Edward Dowd: Land of Make-Believe

Yan Krukau/via Pexels

Published: 06-17-2024 6:01 PM

Modified: 06-17-2024 7:47 PM


The simplest explanation is often the best as it relies on the least number of possible factors. For example, if you wake up in the morning and everything is wet outside it probably rained overnight. Your zinnias are more likely to have been eaten by bunnies than zebras. Though simple explanations may lack excitement, they tend to be accurate.

In our politically divided nation, this is particularly important. For example, the overwhelmingly likely explanation for Joe Biden winning the 2020 presidential election is that he legitimately received more electoral and popular votes than his challenger. Any other conclusion rests on unproved allegations about who “stole” the election, when did they do it and how.

Similarly, the simplest and most likely explanation for former President Donald Trump’s recent designation as a felon is that he violated laws, was tried by a jury and convicted. Two things can be true at the same time: Trump is running for office and at the same time he is a man with a history of criminal behavior. Time finally caught up with him. This doesn’t require the Justice Department to be “weaponized.” It is already set up to deal with criminals like him.

Trump’s popularity is also easy to explain. Life is difficult and full of complicated and often intractable problems. Wouldn’t it be nice if we did not have to worry about things like climate change, economic disparity, or racial injustice? What if a president could control not only inflation but also could, by his personality alone, prevent and end foreign conflicts?

To pretend the throngs of individuals and their children fleeing horrible conditions for safety are not human subsequently erases concern. NATO allies are no more valuable than a Mar-a-Lago member behind on dues. We selfishly owe nothing to anyone. Trump repeats endlessly that he is the only thing standing between voters and “them” coming after you.

The simple truth is that reelection is the only thing that protects the former president from the consequences of his actions.

Edward Dowd

Greenfield

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