Pearl Harbor devastating. But we instantly recognized the enemy, came together, regained our balance, and — after a tremendous struggle — came out stronger than ever.
Putin’s sneak attack has proved devastating as well. But part of its sneakiness is that there’s no newsreel footage. You just have to trust the unanimous findings of our 17 intelligence agencies.
And because the attack has been poo-pooed by our commander in chief (who knows? it could have been the Chinese — or some 400-pound guy on a bed), we have not come together or regained our balance. If anything, this attack on our democracy has driven us even further apart. Thrown us even more off balance.
It’s hard for some to know what’s true when you have the President saying repeatedly that he won the 2016 election by a wider margin than anyone since Reagan (actually, he did much worse than George H.W. Bush in 1988, much worse than Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and much worse than Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 — but why quibble?).
Or when as recently as last week his spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in defending his attack on Mika Brzezinski, told the world that the voters knew what they were getting when they voted for him — and he “won overwhelmingly.”
Think about that. This is his official spokesperson saying that the man who got millions fewer votes than his opponent — did worse by that measure than any president in our history — “won overwhelmingly.”
So maybe the intelligence community, like the courts and the press (with the exception of the National Enquirer and Fox News) — and your own lying eyes, when you compare Inaugural crowd photos — are not to be trusted. Maybe it was just some 400-pound guy sitting on his bed. Maybe ripping hundreds of billions of dollars out of health care to cut taxes on investment income is the way to give “everybody great health care at tiny fraction of today’s cost.”
But you know it’s not true. And for now, Putin is winning.
Will we recognize the enemy, come together, regain our balance and — after what is likely to be a significant struggle — come out stronger than ever?
(And, while we’re at it, right a system where one party can win 83,468 more votes for a state’s 18 Congressional seats — yet be awarded just 5 of them?)
It’s my July 4th wish.