A Higher Royalty

Michael Geiger

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I often worry about the rising tide of political polarization and its effects on public discourse and decorum. In fact, the first piece I wrote for the Minnesota Republic fully laid out my concerns, and in the 8 months since that article was published my stance has only been solidified. However, fear not, for I have found a solution that could at least temporarily restore some semblance of civility amongst Americans.

Looking back through the annals of American history, unity has always been strongest when we have collectively consolidated our hatred towards a common enemy. Whether that hatred was directed towards Great Britain in 1776, the Nazis in 1941, or Nickelback in 2005, the American people have proved that when necessary, solidarity is possible. 

Enter James Brien Comey, Jr. On the book tour for his recently published A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, the former FBI director has consistently agitated people on both sides of the political spectrum. Of course, he’s been doing exactly that since before the 2016 presidential election,  highlighted by his complete bungling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email-related trespasses. But receiving a pink slip has done nothing to make Comey any less obnoxious.

The apex of the former FBI director’s aggravating book tour took place during an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s show in mid-April. For 32 minutes, the two had a chat that could only entertain the most masochistic on the right. Colbert kicked off the interview by serving both Comey and himself some Pinot Noir in paper cups. One can only hope the viewers at home followed suit but didn’t stop after only one drink. 

Of course, in the interview, Comey played the victim and played the role quite well. When asked about Trump Comey said, “He’s tweeted at me probably 50 times. I’ve been gone for a year, I’m like the breakup he can’t get over. He wakes up in the morning… I’m out there living my best life, he wakes up in the morning and tweets at me.”

Do you hear that? If you listen close, you’ll start to hear the world’s smallest violin, and it’s playing just for James Comey. The man lost his job because he was incompetent. Now, because Trump calls him out a couple of times on Twitter we’re supposed to feel sorry for him. Yes, Trump was punching down and should have taken the high road. But the idea that he did any real damage to Comey is laughable. For heaven’s sake, the only thing that little feud did to Comey was a ensure him a multi-million dollar book deal. 

Our political system was designed with gridlock in mind. The founding fathers didn’t want politicians to spend the majority of their time making deals; they wanted congestion in the legislative process. However, while it’s all well and good for Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell to be at each other’s throats, the rest of us normies have to live with each other in relative harmony. 

I’m not naive, I know the chasm between the two sides of the political spectrum is immense. It’s possible that at this point the gap is too large to even hope to bridge. But I’d like to believe there are still some remaining values that fill out the middle of our American Venn diagram. And I’d simply like to suggest we add a universal loathing of James Comey to that list.

This is our chance, guys. We’re never going to agree on free speech, abortion, or tax policy, so let’s strike while the iron is hot. We finally have a common enemy, a man who can serve as a vehicle for a little bit of solidarity. If we put in some real effort into pursuing a return to courtesy and civility towards our political enemy next door, I have no doubt we’ll start to see a more United States of America.I often worry about the rising tide of political polarization and its effects on public discourse and decorum. In fact, the first piece I wrote for the Minnesota Republic fully laid out my concerns, and in the 8 months since that article was published my stance has only been solidified. However, fear not, for I have found a solution that could at least temporarily restore some semblance of civility amongst Americans.

Looking back through the annals of American history, unity has always been strongest when we have collectively consolidated our hatred towards a common enemy. Whether that hatred was directed towards Great Britain in 1776, the Nazis in 1941, or Nickelback in 2005, the American people have proved that when necessary, solidarity is possible. 

Enter James Brien Comey, Jr. On the book tour for his recently published A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, the former FBI director has consistently agitated people on both sides of the political spectrum. Of course, he’s been doing exactly that since before the 2016 presidential election,  highlighted by his complete bungling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email-related trespasses. But receiving a pink slip has done nothing to make Comey any less obnoxious.

The apex of the former FBI director’s aggravating book tour took place during an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s show in mid-April. For 32 minutes, the two had a chat that could only entertain the most sadistic on the right. Colbert kicked off the interview by serving both Comey and himself some Pinot Noir in paper cups. One can only hope the viewers at home followed suit but didn’t stop after only one drink. 

Of course, in the interview, Comey played the victim and played the role quite well. When asked about Trump Comey said, “He’s tweeted at me probably 50 times. I’ve been gone for a year, I’m like the breakup he can’t get over. He wakes up in the morning… I’m out there living my best life, he wakes up in the morning and tweets at me.”

Do you hear that? If you listen close, you’ll start to hear the world’s smallest violin, and it’s playing just for James Comey. The man lost his job because he was incompetent. Now, because Trump calls him out a couple of times on Twitter we’re supposed to feel sorry for him. Yes, Trump was punching down and should have taken the high road. But the idea that he did any real damage to Comey is laughable. For heaven’s sake, the only thing that little feud did to Comey was a ensure him a multi-million dollar book deal. 

Our political system was designed with gridlock in mind. The founding fathers didn’t want politicians to spend the majority of their time making deals; they wanted congestion in the legislative process. However, while it’s all well and good for Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell to be at each other’s throats, the rest of us normies have to live with each other in relative harmony. 

I’m not naive, I know the chasm between the two sides of the political spectrum is immense. It’s possible that at this point the gap is too large to even hope to bridge. But I’d like to believe there are still some remaining values that fill out the middle of our American Venn diagram. And I’d simply like to suggest we add a universal loathing of James Comey to that list.

This is our chance, guys. We’re never going to agree on free speech, abortion, or tax policy, so let’s strike while the iron is hot. We finally have a common enemy, a man who can serve as a vehicle for a little bit of solidarity. If we put in some real effort pursuing a return to courtesy and civility towards our political enemy next door, I have no doubt we’ll start to see a more United States of America.