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Double standards are destroying us

March 13, 2019
I have learned plenty about human behavior in the nearly 40 years of personally studying it. What I have discovered is a pattern of traits common to most people because they relate to our innate human survival needs. Survival includes physical, of course, but the term also relates to emotional, financial, psychological and spiritual. The need to acquire and retain power is at the root of many negative behaviors because, if one loses "power," often the entire trajectory of one's life changes, and often not in a positive way.

I bring this up because we are in a perilous time in our country. We are more divided politically than at nearly any other time. Why? Because we have staked our survival on clinging to the entirety of the beliefs, actions and behaviors of one political party or another. We blame the "other" party because we don't want to take responsibility. The result is that we are becoming oblivious to the hatred, the lies, the underhandedness, the obfuscation, the abuse of power and the slow but inexorable deterioration of moral standards and the basic tenets of our Constitution.

I did not have an issue with the Republicans investigating Benghazi or Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server. If there was evidence of wrongdoing, I believed she should face the legal consequences. Two years and four months of constant searching culminating in 11 hours of nearly non-stop questioning of Clinton regarding Benghazi and an additional two years of investigating the use of a personal email server did not produce sufficient evidence to "lock her up."

Republicans were on the warpath. That was their right, and I felt at the time that the investigations should be allowed to continue in order to discover the truth. If there are other things that are discovered in the future which justify putting her in jail, then so be it. She deserves it.

We are now in a similar situation with President Trump. Democrat members of Congress are doing to Trump what Republicans did to Hillary. They are attempting to ferret out the truth. When Michael Cohen was providing testimony, only one Republican asked a question that sought to seek out the truth. The remaining Republican legislators spent their time impugning the character of Cohen and saying he should not be believed because he lied to Congress previously. Law enforcement uses criminals and liars who have "turned" because there is incentive by the criminal to do so. In this case, Cohen would have a much longer prison sentence if he continued to lie.

The double standard here is obvious. It is ironic that, according to a number of non-partisan fact-checkers, Trump has lied nearly 10,000 times since taking office. So, if Cohen is not to be believed because he is a liar, how can people have a double standard when it comes to Trump?

How can the Republicans in Congress so easily say they don't want to investigate and find out the truth to many questions people have? Why don't the Republicans not want to put the same effort and energy into investigating Trump as they did with Clinton? We all want the truth, don't we? Apparently not.

The reason is because we have become an US vs. THEM society and those who aligned with Trump desperately want him to fix the mess that I think we are ALL so tired of. But how can folks so easily dismiss the fact that five senior people who Trump brought into office are either in or going to jail, and 11 others have ethics violations with only five resigning? How can Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and the Saudi Crown Prince curry so much favor when Otto Warmbier and Khasshogi were brutally murdered at the hands of two of these heads of state? The double standard of closing one's eyes because one is a Trump supporter is ripping apart the fabric of our society.

If Obama had those same statistics, Republicans would be outraged. If Obama had promised hundreds of times that Mexico would build the wall, if Obama paid hush money to cover two illicit affairs and then lied about all aspects of the situation, including the repayment, if he had caused a record trade deficit of $891 billion and the national debt to increase to the largest amount in history at $22 trillion during a "strong" economy, if Obama had trashed Sen. John McCain, if he had engaged in nepotism and brought in his family to the highest levels of government and granted them top-secret security clearances when they had absolutely no experience and mired in foreign financial entanglements, don't you think the Republicans would have impeached him? I would hope so! They impeached Bill Clinton, and that was just for lying about a consensual relationship with an intern! The hypocrisy and double standard is astounding!

The determination of what is wrong should not be decided by partisanship. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it and no matter what party they (and you) belong to.

Democrats are no better. We are quick to criticize the Republicans or not pass legislation if it doesn't serve the Democrat agenda.

What I am saying is that we MUST stop this political tribalism. Both sides are at fault and I personally am more than tired of major decisions being made and legislation passed based on partisan politics. I am exasperated that political leaders are not brought to task by members of their own political party when, clearly, they are at fault because they don't want to lose power over the other party. Our country is in a quagmire because of it, and it will not improve until we COLLECTIVELY, regardless of political party, say "No" to the lies, the subterfuge, the criminality and the swamp deluge that is ready to take us all down. We need to recognize that our behavior (on both sides) is all about survival, saving face and holding onto power. These are not attributes that make our country great.

My last comment is this: If Trump has nothing to hide, then why does he rant and rave so much? If he wanted Obama to produce his transcripts and keeps saying how brilliant he (Trump) is, why did he have Michael Cohen threaten the colleges Trump attended not to show his grades and SAT scores? Heck, I would love to show my transcripts. I worked incredibly hard for all my A's. If he is completely transparent with his taxes, why did he lie for two years and say they were under audit, when an audit does not need to preclude producing them to the public?

I think it's because, in his supporters' heart of hearts, they knew he was lying but simply could not allow their dream to evaporate. Truth, no matter how painful, must be the guiding force in our world, or else nothing and no one can be trusted. And doesn't that mark the complete breakdown of a society?

Dr. Ashira Young is a licensed social worker and practitioner of energy psychology. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in integrative medicine from the University of Natural Medicine. She is the author of two newly published books, "An Angel for Olivia" and "5-Second Genius: Access Your Inner Wisdom in a Flash." She lives near Milltown with her husband, former State Sen. Richard Young.

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