S03E09 – Trump Loses, the FBI, and Debt

In this episode of Finding Common Battle Grounds, we (Ryan and Tom) tackled three topics. We started with a discussion of Trump’s recent civil lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll, which ended with a verdict against him suggesting the jury was convinced that Trump sexually assaulted (i.e., raped) Ms. Carroll. Ryan was wondering how it is that people can support a rapist as President of the US, and Tom responded that it was less about Trump and more about the American populace – they want a win and will take it at any cost, regardless of the (im)morality of their candidate. We then turned to a discussion of the recent congressional hearing that featured three FBI agents who had lost their security clearance and then claimed whistleblower status and argued that the FBI was attacking conservatives. Tom is concerned about the FBI restricting free speech and engaging as the thought police. Ryan noted that one of these individuals was actually at the January 6th riot (not acting as a representative of the FBI but among the protestors/rioters) and the other two continue to espouse conspiracy theories about the January 6th riot that do not align with all of the evidence. We did agree that: (a) military, law enforcement, and FBI members on the ground are likely to lean to the right, and (b) internal elements of the US government are a bigger threat to democracy than are protests and militias. Finally, we turned to the debt ceiling issue that is roiling America at the moment. Tom noted that the government has to pay its debts – it is legally required to do so. If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we effectively would force a balanced budget and would have to cut spending in other areas. Both Tom and Ryan agreed that the US government needs to stop spending more than it brings in and that our national debt is going to cause major problems moving forward.

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