There are a number of things you can do if and when it’s learned that you called the President of Ukraine to try to strong-arm him into investigating your political rivals.
Not that I think you personally would do such a thing, but given the state of the modern world, you just never know when the urge might strike to place said phone call.
So, the first thing you could do is to deny it. This would be very easy for you or me, because I have a stinking feeling if I personally were to place a phone call to the president of Ukraine, he wouldn’t take my call. (Call it a hunch.)
However, if you’re in a position to place such a phone call, and you did in fact place that phone call, denying it would be just about the worst idea you can imagine. Mostly because the only way such a phone call is made and accepted is if the President of the United States places the call, and the President of the United States can’t make calls to foreign leaders without lots of people knowing about it. (Inconvenient, to be sure, but it comes with the job.)
Hence, should denial fail, you should shrug your shoulders, and say, “Hey, it’s no big thing! Why are you making such a big thing about this?”
Yeah, that’s it. Act as if U.S. presidents have made it a regular practice to place phone calls to the leaders of foreign nations to strong-arm them into investigating political rivals.
I mean, what the heck? We live in a country where more people vote in reality television contests than vote in political elections, which means a great number of those voters will most likely believe you when you say it’s no big thing, and as such, they might just accept it.
However, in the off chance people don’t buy that kettle of fish, you can always try to deflect, and engage in what I like to call, “the schoolyard bad boy defense.” Which is to say you claim the political rival you want investigated did much worse things than call the president of a foreign nation to strong-arm him into investigating said rival.
This strategy also gives you the opportunity to throw a little phony patriotism at the issue. As in, “I just love my country so much, I had to call the president of a foreign nation and strong arm him into investigating my political rival. I’m looking out for the country. I’m trying to make the country great.”
However, in the off chance denial, “no big deal,” deflection and phony patriotism fail, and you find yourself the subject of an impeachment inquiry, all is not lost. You can take advantage of the rabbit hole you’ve spent the last few years digging deeper and deeper.
Take to Twitter. Claim you’re the most attacked president in the history of the country. Except, of course, the four who were assassinated, the three who were impeached, the two who faced an impeachment trial, the one who resigned, and the numerous others, who faced assassination plots and outright shots being fired. (Lucky for you Twitter is chock full of people who will believe you when you claim being made fun of by late night talk show hosts is much worse than shots being fired at you, and media outlets having the gall to report the truth about you, and (gasp!) to not ask the questions you want to be asked is much worse than being killed or wounded.)
The only thing I know for certain is this: I’ve been a politics junkie since I was a child, and for most of my life, I can honestly say a president who called the president of a foreign country to strong-arm him into investigating a political rival would be very serious indeed.
It’s the reality TV presidency. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Whomever acts the most reprehensibly and is the most reviled wins.
The Kardashian Rabbit Hole Presidency.
Craig Carter is an Ontario resident and can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of the Argus Observer.