Posts Tagged “witchhunt”

Witchcraft at Salem VillageAnother day, another plaintive, hyperbolic whine from one of the Groper-in-Chief’s minions. That’s really routine, and not “news,” to be sure. Everything is “the worst ever,” the most horrible, and on and on and on. We’re confronted with new superlatives on a daily basis. But, tonight on Fox News, the GiC’s son bellyached about the Russian interference investigation (Archive.Is cached article):

President Trump’s eldest son on Friday night declared that the ongoing probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election is a “witch hunt.”

“Obviously, this has been a witch hunt, probably the greatest since the Salem witch trials,” Donald Trump Jr. told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

Aside from the politics involved, as a student of history, I understand that comparisons like these are juvenile and ridiculous.

Let me explain in clear terms: Nothing about the Russia investigation is even remotely like the actual Salem Witch Trials. Yes, people use the term “witch hunt” in politics, but nothing political in the US comes close to what happened in Salem, MA in the 1690s. There’s no comparison — at all. If you want to understand what actually happened in Salem, I invite you to educate yourself. Some brief explanations of the period can be found here:

The historical Salem trials were, in sum, a horrific affair. There was no justice to be had, and virtually no due process. And most importantly, they cost a lot of peoples’ lives.

No political “witch hunt” now underway in the US has any resemblance to that. Lives are not at stake: No one currently being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller is going to be executed, no matter what s/he may be guilty of.

People love making historical comparison, but in my experience — as someone who actually has a degree in history — they usually aren’t apt, and those who make them have no knowledge of the history they’re discussing.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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