Blaming the Media and other low-hanging fruit

The past week has been an interesting time in US politics. Attorney General William Barr was given what I assume to be the final report from Robert Mueller’s investigation of the 2016 election. Barr wrote and released a four-page summary of the report, indicating that Mueller did not establish that members of the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. The memo also indicates that the question of obstruction of justice was considered and investigated, but explicitly decided against making a prosecutorial judgement. In the absence of that, the Attorney General made the decision that there was no obstruction of justice. The Trump team ran with this as a win, and has now started a full-throated attack on the media.

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“It’s all about trust”

My wife has some strong opinions about things, and some of them she raises over and over again. One (of the many) with which I agree is that trust plays a fundamental role in how we feel about our leaders. We trust some leaders, and we don’t trust others. If we trust a leader, we assume that some action is legitimately justified. If we don’t trust a leader, that same action can be nefarious or a sign of incompetence. I’ll come back to something more contemporary in a minute, but let’s start with Obama and Bush.

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What do we really want?

I’m becoming more and more tuned into how different our rhetoric is from our actions. It could be that the sense that we have about what people want simply isn’t true about the majority of people, but it also could be that we’re really bad at articulating what we want, so we say we want one thing, but then we make another thing happen. And I’m not talking about some clear misunderstandings of the topics or the questions, like in this great clip from a West Wing episode. I’m talking about the failure to articulate what we really want.

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