It’s about America.
I mean, legally speaking, there are definitely both criminal and counterintelligence investigations probing into potential contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russian government outlets and affiliates. Hell, the President of the United States has confirmed the existence of the criminal investigation.
There is the only other time he has tweeted “being investigated,” and recommending that America's most famous baseball team cut ties with a proven cheater under investigation is proof that his Twitter account will forever be filled with tweets that directly contradict any current position of his.
When you really drill down to it, the existential dread overhanging all of this isn't anxiety about Russians interfering in our elections, but that Americans would help them. This probe is a window into our own corruption. Donald Trump's campaign managers and presidential advisers are not some secret society operating in the shadows, but are a known entity who have been around for decades.
Donald Trump did not select from the best and brightest here, but what these people lack in intelligence, they make up by sheer guile and ruthlessness. The problem is, that lack of intelligence usually creates a paper trail. Robert Mueller's probe is practically embedding itself in Paul Manafort's books. Per NBC News:
The FBI, with the help of the Treasury Department, the CIA and other agencies, is examining evidence of possible contacts, money transfers and business relationships between a variety of Trump associates and Russian officials, the sources say. The investigation goes well beyond Flynn, Manafort and a possible American connection, to include how Russian intelligence services carried out the campaign of fake news and leaking hacked emails that intelligence officials say was meant to hurt Hillary Clinton and benefit Donald Trump.
Manafort is typically portrayed by the recently Russia-woke MSNBC crew as a man who made a Soviet heel turn in order to help Trump get elected. But his work did not become anti-American overnight, as I touched on in my piece about Trump's Russian connections the month before the election:
The list of clients [Manafort has] served looks like a case file right out of the International Court of Justice. A sampling includes Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, international arms dealer El-Assir, and Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, and that was just at his old lobbying shop.
As Jay-Z once said “thanks to boys in blue who put greed before the badge,” so has become our nation's capital. This Russian investigation is a wake up call to the depravity of our politics. Politics in the United States has always been a subsidiary of the highest bidder, no matter how bloody the money (protip: oil usually does a pretty good job of hiding the blood). Thing is, the high bidder has always been American, so the veneer of patriotism still shone through. Now that it seems as if a foreign adversary has won a few contracts, our corruption is completely exposed for all to see.
Words don't mean anything anymore. By making the media the prime target of his scorn, pushback to a story equates to a Trumpian Jihad on FAKE NEWS. Hell, Trump Jr. gave two completely different explanations to the New York Times on back to back days about yet another meeting with a Russian government affiliated official that no one on Team Trump disclosed. The sad thing is that this is probably enough to satisfy Pepeland so long as they get their lulz at CNN.
Trump hired a group of hucksters and racketeers because no legitimate candidate would take them on. It was reported that John McCain considered adding Manafort to his team in 2008, but passed due to unease about his foreign entanglements. Donald Trump represents the worst of America, and he hired a bunch of goons who have created some of the worst of our politics. It would have been easy for any country to align themselves with their interests and influence the Trump camp to do their bidding.
As much as we are disgusted by Donald Trump’s open grifting, it is somewhat hypocritical to blame him entirely. We live in a society that is the modern equivalent to the Israelites worshiping the golden calf at the base of Mount Sinai. We all have a hand in this. Growthism subsumed Capitalism, and we are now performing human sacrifice in order to please the gods of GDP. Our value system praises economic growth without much care as to which directions it leads, so long as enough of us get enough. Both the beginnings of the 20th and 21st centuries show us that only when it becomes widely untenable do we really speak up. Donald Trump is the ultimate embodiment of what we have become.
So of course those on the left would wholeheartedly reject the existence of this monstrosity. Of course the #NeverTrump camp would retreat to their base on top of Mount I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO. Of course the worst of America would be elated. And of course those whom much of society seems to be actively forgetting would be overjoyed to finally feel heard. We act as if Donald Trump is some alien who is anathema to our shared values. He’s not. This is what our greed hath wrought.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.