smollett. What the hell happened there? What we have here is another instance of nonsense, where someone who is clearly guilty gets off without a conviction, seemingly absolved.
Guilt is a weighty word to be throwing around, though. As we all know, the justice system necessitates that indicted individuals are presumed innocent prior to a trial. I am certainly not one to convict someone of a crime based on what has been reported in the news, but at the same time…
I won’t go into the details of the farce that is the Jussie Smollett case, but basically, a homosexual, black actor claimed to have been attacked in the streets of Chicago in the middle of the night by a pair of racists and homophobes in an apparent hate crime. Then, he went on a weird press tour talking about his attack, claiming his assailants yelled “This is MAGA country” while beating him, pouring bleach on him, and causally tossing a noose around his neck. He blamed the Trump administration for the attack, then cried (literally) at the hint of the possibility that his story might have a few holes in it – to put it extremely lightly. Next thing you know, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly staging a hate crime, not to mention the fact that he caused an onslaught of irreparable damage against people who were actual victims of hate crimes.
And then…he got off. All 16 charges against him were dropped with the condition that he forfeit his $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago. Also, his case remains sealed, so…that’s a thing.
After a month or so of the emotional and platitudinous rollercoaster Smollett took the country on, we got nothing. We got no sense of satisfaction that a guy who very, very apparently (badly) staged a hate crime was punished for his crimes. We got no sense of justice in the fact that someone who was clearly lying to the public and to law enforcement was seemingly able to pay his way out of conviction and sentencing.
Instead, we got our head’s spinning and then our head’s shaking. We got a whole lot of nothing for all of the emotion and principled belief we’d invested into this nonsense case that never needed to happen in the first place.
Because he obviously staged it – RIGHT?!
We can’t all be crazy. Surely.
Finally, let’s talk briefly about 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, Joe Biden.
Uncle Joe, if you’re nasty.
Biden’s the most recent target of the #MeToo movement, a movement that began as a way to bring awareness to the fact that men in positions of power were using their authority to pressure women into sexually compromising situations.
The movement, which never really had a defined scope in any direction, has expanded to include any action from men, particularly powerful men, that women deem to be uncomfortable or “creepy,” regardless of how harmless it actually is.
One of Biden’s accusers even confessed that her unsavory encounter with Biden “wasn’t sexual,” but I guess just unwanted touching of any kind is in line with actual victims of sexual harassment and assault.
One accuser said Biden putting his hands on her shoulders and kissing the back of her head left her feeling “powerless.”
Give me a break. There are tons of scenarios in life where people make you feel uncomfortable, whether knowingly or unknowingly. You can’t police everyone’s awkwardness or creepiness. You can rise to occasion and react accordingly. Stop expecting the world to cater to your sensibilities.
Still, Biden has apologized for his actions, insisting that he didn’t mean anything by them and promising to learn from his mistakes. Of course, that’s not enough for people. I’m not sure what more they could possibly want, though.
In the meantime, Donald Trump is our current president. I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain that any further, so I won’t. My head might start spinning with more “Why is this happening?!”
However, while this is all mind-boggling and disheartening, it’s nothing new.
OJ Simpson was clearly guilty – right?
Paul Ryan has always been a snake, and yet he’s living comfortably somewhere in Wisconsin in early retirement. He’ll likely never be asked to answer for the GOP tax plan he pushed through to the disadvantage and disdain of most average Americans.
Richard Nixon only barely got caught in the Watergate scandal, when he finally confessed and resigned from office.
Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, after years of corruption in Baltimore County, continued running illegal operations from the White House. He was eventually indicted on charges of tax evasion, to which he plead no contest. In the end? He resigned from his position as vice president, supposedly for the sake of the country. Then…that was it. He just went away, for the most part.
Al Capone, a.k.a. Scarface, was a notorious gangster during the Prohibition era. After years of running a crime syndicate, Capone was finally busted and imprisoned for – you guessed it – tax evasion.
Makes you think, if these people had only paid their taxes, they would have gotten away murder…literally, in some cases.
So, the moral of this story is to not get too down because things don’t always go the way you’d like them to. Also, remember that you’re not crazy, regardless of how hard the government, the media, and/or your ex-boyfriend try to gaslight you. Things really are as bonkers as they seem. You’re not wrong. You’re not losing your mind.
Oh, and pay your damn taxes.