How I Interpret Mueller’s Testimony
I have not heard one word of Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony. Nor will I ever voluntarily hear one word of it. To clarify, I mean this: If I ever hear Robert Mueller’s voice, as recorded during this testimony, it will have been an involuntary auditory act, the result of either force or fraud. And when I say “one word,” I am including even parts of words or quasi-verbal utterances connected with speech, such as dangling syllables, long intakes of breath anticipating the issuance of a word, or those grunts or groans one uses to indicate thinking prior to speech.
This complete freedom from Mueller’s words (as defined above) affords me a unique opportunity to interpret his testimony without the burden that other interpreters are beset with, namely that of trying to figure out how to jumble his actual words to fit a predetermined interpretation. For example, the more radically suicidal Democrats apparently spent much of the day trying to coax the sense, “Impeach him!” out of the testimony. Meanwhile, the Pelosi-friendly, more establishmentarian Democrats countered by saying, “This testimony kills the impeachment talk forever.” Republicans leapt in to attack the irrationality of the radical Democrats and praise the level-headed honesty of the establishmentarians, blithely ignoring the fact that the people saying “This testimony kills impeachment” were already saying that before the testimony. In other words, both sides of the Democratic Party apparatus were merely using Mueller as a shield to defend their predetermined positions.
The Republicans, for their part, will use the same testimony to promote their predetermined belief that President Trump was completely exonerated and found not guilty of obstruction of justice, collusion with Russia, or whatever else it suits their agenda to claim Trump didn’t do.
Now, did Mueller actually say anything to support any or all of the above interpretations? I don’t know — and neither do any of those other interpreters, since they only heard what they intended to hear. And that, if I may wax Socratic for a moment, is my advantage over all other interpreters: I do not know what he said, and I know that I do not know, whereas they do not know but they believe they know. That is, if Mueller had entered the hearing only long enough to read this prepared statement — “I like little birdies and pretty flowers” — everyone on both sides of the tribal divide would have found in those words exactly the same meaning they are currently finding in his actual words.
Hence my judgment that I am in a privileged position with respect to evaluating and interpreting Mueller’s testimony. Precisely because I have not heard, and will not (voluntarily) hear, one word of it, I may proceed directly to my interpretation without the troubling burden other interpreters face when trying to squeeze a preferred and scripted interpretation out of someone’s testimony.
Here, then, is my own interpretation, my sense of what we may glean — my “takeaways,” as they say — from Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony:
The United States of America used to be a constitutional republic, but it has now fully transitioned into a progressive-populist reality television democracy. Politics is no longer the domain of citizen-statesmen tasked with temporarily representing the fellow citizens of their state, but rather the exclusive club of a self-appointed ruling class that has formally aligned itself with the corporate and media elite to protect and deepen its power in perpetuity, such that there is no longer any meaningful connection at all between the government and the governed, apart from the all too secure attachment of material and psychological tethers. The United States Federal Government now routinely maintains and expands programs and financial conditions that would plainly have been viewed as hanging offenses, treasonous usurpation, in the days of the Founders. But rather than run the perpetrators out of town or straight to the gallows, half of politically-engaged America is clamoring for more treason, more usurpation, and shorter tethers, while the other half of politically-engaged America is listening cathartically to celebrity entertainers who work for the establishment rabble-rouse about how anti-American all this treason is — and then, when they have slaked their anger for the evening, they turn the channel to watch sports and reality television and drink a few beers. Meanwhile, the vast majority of (biologically) adult America is now politically disengaged, as their public schooling has trained them to be. On election night, all sides will chant and rant their way to the voting booth to vote, self-righteously and angrily, for the slaveowners they’ve been told to vote for by the slaveowners’ public spokesmen.
In short, to use the vernacular of the day, America is toast.
In response to Mueller’s testimony, as interpreted here, I would simply like to add that I like little birdies and pretty flowers.