These Comey Hearings Don't Matter

These Comey Hearings Don't Matter

These hearings don’t matter because truth doesn’t really matter anymore
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If you were to ask most civically-engaged folks, they would surely tell you that recent Congressional hearings were very important. Former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath to Congress regarding questions surrounding the Trump campaign, Russia, and Comey’s recent firing by President Trump (though, remarkably, Hillary Clinton’s e-mails were brought up, as well).

Some have compared this hearing to the likes of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial and Justice Thomas’ sexual harassment hearings in terms of the public spectacle. Others have compared the Russia investigation as a whole to Watergate. While these comparisons may be slightly hyperbolic, there is certainly a general feeling amongst the populace that these Comey hearings and the larger investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign were and continue to be a big deal.

Many on the Left are optimistic that this investigation could lead to the impeachment, or at least an impeachment trial, of much-maligned President Trump. At the very least, there is hope that it will continue to harm President Trump’s standing with the public in opinion polls, and theoretically, there is reason for this.

If the investigation indicates collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s government to influence the 2016 Presidential election, that could lead to hearings on the question of impeachment. Meanwhile, President Trump’s firing of Comey coupled with his alleged request that Comey “drop” his investigation into Michael Flynn could constitute as obstruction of justice, another theoretically impeachable offense. However, as we have seen with the emoluments clause, the theoretical ability to impeach Trump does not translate to any political reality. With a Republican-controlled Congress, there is little reason to believe any scenario relating to Russia would play out any differently.

There are a myriad of reasons why Trump would likely never face impeachment, no matter what any investigation brings to light, but chief among them is Congressional Republicans’ nearly uniform political cowardice.

From the moment it became clear that Donald J. Trump would be their party’s nominee for President, Republican politicians have shown an unwillingness to stand up to their de facto face-of-the-party, with few exceptions (for example, John McCain). Even Senators like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who criticized Trump heavily on the campaign trail, calling him “beneath the office we are seeking” and a man who was “going to shatter and fracture the Republican party and the conservative movement,” are now falling in line behind him. At a recent donor dinner, Rubio even went to bat for Trump, complaining about his coverage in the media.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who called Trump’s rhetoric “not what this party stands for, and more importantly...not what this country stands for” and the “textbook definition” of racist, has shown near unflinching support for the President and his agenda, with no indication that this will change.

Despite demands from the Democrats and majority support from the public for an independent investigation into Russia, many Republican representatives still refuse to form an independent, outside commission. Whether because of fear or general lack of principle, GOP Congressmen are clearly not interested in the pursuit of truth or what is best for the American public, and are more enamored with protecting President Trump unflinchingly.

As for any possible decline in public support, this is likely a mere pipe dream, as well. President Trump’s public polling levels are already and consistently at historic lows for this early in a term, and there is little reason to believe they will rise. His approval rating, however, likely will not dip much further, and there is little reason to believe that what is left of his voter base will abandon him, no matter the results of any investigation into Russia.

Many of Trump’s remaining supporters take his word as Gospel and dismiss any dissenting accounts as “Fake News” and lies. In today’s political landscape, for many the truth no longer matters. Following the election, Public Policy Polling conducted a survey which found that 67% of Trump supporters thought unemployment increased under Obama (it decreased massively), 40% of Trump supporters insisted Trump won the popular vote (wrong, by about three million votes), 73% of Trump supporters thought George Soros was paying people to protest (which, he wasn’t), and 39% of Trump supporters indicated they thought the stock market went down under Obama (it went up).

When Kellyanne Conway infamously cited the Bowling Green massacre as a reason why we need to be tougher with security, many on the Left laughed at her unfathomable incompetence. But Trump supporters weren’t laughing, they were listening; The Hill reported that a majority of those who supported Trump’s proposed travel ban thought it was necessary because of the fictional attack.

With regards to the Comey hearings, polling suggests that only 28% of Trump supporters believe Russia even attempted to influence the election, despite widespread agreement among party leaders and the intelligence community. Coming from a political party whose supporters still say, as of August 2016, that President Obama was not born in the United States, these results, as frightening as they may be, shouldn’t be very surprising.

Even if the investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign yielded a smoking gun, there is no evidence that Republican Congressmen would not continue to support him. Meanwhile, many Trump supporters, oblivious to objective reality, would continue to support him and nothing could change that. These Comey hearings don’t matter because truth doesn’t really matter anymore.

Cover Image Credit: Shawn Thew

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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