Impeachment

I know I haven’t talked a lot lately about the impeachment thing and, to be honest, I haven’t heard much from others about it, either. I do read about it all the time and hear the pundits discuss it. I love a good debate even when both sides of it are completely biased. It adds nuance to my perspective.

As some of you know, I don’t have a particularly biased perspective. I love the liberal and the conservative mind. I am a member of no party or religion. I do have an anti-Trump bias, for sure, but I explained that way back in the beginning. It has nothing to do with his politics and everything to do with his character. When I was young and living in San Diego, I had a boss that absolutely worshiped Donald Trump as a “self-made man.” Because of my boss’ obsession with Trump I took an interest in him, too. I quickly saw through him, but understood why others might fall for his lifetime con.

Cocksure people, even when entirely incompetent and reprehensible, tend to gain followings. By never admitting you are wrong you convince others of the same.

My point is my dissension from the world of Donald Trump goes back decades. He was a bad man with a long con in the 1980s and he remains the same today. I have no political bias against him.

I have many conservative friends and most of my family is conservative, too. I like them. I like their resolute stance on their beliefs and enjoy the ideas of conservatism as much as the ideas of liberalism. Both have their place in the world. At all times, as I have said, we need the conservative to stand stalwart for the status quo as much as we need the liberal propensity for progress and change. It is in the combination of these forces, in a democratic venue, that humanity prospers.

By the same token I am a fan of the politician, of the businessman, and of the journalist. Every politician has the opportunity to be a good human or a bad human, every businessperson the same, every journalist, the same. Each can chase the truth and work for the common good or work only to enrich themselves and further their personal narratives. It is in the symbiosis of these forces that we progress. Government is as important as private business is as important as media. When I hear anyone attack any one of those institutions in favor of the other I defend the other. We need them all to be powerful and effective. Again, for the common good.

Donald Trump, I shouldn’t have to point out here again, is not a man for the common good, and never has been. He is in favor of Donald Trump, and Donald Trump alone.

For that reason, I found him to be the worst possible presidential candidate in 2016, and he has continuously proven that he is the worst possible president for our time or any other. His many transgressions lend credence to the Democratic desire to prosecute and impeach him. I absolutely understand the animosity for the man, and absolutely support doing the right thing about it.

I also absolutely understand the support for the man, as well. Conservatives have had their way of life come under assault in recent decades, and Donald Trump promised to counter that assault. In fact, he has, which is why those who adore him see him as an American leader who “finally does what he said he would do.”

But I haven’t talked much about impeachment because I wanted to see it play out. One doesn’t have to be amazingly astute to suspect beforehand how it would go: the blue side of the country would resolutely support impeachment and the red side of the country would resolutely challenge it. We are a deeply divided country, from the commoner on the street to the halls of the Senate.

But as I’ve watched, with no real love of either political house – red or blue – I’ve been torn. Yes, I want the country and its leaders to do the right thing for the right reasons. Because of that I believe in the impeachment process, and in the impeachment of this president. He is unworthy of the office that he holds, and he flouts the rule of law and the processes of democracy at every turn. At the same time, impeachment opens a terrible chapter in our history and sets a frightening precedent that, once done, cannot be undone.

And for what?

Donald Trump will be impeached today. I have no doubt about that. The numbers are there in the House. But Donald Trump will not be convicted or removed from office from this impeachment. I have no doubt about that, either. The numbers to protect him are there in the Senate.

So, in the end, impeachment will only tell us what we already know and, undoubtedly, divide us even further. Sometimes the right thing to do is also the wrong thing to do. That’s what makes this whole process, and indeed life, so complicated.

I was asked why I haven’t said much about it. This is my answer: I completely support the impeachment of Donald Trump but find the process of doing so irrelevant. Maybe even damaging.

When he wins the trial in the Senate his supporters will rail on about the waste of money and time spent on this process, and they will be right about that. But the Democrats are probably doing the right thing, anyway, and following their consciences and the will of their constituents. The bottom line for me, however, is that if Donald Trump were a man of better character this whole thing wouldn’t be necessary.

That’s what I take away from it. Really, it’s what I brought into it in 2015. Not Donald Trump, I said. Not Hillary Clinton, I said. Leave the corruption outside and send better people in. There will always be tumult in Washington, no matter who resides up there, but we are only asking for ever greater trouble when we send the worst people in at the start.

Whether we are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, we need to choose our leaders more wisely.

We don’t ever have to be here again.

32 thoughts on “Impeachment

  1. We lawyers do this thing called “making a record.” Even when we may lose a case, we still put the facts into evidence, creating a written record that may, or may not, be of value in the future. That’s how I choose to view this impeachment process: the House is making a necessary record of corruption and obstruction, regardless of outcome in the Senate trial, and for that, I’m grateful. The Senate will also, by their actions in the trial, be making a record, and maybe not the one they think, because we historians have a way of looking at things later with better clarity and context (and more facts) than the actors have at the time they act. I only wish the House had gone broader in their letters of impeachment, for the record. To have ignored or turned a blind eye to all the bad acts simply because a GOP majority in the senate telegraphed in advance that they’d never convict, whatever the letters of impeachment, would have been a grave injustice to our democracy, and the history of this era yet to be written.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with you. It’s about getting it all in the record for the historians down the road…if there is a road left.

      Everyone knows he’ll win in the senate and gloat and strut like never before. And most likely, he will win re-election. The question is can the country survive that. I can only imagine the further harm that will be done.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’m not a lawyer so that’s interesting to note. Along those lines I thought, in the beginning, that the game was simply to “get it out there,” which I suppose is the same thing. But, then, I had second thoughts when they limited the scope of the impeachment to the two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. I believe he’s done both of those, yes, but he’s also breached the emoluments clause and obstructed justice, to say the least. I don’t think his phone call to the Ukrainian president has been his worst offense, though it is bad enough. If we’re doing this to “make a record,” make a complete one. Otherwise, it’s just going to look like a political attack by a sore loser, which is narrative the opposition is trying to sell.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When I left, Ian (my old boss) was becoming a better man. I talked to him some time after and he had contracted a sickness that retired him from sales and wanted to spend his life in the service of helping others. That time was still more than 30 years ago, and Ian was a young man, so I don’t know whatever became of him, but I’m nearly certain he got over his Trump fetish a long time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you Tom as I’ve stated in more length in the comments of another post (Dark Days by Fandango) and it’s a shame that, at this time of national division (almost 50/50) and in government, it’s not being taken advantage of as bipartisan – as it should be; that’s the whole point of two sides, to compromise so the EVERYONE gets a seat at the table, a voice to be heard. But No, they have to play the “we got more numbers than you so we don’t give an inch – it’s our way ONLY” ~ SO F*ing counterintuitive!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, you’re right. John McCain lamented the loss of “regular order” in Washington before he left us and it was that observation I will remember as some of the most cogent of our time. Both sides are surely to blame for this, but my personal observation — as a conservative Republican from 1989 to 2006, a Libertarian from 2006-2010, and finally a progressive independent for the last 10 years — is that the political right is more to blame for this current state than the political left. It’s the Limbaugh State. The Hannity Pulpit. It is the politics of “no compromise.” Of “one way.” Of “God.” In a real sense, the reason the right is winning the political battle (at this point) is because they are so uncompromising. The political left will concede some ground, for regular order or what have you, but the political right will concede nothing. How do we progress in a world where one side fights for peace and the other for war?

      I believe we shall progress. I don’t see the road from here but I do know it’s there. I hope, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I envy the awareness of your family. Mine have hitched their ride on the Trump Train, which is bizarre to me. Growing up I thought we had more enlightenment, more compassion for our fellow man. I never in a million years would have predicted my family would come to adore a hatemonger and demagogue. Just goes to show, eh? 🤷

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I close my mind to those who won’t open theirs.
    Ironic but true. I’ve tried to have important conversations with conservatives. They always end badly. Logic truth is something I feel should not be trifled with—and these people (close relatives, even) do.
    “Fertility rates are down among Caucasians across the globe.” [proof]
    “I don’t believe that. Even if it’s true, so what?”
    “Capitalistic economies rely, in part, upon population growth for stability.” [proof]
    “No they don’t. We can stay the same size and be fine.”
    “Through productivity gains alone? Possibly. That is, IF fertility rates weren’t dropping.”
    “What are you going on about?”
    “Immigration is vital to this and other first world nations’ economies.” [logical proof]
    “That’s a lie. Build the wall. MAGA, MAGA, MAGA.”
    ~~~
    • In 2020, Drumpf WILL run for re-election.
    • Drumpf will use his acquittal of his impeachment as proof that he is innocent.
    • It will be the dirtiest, most corrupt election cycle in the history of the nation.
    • The first Presidential debate will be fraught with violence, turned into a three-ring circus and the remainder cancelled.
    • The 2020 election will result in the demise of the Republican Party. NOT. That cancer will fester in the heart of the country and no amount of logic will kill it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That violence you predict may begin tonight. Around the nation there are protests in favor of impeachment, the impeachment will come today, and late today Trump has one of those rabble rousing rallies in Michigan. “Go forth,” he will say, “Defend your leader from these insurrectionists. I am all that matters.” And they will scream “MAGA!” and take to the streets. Or is it KAGA, now? Have we started to hear “Cleanse America From Impurities!” yet? CAFI!

      I know I’m not right about that. I mean, the violence could begin tonight, but Trump doesn’t know words like “insurrectionists.” He’ll say “traitors.”

      I fear you may be right (though I am not entirely convinced). Challenging a demagogue, and losing, is often the first step in utter defeat. The party you may see die, from this, is the Democratic one. The nation you may see die from this is also the democratic one.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ve said before…trump supporters are like the Manchurian Candidate on steroids. Truly there must be some overt brainwashing going on like with Jim Jones, that can only be explained by some neural differences in the brains of these people.

    Their reaction to fear and hate and religious extremism is different than the rest of us….something more primitive at work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far. I can see how some subtle brainwashing has affected folks on both extremes – through childhood conditioning, through tradition, through studies in school, through media – but the support for Trump is based on another emotion entirely: the emotion that a sacred way of life had been threatened and nobody was doing anything about it. Donald Trump is a con man, no doubt. A charlatan. But somehow, through design or happenstance, he came upon a plan to tap that emotion and thereby gather adherents who will then see no fault in him. I guess that isn’t entirely unlike Jim Jones, or other cult figures, but on a larger stage. Like Adolph Hitler, to be sure. It doesn’t have to get to the level of atrocity we saw from Adolph Hitler, but the groupthink that brought his reign into being is similar. Thank goodness the opposition won the 2018 midterms, eh?

      I don’t so much challenge Donald Trump or any party as much as I challenge authoritarianism and groupthink. Hopefully we get through this, and someday even rise above it.

      Thanks for the insightful response, Mary!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I rarely make or comment on political posts. It’s the fastest way to lose a friend, especially one you’ve made in cyberspace. I did want to say that we have a like mindset as far as this goes and it truly is difficult when you fall somewhere in the middle. Your left friends rail at you, your right friends rail at you. When are people going to wake up and realize it doesn’t always have to be only left or right? Enough said.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And well said, too, Arionis! I have lost a couple of acquaintances, for sure, because of my political voice, but I can honestly say that I haven’t lost a single friend over my vocal opposition to Trump. It’s been close a couple of times, for sure, but reason does prevail. I believe that.

      I should revive an old post of mine about the political spectrum. It is so much more than left and right. On the quadrant my views land heavily in the libertarian-left quadrant, meaning I’m not so much “middle” as I am a lefty with a high tolerance and appreciation for other points of view. 😏

      Thanks for reading and responding. Glad we became friends!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I truly admire the fact that you can still view all of this with such pragmatism. I seem to have lost that ability altogether. I currently view Trump supporters the same way I envision the civilian enablers of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. Trump isn’t just corrupt. He isn’t just self-serving. He is, along with his smarter cronies (Putin), clearly attempting to usher in American Fascism. In the sociopolitical sense, that is as horrifying as it gets. I know that on some level, I am wrong and bullheaded for feeling this way, but I truly have nothing but disdain in my heart for what now passes for “conservatism” and those who grasp to it out of pure cowardice, shameless prejudice and proud ignorance.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh, I see the parallels to 1930s Germany here, to be sure. We have a self-serving demagogue in power utilizing the fear and hatred of his followers to secure his reign. We have a leader who wants nothing short of ultimate power, and who would no doubt commit incredible atrocity to gain it, should we let him.

      But we won’t.

      I don’t blame the conservative for this. The belief in God, Country and Family, above all, is as old as it gets. In fact, a great deal of the security we enjoy as a free and prosperous country comes from having such a solemn belief that ties so many together. We are not enlightened enough, we apes, to band together for the platitudes of “peace, harmony, and knowledge.” Not yet. So we band together for myth and kin, just like before.

      But I understand your frustration. There are days I rant about the ignorance. I have to bring myself back to center on those days and realize: this is still better than it was, and can be better still. Patience, Tom. As Jesus said, forgive them. They know not what they do. 😏

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I admire your ability to be positive now, and the violence has begun. It began when Trump ordered a man out of a speech he gave, encouraging others to hit the man. He is a three year old bully and with money, he’ll get what he wants through intimidation, bribery and fear. I was just talking with a man yesterday who agreed things have not changed much in the last sixty years. Everyone says they have, but those negative prejudices and feelings have been fueled by Trump all along. He has brought out the very worst in people and is getting away with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot has changed. I would say a majority of Americans, sixty years ago, went along with all those negative prejudices and feelings that Trump has tapped into, but today they are surely in the minority. Progress does not come easy, and does not come all at once. And, if we let our guard down, anger and resentment and prejudice will surely grow. I refuse to allow that within myself. I will call it out when I see it, and I will do it without hate and prejudice myself.

      Or at least I will try.

      You are absolutely right about Donald Trump, by the way. He’s reprehensible.

      Like

  8. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be immersed 24/7 in Trumpness the way people are in the States. Up here, we don’t get much (unless you have Fox on cable, which I refuse to watch anyway because it’s on par with Bigfoot sightings), and the only things we hear about him are either hysterically funny or downright evil (children in cages? This is 2019 for god’s sake). He’s a laughingstock up here, as he is in all other countries, and every time we see someone on TV extol his virtues, we just shake our heads in disbelief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are wise to do so! I not only see it on TV and Twitter, but I see it on my social media feeds from disillusioned friends and family. “Greatest economy ever!” “Finally a president who tells the truth!” “MAGA!” “KAGA!” “WITCH HUNT!!!”

      It’s pathetic. Donald Trump is so transparent as to be laughable. A political parody in power. And, in the end, he is exactly what everyone who loves him hates about politics. The ultimate con, and those who worship him are the ultimate dupes.

      But, hey, I figured out a long time ago that I can’t fix ’em. I’ll just keep printing the truth about the charlatan-in-chief and watch as he fades away, which he will. He’s done some damage, but we’ll fix it. We have to. America cannot fall to tyranny, the way Trump and his cronies and followers desire.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.