Now entering the no-judgment zone

By Reade Brower | Feb 08, 2018

Being judgmental is a shared trait; most have at least a trace in their DNA. Writing an opinion column, it is hard to hide judgment -- “opinion” is the key component to any editorial.

Rushing to judgment is not something to be proud of; considering circumstances is essential, looking at the other side, noble.

Entering into the no-judgment zone leads to open-minded conversations and bipartisan solutions.

Last week, the two sides (the left and the right) dug in over the issue of releasing the then-classified memo from U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Being fair and letting things“fall where they may seems a good starting point.

“Being fair” means being consistent. If you are for releasing the memo, and transparency is the reason, it seems you would also be for releasing the related backup documents, so that Americans could make up their minds based on full disclosure. It would also stand to reason that you would be for the release of the president’s tax returns; telling Americans that releasing his taxes is somehow different feels disingenuous. There are either facts or there are alternative facts; alternative facts happen when information is disseminated in chunks and designed for purposes other than truth.

Letting things fall where they may means allowing the Mueller investigation to conclude on its own, unencumbered by politics.

Life should be that simple, but it’s not. Listening to the pundits, they rally around their heroes, attacking their enemies with little concern for fairness.

Watching the back-and-forth blame game is disheartening to those who believe that we should work together for a better America.

The president takes lots of the credit for the tax cut and an explosive Dow hitting new highs. This past Friday, the Dow plummeted 666 points, a 1,095-point drop for the week. This is the worst week in a decade, which happened during the last term of George W. Bush. Are those on the Trump bandwagon taking responsibility for the nosedive? Are they saying “wait and see”? Are they calling it a “correction”?

If it is “wait and see,” as I suspect it is, the same should hold true with tax reform. Time is the true champion of decision; as they say – “hindsight is 20/20.”

The back and forth between sides is ridiculous; both sides blame former FBI Director James Comey for favoritism. The Clinton people claim that his reopening of Hillary Clinton's email case weeks before the election, publicly, doomed her. His last-minute; “No harm, no foul” was too little, too late, they say. The Trump side claims that Comey’s FBI wanted Hillary elected and treated Trump unfairly, and hints that the Bureau ordered illegal surveillance.

Now the memo; one side says it’s a bombshell, the other side says it is a lot of to-do about nothing.

Who cares?

Bill Clinton’s impeachment is a reminder to those who have experienced both Clinton and Trump. Are those who said Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr was on a witch hunt singing a different song today? For those who call the Russia investigation “trumped up and partisan” what was their stance regarding the Clinton probe? My guess is that flip-flopping is bipartisan and the issue to consider is, does it hold back our country?

It seems likely we could move our country forward with more compromise; those in power hold the key. Consider the paradigm shift and how that would change us as a nation if people in power were directing and demanding compromise; being able to steer the conversation should be the reward of the majority party, rather than bullying techniques that force the opposition to hang onto their only power: staying together as a bloc (being in the minority solidifies these sects), and being obstinate.

What a crappy way to lead, what a sad way to run a nation.

Can we demand our leaders and elected officials be more conciliatory?

We can; we need to do so in the privacy of the voting booth.

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“It is my belief that the writer, the free-lance author, should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives. It is easy enough and always profitable, to rail away at national enemies beyond the sea, at foreign powers beyond our borders who question the prevailing order. But the moral duty of the free writer is to begin his work at home; to be a critic of his own community, his own country, his own culture. If the writer is unwilling to fill this part, then the writer should abandon pretense and find another line of work; become a shoe repairman, a brain surgeon, a janitor, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a bus driver.”

--- Edward Abbey, naturalist, author (1929-1989)

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