As I type this, FBI director James Comey, has just been fired by president Donald Trump. If you’re reading this years from now, that will be an important fact.
The firing of Mr Comey has set off a fire storm of innuendo and speculation about a certain theory. The theory is that Donald Trump conspired with the Russian government to hack into the DNC email servers, in order to release private emails to the world that would show Hillary Clinton in a bad light …thus swaying voters to vote for him. I think that’s about the gist of it.
As of yet, this theory has yet to be proven. We do know the Russians tampered. We just don’t know why. But if the collusion theory ends up being true I would find that an incredibly risky move on Mr Trump’s part. After all, you don’t really know what’s in those emails. And if they just turn out to be yoga schedules and pasta recipes you’ve broken a bunch of serious laws to get that information. I personally would never take a risk like that. But that’s just me.
Conversely, the “the-world-got-to-see-first-hand-that-I-was-liar-and-that’s-why-I-lost-an-election” defense is certainly an interesting one by Mrs Clinton. The world also got to see that Mr Trump was a misogynist and yet he won. Personally, I think the reasons for who won and who lost are a million miles away from leaked emails and leaked Hollywood Reporter interviews. But none of that is the real interesting part to me.
The interesting part to me …is the infamous “il.”
According to the DNC the “hack” wasn’t as much a hack as it was a phish. Someone sent John Podesta a phishing email. Before opening it, he texted his IT guy asking if the email was legitimate. The IT guy says he meant to text, “the email is ILLEGITIMATE.” But spell check turned “ILLegitimate” into “Legitimate.” And he didn’t catch it until he read back over the texts later and realized what had happened. By then, it was too late. And through Mr Podesta’s email, dozens of other people’s emails were hacked …including Mrs Cilnton’s.
I’ve dubbed scenarios like this “the IL theory.” That’s the idea that the course of history gets changed by two letters. I think that’s just about right.
The battle of Gettysburg happened because a Union scout found Confederate battle plans wrapped in three cigars, that had fallen off some general’s horse. Three cigars changed the fate of millions of people. Wrapped around three cigars was the balance of power on planet earth, the future of slavery as an institution, the life and death of thousands of men, and the ultimate question of how the United States would continue as a nation. Three loose cigars fell off a horse …and changed every moment from that day to this.
If you study enough history, you find “ils” everywhere. Someone shoots the Archduke Ferdinand and starts WWI. Then, during that war, someone has a clear shot at a young, private Adolph Hitler …but his gun jams. How many little “ils” had to happen for that particular gun to jam at that particular time? In that one gun jamming incident hung the fate of six million Jews and millions more allies. One gun jamming. The “il” theory.
I don’t know how all this Trump/Clinton/Comey stuff will play out. It all feels like a reality show to me. Those who supported Trump still defend him. Those who hated Trump still hate him. If you thought he rigged the election, you think it even more now. If you thought Mrs Clinton was corrupt, you probably think it even more now.
NONE of that is interesting on any level. That’s all predictable and kind of a yawn. What isn’t predictable is what “il” is going to show up and turn the whole thing on a dime.
The “il” is the human folly in every endeavor of life. It’s the tiniest detail that brings down an empire. The “il” is the accidental cough, at just the right time, that keeps someone from hearing the operative word in a meeting …then they go do the opposite of what they were told to do.
The “il” is the cat’s tail that knocks over a coffee cup that stains a dress that then has to be taken to the cleaners before it normally would. And the wife, taking in the dress at the earlier time, happens to see her husband’s shirt with lipstick stains on the collar laying in a bin.
The “il” is the thing we cannot account for. It’s the maddening (seemingly) random event that can be our doing or our undoing.
And in this current climate, more than ever, the “il” is what I watch for.