What’s happening in the US ‘is not normal’

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What’s happening in the US ‘is not normal’

Columnist Mary Kenny writes in The Irish Catholic of August 2: ‘But, as some commentators have pointed out, Trump is not wrong about everything. And even where he is right, he is seldom given much credit – which isn’t fair either. It was announced last week (by the reliable Atlanta Fed) that the American economy is due to grow by 4.6% or 4.8% this year. Never in recent history, have so many Americans been employed.’

I wonder has Ms Kenny read James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty? In his epilogue Comey writes: ‘I see so many so-called conservative commentators, including some faith leaders, focusing on favourable policy initiatives or court appointments to justify their acceptance of this damage, while deemphasising the impact of this president on basic norms and ethics. That strikes me as both hypocritical and morally wrong.’

Before I came across Mary Kenny’s piece on Trump I had read Comey’s book. Like all reality, the book has it failings. Parts of it are somewhat tedious and maybe in places a little self-indulgent. But reading through the book one gets the clear impression that James Comey is an honourable person. His track record speaks for itself.In his opening chapter he quotes from the German philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr: ‘Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary’.

In that same chapter Comey explains that he decided to study law because he thought it might be the best way to make a difference. He traces his childhood, which involved a burglar breaking into their home when he and his siblings were children, right through his young days as a lawyer and then on to his time at the FBI and the Bureau’s investigation of the Clinton emails. The final chapters deal with his relationship with Donald Trump.

When he is appointed director of the FBI Barack Obama points out to him that there has to be a clear division between the FBI and the president. ‘I don’t want help from the FBI on policy. I need competence and independence,’ Obama said to Comey. He also told him that once he was director of the FBI no longer would he and Comey be able to talk to one another in any sort of casual way. The FBI and its director cannot be close with the president.

The moment Trump moves into the White House Comey’s relationship with the president changes dramatically. Trump is constantly phoning him and then the infamous meal where Trump demands loyalty from Comey. A personal loyalty he refuses to give. James Comey compares Trump to a Mafia boss.

I strongly recommend Mary Kenny read James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty. Comey sees the wisdom in Thomas Jefferson’s words: ‘Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.’

He stresses that if the shared values of George Washington are pushed aside then only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy. What’s happening in the US ‘is not normal. It’s not fake news. It is not okay’.

I recommend A Higher Loyalty.

New Ross Standard