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Trumpservative Nation at the Precipice

Special Counsel Robert Mueller grimaces.

Official versions drawn from investigations of earthshaking cultural or political events either help us sleep better or beset us with insomnia. If we’re honest with ourselves, often something other than objective openness to the facts will inform the acceptance or rejection of an official version. Not surprisingly, the existence of personal bias can make the difference.

What will Mueller’s “official version” of what happened before, during, and after the 2016 election reveal? All we can say with certainty is that there will be millions of happy faces on one side of the aisle, and just as many unhappy faces on the other. If President Trump is completely exonerated, his millions of supporters will be happy, vindicated, and will exhale a collective sigh of relief. Onward, MAGA, and Keep America Great.  If the Mueller probe turns up credible or even spurious evidence leading to a censurable or indictable offense committed by the president relating to any matter whatsoever, the angry left will rejoice.

But even if Mueller does not deliver the goods, should Democrats regain a majority in the House of Representatives this midterm they will continue to infer that the Russian connection is real, that somehow Mueller missed it, and at the same time advance new and unrelated accusations to shadow the Trump presidency.

Some people are geared to the need to move on. Though they may have doubts about the findings or veracity of a finalized report, acknowledging that certain troubling questions may never be answered, they rationalize that it’s better to put an episode like the Kennedy assassination or the death of Princess Diana into the rearview mirror. The rationalization here is that even arguably credible alternatives to official versions only prolong the societal turmoil created by the event itself.

Another personality stripe cannot let an official version they ardently disbelieve go unchallenged. They continue to stir the ashes, persist in making the case that the conclusion reached by whatever duly appointed judicial or investigatory entity is flawed, and that the harm of not getting to the possibly bitter truth is far worse than the undermining doubts created by a prolonged rehashing long after the official version creators have packed up and gone home.

Official wrap-ups of tragic events can be very appealing. The Warren Commission, lone gunman, Oswald, a Commie sympathizer, with his rifle and lucky shots from the book depository. No need to speculate about the mob, the CIA, Fidel Castro. No need to agonize over who else might have been on the grassy knoll. Wrap it up—the sick bastard—and let the healing began.

Or—there had to be more to it, can’t believe Oswald’s bullets did what they said they did. There is something very wrong going on in this country.