The spectacle of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump has not been about whether Mr. Trump did what he is accused of doing; it is about whether we as a people believe in our country, in our democracy.
The president announced early in his re-election campaign that, if he didn’t win re-election, there would be people in the streets fighting those who did their patriotic duty as citizens to vote. Because he is a megalomaniac and a spoiled rich kid whose privileged future was handed to him, he can’t possibly even imagine losing at anything, much less the highest profile loss one could experience: a re-election campaign for president of the United States of America. He comes up with a whopper of an accusation intended to intercept any legitimacy of that loss by building a case, right out of the Book of Whoppers, that the American democracy that put him in power and has propelled that great nation for more than 240 years is a fraud.
So he loses the election. That 74 million people somehow decided that this record was worthy of extending his presidency for another four years is stunning. But it wasn’t even close. In the last twelve presidential elections, this margin was only topped twice. Doesn’t matter. He’s an inveterate liar and, for some reason, 74 million people still want to believe in him. He’s a loser. Doesn’t matter. More lies: the election was somehow rigged. Court after court rejected his whoppers, including courts where he appointed the judge.
So he summons the rogues gallery of lunatics to Washington. Picture Hedley Lamar in “Blazing Saddles;” it is so accurate a comparison that the scene loses its humor.
These people are chomping at the bit to stop our nation from progressing on everything from racism to a cleaner environment. And they have guns. Lots of guns. And their fingers itch.
I don’t need to say anything about the disgrace that was the actual attack on the very symbol of our democracy. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, summoned his thugs, stirred them up with lies, stoked their fire, ordered them to attack, then, while they were trying to overthrow the government, he blocked sending in reinforcements requested by those trying to fend off the lunatics.
In the attack, every Member of Congress was a potential target, as was the vice president, who spent four years as an embarrassed lap dog of the president. Every Member of Congress was an eyewitness. He is guilty; that is not the question.
The question is what the hell are Senate Republicans thinking? The stark, raving lunatic they supported and enabled is living in his ostentatious hotel in Palm Beach trying to figure out how to get back in the game while shanking and hooking his tee shots.
Donald Trump should not have just been impeached, he should be charged with sedition, public corruption, lying and hundreds of thousands of counts of manslaughter! Perhaps even worse, he
has done lasting damage to the very notion that we should honor and protect our democracy. After all we and they’ve been through, that Senate Republicans would still protect Mr. Trump is astonishing.
This is not about moving on, as some of those who have already said they plan on exonerating him, again, have said. Every senator who voted against impeachment will go down in history as a spineless partisan whose hypocrisy denigrated our precious democracy. They will be known as the senators who presided over a country that locks up kids for smoking marijuana but let their felon off the hook.
From here on, how do we respect our criminal justice system that’s incarcerating hundreds of thousands of our neighbors convicted of petty crimes? How do we proclaim to tyrants in the banana republics around the world that our democracy is a model of sovereign governance? How do we teach our kids that lying, ignoring the law and publicly calling even your own loyal employees childish names are behaviors that ought not be copied? For that matter, how do we get the millions of new cynics to stick with our system and continue to participate in their democracy?
The only way for us as patriotic Americans to legitimately stand tall is to put this maniacal former president in an orange jumpsuit. Then we can forget about him, teach our kids the lessons of January 6 and the rest of this sad chapter in our history and slowly try to regain our credibility and respect around the world.