When Trump surprised us with presidential victory, I had a short but poignant heart-to-heart with an ultra-educated person with degrees from Georgetown, Harvard and a Yale doctorate in political science. Whoa. My friend Kim is a person who’s dedicated her life to understanding the machinations of government, the power ordinary citizens can have upon them, and the incessant dance between the will of the people and the insatiable hunger for power from politicians.
I welcome differences of opinion, but the direction of our conversation travelled to a place I never expected. Kim was so distraught by Trump's victory and what she called his “unconstitutionality” that she blurted out what at the time seemed the unthinkable. Her solution to resolving her Donald-problem was simple: “There must be a silent coup!” Kim believed the only way to alter the outcome of the 2016 election was to demand a behind-closed-doors approach from an elite group of deeper thinkers who believed they knew what was best for our republic.
I shrugged off these words, disappointed to think that such an educated person would resort to someone’s “unconstitutionality” with what struck me as a wholly unconstitutional resolution.
Three years later, I’ve come to fully understand how true those words have become.
We are witnessing a silent coup to remove a duly-elected president.
“By causing such harm to the society of the United States, [President Trump], is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office.” These articles of impeachment, drafted by seven-term congressman Al Green said his conscience “compelled him to push forward the measure.” Fifty-seven other congress members signed the bill as well. But this impeachment had nothing to do with the Ukraine, or any malicious Quid Pro Quo behavior. This proceeding was fabricated around Trump’s repeated criticism of game-time kneeling NFL players like Colin Kaepernick. On a charge of rude and boorish behavior, 58 members of Congress were ready to undo the will of the American people. Sounds silly now, but it was all the talk in Washington in 2017.
Or, perhaps we should make the use of obscene language an impeachable offense? Early in 2018, 66 U.S. Congress members sure thought so. Trump’s reference to Haiti as a “sh-thole” country offended these Democrats so completely that impeachment papers were drawn up and signed once again.
Just 15 months ago, a third impeachment vote was held. Upset with comments and behavior of four freshmen Congress members, Trump declared they should “go back” to their home countries. An ignorant and malicious statement? Yes. Even racist? Many think so. I’m not apologizing for Trump; if he believes Haiti is a “sh-thole” country, we all should acknowledge that Trump has a sh-thole approach to personal conflict. But is any of this impeachment-worthy? Hardly.
Each of these four Congress members has said equally vile things of Trump (including congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) who publicly referred to him as a motherf--ker). Should the will of 63 million voters be overturned because of the squabbles among elite politicians? Ninety-five congressional Democrats jumped on the opportunity.
Today’s latest attempt to impeach Trump all circles around a conversation the Commander in Chief had with the leader of the Ukraine. But, really, is anything different this time? Not really. What we’re watching is a political circus full of clowns, jugglers, and sword swallowers from both sides of the aisle. We mislead ourselves to think of their actions as a search for the truth, a revelation of a high crime, or an insistence to make sure no one is above the law. It’s crap.
I’m not defending Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine and his alleged personal deeds. How could I? I’ve seen no testimony, heard no witnesses, and watched no trial. All we have are snippets of information fed to the media by both parties and spun for soft-minded viewers. Those who make a decision based on these manipulations fall right into the hands of the circus members spinning plates to distract us while keeping themselves in power.
As of this writing in early November, the Democrats announced that the House will soon hold its first public impeachment proceeding on Trump and his actions regarding the Ukraine. We’ll all soon know if anything has risen to the high-bar of impeachment. Meanwhile, we’ll re-confirm that despite their claims to the contrary, the U.S. Congress cannot walk and chew bubblegum at the same time. Their Ukraine histrionics have removed any hope of discussion or progress on far more important issues in dire need of resolution such as health care improvements, economic security, a fair and reasonable immigration policy, and the freedom to live our lives as we see fit.
I don’t begin to think I’ve resolved this; I need you to further the discussion. Tell me what you think. Write to me at: Lawrence@NorthBaybiz.com.
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