When former FBI Director James Comey testified in the Senate, it was as if the grown-ups had finally arrived. It wasn’t just the air of authority that this straight talking man projects, either. It was the respectful lack of grandstanding demonstrated by actual US Senators which truly enshrined the moment. Whatever comes of this it’s not going to be childish and stupid.
As I write this, there is another sign that the world may be returning to normal. The results of the UK election are still coming in and they are telling. It’s not that the Conservatives have lost their majority which counts here. It’s the fact that polling in these elections is actually predictive once again. It was absolutely reliable before the last election and the Brexit vote, perfectly predicting the results. Polling is back this time and it appears that the world is actually returning to something like normal.
Not that there isn’t chaos in the hung parliament. But it’s bounded, orderly chaos. Small victory.
“My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. … Let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate.”
– Gerald R. Ford, “Remarks Upon Taking the Oath of Office as President”
Something happened to our nation in 1974. It was more than Watergate and the disgrace of President Nixon. Years later, Jimmy Carter famously called it “malaise” – a feeling of unease that is hard to pin down. As we discussed in People’s Economics it shows up as a turning point in the economy, too.
Primarily it’s been a crisis of spirit and identity. Who are we? What are we doing?
The natural end to this crisis may be at hand. Like an addict on a 43 year bender, rock bottom might come from the Watergate script pitched as a pointless remake. At first I wanted to call it Nixon on steroids, but this is Nixon on meth. How bad can it get?
Today was a big day for campaign news, in that nothing happened. Clinton was not indicted for her mis-handling of emails, nor did we learn anything new. It’s all over but the ranting, so we’ll pause for a moment so that you can get your share in.
[ shouting, sharing of angry memes, deep sighs, et cetera ]
Feel better? Be sure to wipe off the screen when you’re done. Because whether you believe this was purely one more witch hunt or evidence of a rigged system, you probably are better off getting it off your chest. Better in the sense that you’re probably wrong – there was something to this, but it was never going to end up in an indictment.