Monday, January 20, 2020

Everyone's A Suspect

As I write this, the Senate is preparing to open the third impeachment trial in our nation's history. And while I'm ready to absorb the proceedings against you-know-who, I keep thinking this trial is too limited. Instead of just the occupant of the White House on trial, it should be all of us as voters.

The center of this whole affair is not whether the president did this or that, but whether we're willing to allow him doing this or that. The question isn't about whether it's Constitutional or not, but whether we believe as Americans that the Constitution doesn't apply here, doesn't apply to the president asking the leader of another nation to help dig up dirt on a political foe.

Why would we believe that? Because, dummy, all the kids do it. Because all politicians are dirty rotten filthy scumbags who do this kind of thing anyway, out of the earshot of others, without government transcribers or witnesses or whistleblowers in on the phone call. Because that's the way things get done nowadays. Because, politics. It's just that somebody got caught this time.

Someone, possibly Chris Cuomo, presented this crummy reality to Don Lemon on CNN, and Don nearly lost his ability to speak. Get out the mirror, he seemed to sputter out. (I wish I could find the clip to show you here.)

Yeah, everybody does it. But does everybody excuse it? Here's where we as voters get put on trial. People will give a pass to an inordinate number of legal and Constitutional sins if the sinner's ideology is in alignment. Boorish speech, crazy tweets, falsehoods, bigoted tendencies, and sexist behavior don't matter if, at the end of the day, they come into the right (or left) house of worship.

So we need to face our own interrogation here as voters. Do we believe the Constitution actually has meaning, when it spells out that the president must affirm to faithfully execute the duties of office, and will do the best to preserve, protect and defend what's laid out in that document? If our response is, "Yeah! He's faithfully executing the duties of his office by going after those do-nuttin' godless Democrats," then forget it. Get me a crown. We'll have a coronation on Pennsylvania avenue instead of an inauguration. A king ye want; a king ye shall have.

It appears a lot of us are quite comfortable with having a monarchal leader. As I have said before, we ought to just put King George III on the next presidential ballot and give people the chance to be transparent about their desires. It would save us a lot of hypocritical gymnastics, as people try to defend the actions at the top while saying they believe in that document.

As a nation, we're supposed to be better than this. But we don't want to be. We don't for a multitude of reasons, mostly because politicians don't want to be better, either. But that's okay as long as we get what we want. America's greatness is not measured by liberty and justice but by how far it tilts to the right or the left, moderates and reason and prudence be damned. How the nation gets there is not the issue, just as long as it ends up there.

We know what the outcome of this impeachment trial is going to be even before it starts, as both sides dig in and fortify their positions. When it's all over, we will hear a mix of grumbling and griping along with celebration and gloating, not just from those in Washington but from those who put them there.

Because, politics. Case closed.

1 comment: said...

Son, I agree with your commentary. Jesus said "he who is without sin, cast the first stone!" This also applies to the person who are in political life. I wonder how many pieces of legislation how been originated by the two representatives who are leading the charge to impeach (Schiff and Nadler) they are supposed to be doing the "People's Business" but have decided to try and remove the President despite the number of voters who put him in office in 2016.