There’s no doubt that the indictment of Donald Trump’s former campaign chair is a major milestone in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But it’s unlikely to change anything about American politics.
Trump’s supporters will dismiss the entire investigation as fake news, a witch hunt and a deliberate attempt to distract from the president’s agenda. After all, they ignored worse about Trump before voting for him in the first place. Some 45 years ago, when Richard Nixon was fighting for his political life, most Americans agreed on the facts and trusted the media and the justice system. Today, that’s no longer the case.
The hypocrisy on both sides is extraordinary. Just imagine, for example, how diehard Republicans would respond if one of Hillary Clinton’s senior advisers was indicted on the same day that another pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. It’s a sad state of affairs for one of the world’s great democracies. When your only argument left is that the other side is worse, all your principles are out the window.