It’s midnight in Washington. Indeed, it is midnight across America. And with the coming dawn, comes the realization that we are not that once great nation that we’ve proclaimed to be. How can we be the same country that beat the Nazis? That abolished slavery? That turned away from McCarthy’s Red Scare? That knew right from wrong? Who have we become?
But with that realization, and before that dawn comes, the people of America need to understand that the President is not only not well (physically and mentally), but his autocratic tendencies, coupled with Republican enablers have the potential to take our republic to totalitarian rule. We’re almost there. I am not exaggerating. Anyone who’s even casually watched what’s been happening for the past three years should see it. For someone like me, who has followed the President’s inappropriate actions and criminal behavior since before he was elected, it beams like a neon light; a giant bat signal in the sky. At this point if you don’t see it it’s because you don’t want to.
In retrospect, I think the impeachment trial was something of an act in futility, but something that still needed to be done. Truly, how much more were we expected to ignore? Not just inappropriate, but illegal behavior. Ukraine was only part of the President’s misdeeds.
I have been sitting at my computer off and on attempting to write this since about the middle of the impeachment trial in the Senate. As I listened respectfully to someone I have little respect for, Ken Starr, drone on about how if we allow this trial to convict President Trump, impeachment will have become a partisan instrument, I just let out a long sigh, and in my head was everything I wanted to say about this ridiculousness. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it out. My words became word salad, tangents took over, anger took over, and I’ll admit that listening to the President’s counsel lie over and over again was more than a little discouraging. This was most assuredly not a fair trial; not for the President and certainly not for the American people.
Putting aside campaign rhetoric, the President has been lying since moments after he took the Oath of Office, beginning with crowd size, and he and his Administration have not ceased lying. He violated his oath many times over in the last three years, and he has taken advantage of the American people, both morally and monetarily, and reduced our standing in the world. Even if the Democrats retake the White House (and the Senate), I don’t know how we can reassure our allies that another megalomaniac won’t take over and throw our ideals, and theirs under the proverbial bus.
Just yesterday, merely days after his Senate acquittal, one day after his unhinged, unstable displays at both the Prayer Breakfast and in the East Room, he fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Why? Because they complied with subpoenas and testified in the House’s impeachment hearings. Also fired was Vindman’s brother who also worked in the NSC. Why? Because the President is a petty, vindictive man. There is no other way to put it.
Attorney General Barr, implicated in the illegal Ukraine activities has created a new policy that no one can investigate a 2020 Presidential candidate without his approval. This, of course includes the President who is currently asking for foreign help to win the 2020 election still. This obviously doesn’t include Senate investigations as they are looking into Candidate Joe Biden’s son, a private citizen, and his activities while ignoring the grift and graft of Trump’s own family. While Graham and Grassley are receiving documents from the Treasury Department about this private citizen, the House impeachment hearings were refused documents with legal subpoenas about the President’s misdeeds. The Senate Republicans’ acquittal has given his Administration the means to continue the investigation that he was impeached for in the first place. He will stop at nothing to cheat so he can stay in power, and the Republicans will help him every step of the way. How does this make you feel?
It makes me feel angry. It makes me feel that I don’t live in the America of my father, a good, decent, patriotic man who taught me right from wrong, and good from bad, and more importantly, humility and generosity, and to help without the expectation of reward. I’ve tried to live up to that ideal. My father didn’t carry a big stick, but he spoke softly, and his voice carried far.
My opinions do not rely on the opinions of pundits. There are few that I trust completely, and even then, I do my own research. I have watched the President in real time as he’s lied (over 16,000 separate incidents), denigrated war veterans and POWs, turned on anyone who would speak the truth about him. If all you watch is the President’s News Channel, I would remind you that Fox News will misdirect, misinform, and lie to you in order to make the President’s malfeasance look “normal.” One way to test this is to ask yourself if they replaced Trump’s name with Obama, would you feel that the behavior was appropriate? I don’t foster in whataboutism, but this test will show you the biases of yourself and the people around you, and more importantly, of Fox News. But truly, they’re irrelevant.
More importantly are masked Neo-Nazis marching in Washington, D.C. with a police escort. More importantly is watching a masked ICE officer removing a man from the hospital where he was after his relative (a US citizen) was shot in the face. More importantly are the Republicans in the Senate who gaslight us with their past, and enable this President so that they too may remain in power. They, and the President claim to protect Social Security, Medicare, pre-existing conditions, and will lower prescription drugs. All of these are lies. The House has passed over 400 bills for the Senate to take up, and they are, at this moment, sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk. For lower drug prices, for election security, for all the things they promised in the 2018 mid-term elections. Stalled on the Majority Leader’s desk. Why? Because he has the power and he wants to keep it.
I have watched about 85% of the entire Senate trial, and about 90% of the House Managers’ presentation. I also watched as much as I could of the President’s Counsel. Once it was revealed that Pat Cipillone, White House counsel and lead for the President, was a fact witness, I lost all hope in the good faith advocacy of defending the indefensible. In fact, the White House Counsel works for US, the American people. He is supposed to be defending the Presidency, but there he is, hiding his own complicity and acting as the President’s personal attorney,
I couldn’t take much more of their blatant hypocrisy. I do think that the Chief Justice could have and should have done more, but I also realize that Mitch McConnell had this rigged from the start. (See his Fox News interview from before the trial began.) What trial has the jurors coordinating with the defendant? And what trial doesn’t include witnesses?
Seventy-five percent of the American public wanted witnesses. They thought the President should be removed from office. Senators representing fifteen million LESS people overruled the rest of us.
It has become common for pundits to say that half of America voted for President Trump and his policies; that we are equally divided, but that’s another one of the falsehoods that we have come to ignore and to accept. Slightly less than half of American VOTERS voted for Trump and his policies, and not even all of those voters agreed with him. Many of them were led by misogyny and apathy and allowed (and continue to allow) themselves to be hoodwinked by any right wing talking point that they agree with, whether true or false. No one’s willing to do their own research, and that’s sad. Like lemmings, they’ll follow, but eventually Trump will be gone, and like good Democrats, and as usual, we will be expected to clean it all up. Reduce the deficit they’ve ignored. Rejoin the Paris Accords. Get tough on North Korea and Iran, like they’ve ignored. Remember that Russia isn’t our ally, like they’ve ignored to line their pockets. Just look up who spent the 4th of July in Moscow, and then watch how they’ve behaved since.
We’ll do our best, and fight the entire time for we the people. We’ll raise taxes on the rich; we’ll expand Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security; we’ll reduce military spending (and we won’t even notice the difference – that’s how much we’re spending now). We’ll investigate the corruption of the Trump Administration and its Senate collaborators. Some people will go to jail, following other Trump sycophants (Manafort, Cohen, Flynn, Stone (on his way), etc), and we will continue to be asked to forgive. And we will because it’s what we do; what we always do, and then in four years all of that will be turned against us to run against us, and the working poor will forget.