President Trump had one call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Things were discussed. There’s a transcript. And here we are, months later, with two wildly different interpretations of what happened.
[Background: In case you missed it, a “whistleblower” came forward to say that Trump offered a quid pro quo to President Zelensky: that the U.S. would provide aide if Zelensky looked into an investigation of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to see if he was really receiving money from a Ukraine company because Joe Biden was holding up aide if they didn’t. (This is a simplified summary, but essentially the gist.]
Democrat politicians, driven by their belief that if Trump is involved, it has to be immoral, wrong, or just stupid, read the text of the transcript and see a President who is asking a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political rival going into campaign season.
Republicans, driven by the idea that the entire Russian collusion story was an elaborate fabrication designed to take Trump out of office in the event he could actually win the election against Hillary, believe that was Trump was seeking was information related to this coup attempt.
Democrats believe Trump is looking forward to the 2020 election in his request.
Republicans believe Trump is looking backward to the origins of the Russian collusion story.
And this, to me, is a microcosm of where we are in 2019. Same information, two wildly different interpretations.
I believe one of them is fact and the other fiction. But how do you even put forth an argument in an era where “facts” are just invented, and we’re left trusting either our FBI and CIA (who, by definition, can’t be trusted), or President Trump, who’s penchant for exaggeration (if not pure fiction) leaves his credibility unstable, at best?
For what it’s worth, I think there’s a clear trail of evidence, not the least of which is video of Joe Biden bragging about how he strong-armed the Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was investigating his son’s business affairs, to suggest what Trump is working on is exposing the entire operation to impeach and unseat him.
Attorney General Barr is working on this right now (and has been for some time), so there’s no use speculating. We shall see in due time.
But what troubles me about all of it is where we go from here if we, as Americans, can’t even agree on what we’re all seeing in front of our own eyes. How do we repair the divide?