James Comey is enamored. Enraptured even. He is head-over-heels crushing on himself. The Great Story of How I Faced Down The Soul-Eater, detailing how Comey is a better person than, say, Attorney General William Barr–who Comey called “Bill”–is an essential paean to himself and another tank full of propane to fuel his gaslighting.
Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. It takes character like Mr. Mattis’s to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.James Comey: How Trump Co-opts Leaders Like Bill Barr, The New York Times, May 1, 2019
In Comey’s hero narrative, Trump is a demonic figure, a soul-eater, who beguiles and bewitches those around him through his glottal sorcery into full subservience, except those with exceptional “inner strength.” Without mentioning himself, Comey in his op-ed makes himself a hero, comparable to Gen. James Mattis, who both served, and left, the Trump administration with distinction and class.
Comey has neither of these attributes.
What Comey does get right is his assertion “Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them.” I won’t argue that Trump’s morality is deeply rooted in anything but a momentary, transactional gain. But in the former FBI Director’s world, there are only two types of character: the inner strength to oppose Donald Trump, and weakness of the soul, which is then eaten by the Orange Soul-Eater.
In reality, Trump’s weak moral rudder exposes much more than simply some hero vs. the monster fantasy. Anyone who gets close to Trump is eventually compelled to deal with their own truth, because Trump’s is subject to shift moment by moment. However, the president does have a few anchors, and they are worth some thought, and even agreement.
- Agreeing that our nation needs actual borders, citizenship requirements, and security has exposed the left’s desire to define a “citizen” as anyone who will vote Democrat.
- Agreeing that business and capital drive an economy that can lift more people out of poverty and into prosperity than government could ever hope to do exposes the hypocrisy of socialists.
- Agreeing that a militarily and economically strong America will bear more fruit internationally among our friend and our adversaries exposes the weak-kneed “universal values” crowd who would turn our nation into a fountain of cash to be exploited while our own citizens suffer death and decay. (Trump believes his inauguration speech in which he referenced “American carnage.”)
- Agreeing that government should not be an opponent of business through endless regulation and threats exposes the cash-flush lobbyists and advocacy groups that mine the halls of government for power and influence.
- Agreeing that Bible-believing Christians are not the enemies of the state exposes the sycophantic religious figures who prostrate themselves to curry favor at Trump’s feet. It also exposes the secular haters who would make Christians second-class citizens of conscience.
- Agreeing that the mainstream media is, with the exception of Fox News, wholly and completely an arm of the left and the Democrats, exposes the media as exactly what we believe they are.
- Agreeing that there is a distinct possibility that politics tainted, and even drove, James Comey’s decisions as head of the FBI, decisions in 2016 that had a major effect on the election, exposes the weak character of Comey and his need to paint himself as a tragic hero.
James Comey is no hero. He did not face the Orange Soul-Eater and come out whole. Trump’s non-stop talk, petty lies and glandular leadership has exposed a lot of grift, hypocrisy, and evil. But Comey has exposed himself as a weak, frightened boy imagining himself as a monster-vanquishing Galahad. Sad.