My Disappointing Friends

Some of my best friends are Democrats. Really. That’s why it hurts me to write these words addressed to them: I am disappointed in you.

So certain are you of what you see as the oafish at best, evil at worst, character of our current president, and the moral superiority of your ideology and those who hold it, that you are completely uninterested in the shocking abuses of power committed by Democrats in furtherance of their – and your – political goals.

You had no interest in Eric Holder’s gunrunning in Fast and Furious or Lois Lerner’s weaponization of the IRS against conservative organizations. You didn’t care when Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice absurdly blamed a filmmaker for the catastrophe they caused in Benghazi – then had him jailed. You didn’t care when Hillary illegally used a private server to shield her communications from FOIA requests, or when she destroyed the subpoenaed evidence once caught.  You didn’t care when the Clinton Foundation took huge gifts from foreigners while she was Secretary of State, or when Biden’s son used his father’s clout to land a sweet gig in Ukraine – and to shield the corrupt oligarch who owned the Ukrainian company that employed him from investigation. You barely even noticed when the same ne’er-do-well son of Biden – in partnership with Kerry’s son – landed a huge deal with Chinese investors while Biden père was making trade concessions to the Chinese government.

And, most painful of all to me, you don’t care now that it has become perfectly clear that the Obama Administration – up to and including the supposed Lightbringer himself – grossly abused the powers of the Oval Office, the intelligence community and the Department of Justice to spy on the Trump campaign, railroad a general who had served our nation honorably for thirty years because they knew he was recommending that Trump blow up their Iran deal and might expose their abuses of our intelligence capabilities, and – most astonishingly of all – attempted to destroy the new Administration with a wholly unjustified investigation and efforts to create a perjury trap for the President based on that asinine investigation.  

I’m quite sure that you think my list of Obama Administration crimes is exaggerated. It isn’t. The newspapers you read and the shows you watch don’t even mention the recent avalanche of documentary evidence of the Obama Administration’s “Russian Collusion” transgressions. I could provide you with links to all the recently declassified documents that show what a travesty the allegations of Russian collusion were from the start – there never was any evidence of collusion, so there was no legitimate reason for an investigation – but you wouldn’t read them. You don’t want to know.

Even if you are vaguely aware that there might have been some of what you see as minor over-reaching by the FBI, you probably excuse it as understandable in light of what you see as Trump’s obvious creepiness. Besides, it’s all in the past, so why should Barr and Durham be dredging all that up now?  Most of your friends don’t care either.    


By any reasonable measure, the Obama Administration’s abuses of the law for partisan gain make Nixon’s crimes look miniscule by comparison; they represent nothing less than the attempt of an outgoing administration and its embedded minions to improperly (and, no doubt, illegally) prevent the election of a legitimate candidate, then to overturn the election once it had been decided. These actions were profoundly anti-democratic, beginning as dirty tricks and gradually morphing into an attempted silent coup. The perpetrators should be punished severely, but I very much doubt that they will be – instead, they will probably continue to be lionized by the left for their actions. The State protects its own, and those who were acting against (the duly elected) President Trump had, and still have, the fervent ideological support of almost all the legacy media, the great majority of the permanent bureaucracy as well as half of Congress and the Judiciary. And, most important, of people like you.

President Nixon was drummed out of office because he knew that his fellow Republicans in Congress wouldn’t support him in light of his having tried to cover up the Watergate break-in (which he hadn’t been involved in); in that era a high-minded respect for the law was seen as bipartisan.  What are we to think now that it’s clear not only that the left doesn’t care about the Obama Administration’s much more serious transgressions, but the Democratic Party is apparently putting forth somebody who was directly involved in those transgressions – and whose family has been corruptly enriched by his position – as its standard-bearer for the next election?

They know you don’t care.


What is lost in all this is respect for the law and the institutions that are supposed to protect it. One of America’s most important strengths has been that it has been a high-trust society. Once our collective trust in the fundamental fairness of our governmental institutions is lost, few will play by the rules, or expect others to do so.

Whatever you think of Trump’s policies, or his character, you should be just as infuriated as I am that the Obama Administration acted like thugs in furtherance of their preferred outcomes. Even if you don’t want to believe the documents, or that all my assertions about their misbehavior are accurate, you should be worried enough that they might be that – at a minimum – you would demand that the media organizations that you read or watch take a good hard look at them. But I see no evidence that anyone on the left is doing that, either in the public sphere or in discussions among friends.  

You’re my friends because I have the highest regard for your personal behavior, but you’ve allowed your blind hatred of President Trump, and your fealty to the smug and false sense of righteousness that you feel within the progressive bubble to blind you to the harm your insouciance in these matters is causing to our beloved country.  

And that disappoints me greatly.

M.H. Johnston

17 comments to My Disappointing Friends

  • Jeff  says:

    I would love to see any reactions from your “friends”.

  • Eric  says:

    Thanks for this-a blindingly clear summary.

  • Anonymous  says:

    False equivalence. AND
    Two wrongs don’t make a right.
    A reaction from a “friend”

    • M Johnston  says:

      Friend was not in scare quotes. To me a “friend” is implicitly the opposite of a friend. I was addressing this post to those who are in the latter category.

  • Peter J. Lefeber  says:

    Spot on, Mark. Spot on.

  • Anonymous  says:

    Such a timely post. . . . Shiny Object

  • AT  says:

    Mark: you’re right of course, but you may have burned some bridges with this one. As in “you’ll never eat lunch in this town again”. Most of my friends and family are on the other side of the political divide. We still correspond and I haven’t been excommunicated yet, although one longstanding friendship isn’t what it used to be. I especially regret that one because I really enjoyed talking politics with that guy, a former grad-school buddy. He is sympathetic to the left but extremely well-versed in history, tough-minded, and intellectually honest, which is a rare combination. We stopped corresponding after he made it clear that there are certain hot-button issues that he doesn’t want to discuss with me. Originally from the northeast (New Jersey), he has lived in California for many years and has left-wing to hard left-wing siblings with whom he is very close. Family loyalties prevail for him, which is in fact a conservative virtue.

    • M Johnston  says:

      I considered that possibility briefly, but concluded that I’ve already burned the most flammable bridges through previous posts. A dozen or so longstanding friends unsubscribed and, to a greater or lesser extent, pulled away personally once I started writing pro-Trump posts. Oh, well: I can’t let my fear of other’s reactions limit what I think or write – people who know me, and readers who don’t, will like me for who I am, or not.

      • Anonymous  says:

        Mark: correct. Losing friends is unavoidable in the current political climate, I’m afraid. What’s depressing is that it’s not even possible to discuss these things with people who think differently. Unless you condemn Trump absolutely and unequivocally, you’re not worth talking or associating with. And even then you might be suspect. It’s like a non-negotiable article of religious dogma.

  • Tim Huban  says:

    Thanks Mark for this. Very well articulated. It has become increasingly frustrating as a conservative to see all of the levels of hypocrisy of the left. Obama is generally revered (mostly by the left) as a high integrity president who never told a lie (other than all of the lies surrounding Obamacare). The fact of the matter is that Obama, like all of the left, hated Trump and worried that Trump would ruin his self perceived legacy. To combat that, he needed to create a narrative that Trump was a Russian spy which would discredit his presidency and make Obama continue to look like a great president, at least to those on the left. Most of the unmasking and shady investigations were done AFTER Trump was duly elected. While it is not illegal to unmask, it is if it is done for political purposes and it is if it is leaked to the press (which are accomplices in all of this). It was known definitively, even before Trump was sworn in, that there was no Russian collusion. If this happened under a Republican administration, people would already have been put in jail and it would have been the scandal of the century. Hypocrisy on the left knows no bounds….just look at the allegations of sexual abuse against Biden. I thought “metoo” says to believe the woman….unless of course, that woman is accusing a democrat…..

  • Anonymous  says:

    Tim & Mark,

    Thanks so much for helping me focus. Sexual abuse by Joe Biden. Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice absurdly blamed a filmmaker for the catastrophe they caused in Benghaz.
    I was thinking about other current events. . . so grateful you redirected me to the really important stuff.

  • Doug  says:

    Mark. Great post. I am sure this is not lost on your friends but the important distinction here is that your friends in this forum have opted in and I suspect, by definition, are willing to engage in a somewhat constructive dialogue. Many of the ‘friends’ with who you associate (pre and post bridge burning) are just as happy to lob incendiary and unsupported statements as they have been – dressed in blackface and garb- throwing rocks and moltov cocktails into the windows of private business establishments. “Trump is a racist” “Trump colluded with the Russians” “Trump hates Jews”. These people have been intermingling with the protestors and as easily spray painting ACAB an F12 as they casually post drivel on their social media condemning you as racist. At least you are burning your own bridge – not someone else’s. Keep up the good work.

  • M Johnston  says:

    Note to those who wish to comment: three times now, people have tried to leave comments on this post with the text of the comments somehow getting lost in cyberspace. I apologize for that, but have no idea how to address the problem. If you try again, it’ll probably work, though.

  • M Johnston  says:

    Incidentally, for those who do wish to look into the Obama Administration’s end-game misbehavior, this article is a good place to start. Or take a quick gander at this: to get an understanding of the horrifying end of the end-game.

  • AT  says:

    Mark: I think it’s a time-out issue. If it takes longer than, say, five minutes (just a guess on my part, based on experience) to compose your comment, copy it and paste it back into the text box, THEN hit “Add comment”.

  • Vivian Wadlin  says:

    AT… speaking of five minutes, I think that may be the attention span of my liberal acquaintances. That is part of the problem. They already know everything that is important, so don’t expect them to examine anything if it takes more than five minutes. I remember on liberal professor I dated briefly, who told me, “I am trapped by ideologies in which I no longer believe.” The culture he revolved within was a college, all his friends were college professors. All were liberal. As a libertarian, I couldn’t date him any longer.

  • Anonymous  says:

    Did you ever read about a frog/Who dreamed of bein’ a king/And then became one/Well except for the names/And a few other changes If you talk about me/The story is the same one… The story’s the same one … up to that point. But there’s a final chapter where the king reverts back to a frog. Then the frog’s prosecuted to the full extent of the law by the Southern District of New York, and is thrown into prison after Adam Schiff delivers his closing argument—livestreamed to packed arenas across the country—to a jury made up entirely of immigrant epidemiologists and climate scientists. The administration’s covid response has been like boiling a frog. During the rally, Trump said he asked his team to do less testing. “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'” The campaign tried to say he was joking. But we can see in his actions that he wasn’t. Atul Gawande: “He acknowledges what we’ve seen—active obstruction of testing in a pandemic which claimed 120K lives so far. If I did this for 10 people at my hospital, it’d be a crime.”

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