Russia, partisanship, and navigating the tribalism

Russia, partisanship, and navigating the tribalism January 10, 2017

Jonah Goldberg is spot on.  I opposed Wikileaks from the beginning.  I still do.  I’m appalled that Russia tried to mess up our elections.  That’s up to us Americans to do.

I can’t help but notice, however, that half of everyone cheering Wikileaks now were cursing it a half dozen years ago. Likewise, half of everyone cursing Assange and illegally exposed documents now were cheering the same a half dozen years ago.  And oddly enough, there’s nothing really different except who is being embarrassed.  Goldberg explains:

The only truly relevant new fact is that Assange is a useful tool for Republicans, and all other facts must be bent — on the left and right — to fit that new reality.

It’s the basis for our modern political dialogue.  Our approach to social issues.  Our reaction to events and tragedies.  How we apply our principles and standards.  Does it advance the agenda?  Do we win?  Is it helping the narrative?  If so, then we react one way.  Otherwise, we react another way.

I notice some Catholics saying that anything short of total condemnation of Russia and Wikileaks is akin to crawling into bed with Trump and Satan.  Yet I remember warning Catholics back in the day who were cheering Assange that maybe, just maybe, he might leak documents from someplace like the Vatican.  Or worse for some, the DNC.

It’s not easy being objective.  Especially in a nation that elevates punditry over principles.  But the best way to do it is to imagine the same thing you’re cheering for being against something you value.  It won’t solve everything, but it’s a start.

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