Opinion: The Comey testimony, an American melodrama

James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

By Stephanie Sawaked
The Carolinian

The testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last month, will undoubtedly go down as one the most important trial hearings of our generation.

If it is of any measure, three of the largest news networks – CNN, FOX and CBS – all decided to air the testimony commercial free. To put that in perspective, they are willing to pass on tens of thousands of dollars worth of ads, depending on how long it lasts, to show the testimony in its entirety.

But the question it poses is, what does this mean for America? More importantly, what does it mean for our generation?

Most millennials have turned their cheek to politics, and understandably so when you realize it has become a reality show of children in suits constantly going at each other. In the defense of the Upstate, the millennial demographic is the complete opposite of that in Washington.

The testimony was, for me, exciting in the sense that I knew I was watching history and just like other major events, I will know the exact scenario of where I was, what I was doing and who I was with. I watched on social media as Americans who were in other countries were streaming the testimony, bars in Washington, D.C., and New York City were having viewing parties and folks at work got creative with their cubicle setups.

“It was like watching a national championship,” former Upstate student, Conner Short said. “It is not that I necessarily want to see blood shed from the opposing side, I just enjoy seeing my side do well.”

Other millennials used the opportunity to make it a social gathering, fully equipped with drinking games. You wouldn’t necessarily put politics and “fun” in the same sentence, unless “not” is somewhere between that, but this generation has made a habit out of turning the most serious of situations into a gallery of memes and cheap shots.

As I try to think of the ways we are different than the generation who raised us, we are, for the most part, as our parents were. When we can’t seem to figure out why everyone is fighting to make this already great nation more complicated than we know it to be, we turn to our parents for the answer.

What separates us from our preceding generation is our will and motivation to do our own independent research and learning to dissect each executive order and bill that is presented. It is the fact that we can take into consideration what our parents have instilled in us and be able to break free from a specific line of thinking.

I know it seems that us millennials are ruining everything, but in reality, most of us are paving the way for future generations to know that it is OK to think differently, research individually and most importantly, accept the differences of our peers. If there is anything I have learned from having difficult conversations with those who oppose my views, it is that we are much more tolerant and open to listening and learning from each other and why we think differently. We have come to terms with the fact that not everyone agrees, and that is the beauty of being an American.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Carolinian, the University of South Carolina Upstate, or any affiliated institutions.

Stephanie Sawaked is a writer for The Carolinian. Email Stephanie with questions and comments.