Strictly party-line with an asterisk. President Trump acquitted of the two articles of impeachment 52-28 not guilty of “Abuse of Power” and 53-47 not guilty of “Obstruction of Congress.” The asterisk was Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who delivered a lofty sounding defense of the need to follow his principles, religious and otherwise to try and convict a President of a crime that had little more than political significance.
Impeachment is not exactly the same as a real court case that tries a crime against the civil statutes. As many of us have repeatedly read or heard, impeachments are political in nature more than they are criminal. While adherence to the Constitution is the basis, the political lenses through which the US’ present crop of Senators understand that adherence varies, and as we can see here, it varies widely and, one might even say, strangely.
One of the admittedly greatest aspects of watching the US House of Representatives and the Senate in action is the sense of decorum. There is a sense of tradition and honor that keeps things from getting physically violent, and as Chief Justice noted in his concluding address, the chief responsibility all involved – the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court – is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. It is perhaps this resolve – to protect the founding documents of the United States – that keeps things from getting more petty than they were during this extremely politically charged series of events.
However, it was also yet another window into the depth of “divided America”, consisting of relatively traditionally-viewed people on the Republican side and an increasingly socialist-leaning, grievance culture of small activist minorities on the other, largely represented by the Democrats.
The country is deeply divided. The party-line vote shows that this division supersedes reason. I say that as a conservative and a Trump supporter, but I have to acknowledge that any counterparts writing a similar piece as this from the other side would say exactly the same thing about us – that it is we, not them, whose irrationality supersedes reason. In an effort to offer absolute fairness, it is necessary to say that a truly objective evaluation of this situation by any American, including myself, is impossible at this time. It will not be possible for at least as long as President Trump remains in office, as his presence is the catalyst that drives this polarization at this present time.
Does this division supersede reason on both sides? Probably so. For Trump fans, there are many aspects that energize us to be extremely, maybe even slavishly, loyal to and supportive of, this man. Here are some of them:
- President Trump is committed to ending (usually anti-Christian directed) political correctness
- He acknowledges that this country owes its gratitude to God, who gave it to us.
- He is pro-life, public and unafraid to say so – indeed, as seen at the recent March for Life, Mr. Trump is the most pro-life president in the history of the abortion debate.
- His business and entrepreneur friendly policy set and attitude have totally energized the US economy, with the lowest unemployment in over fifty years, and some segments reporting the lowest unemployment in the history of record-keeping, some records going back a very long time.
- Strong borders and reinforcement of citizenship and sovereignty – no free health care for illegal immigrants, for example. Also the border wall itself, albeit slowly being built.
- His willingness, though often partly thwarted, to get the US out of hegemony-based warfare.
- His visible love for the country on all levels.
- His pragmatism, for while not an “ideological” conservative, pragmatism in action energizes conservative politics and policy-making as well as legal jurisprudence. This is shown in action as the President has been packing all the federal courts with judges that are strict constitutionalists, and not liberal activist types.
What does the other side really have to offer that is competitive with all these? They are on record for promising:
- Free healthcare for all immigrants, legal or not, and access to services that are normally rights of Citizens only in the US.
- The Green New Deal – get the US completely off fossil fuels in ten years, modernizing all standing structures to be zero-net energy usage wherever possible
- Taxing the wealthy to pay for government services, under the premise that the rich should pay a higher percentage of income tax because they have more money “to contribute” to the government.
- Open borders: perhaps the only nation in the world to have such a situation.
- Abortion rights, up to and even after the point of live birth. The woman has the power of determining life or death. No one else.
- Religion is offensive and “triggering” for people, unless it supports gay marriage, infanticide and socialism
- Globalist hegemony – though this is also shared by not a few on the GOP side, the notion that American forces should be in war after war after war is being pushed by more Democrats at the present time, some of that simply because President Trump does NOT want it.
- Free college, guaranteed income even for the unemployed, and a whole range of “get it for free” programs that would make Sweden look like the Wild West.
Now admittedly, my own bias has me casting the liberals as senseless. But these lists are for all who read this to consider. President Trump said himself in the State of the Union speech that maybe some people really want these things – and if so, stand with the people who want to implement these ideas.
The thing that is astounding to me is that there are a great many people who seem to want to implement them. While this may be comprised of partial political ignorance, a lot of people are dedicated to these ideas as right.
So, we have a sharply and bitterly divided America. The saddest part about this whole Compleat Fake Impeachment Inquiry and trial was that it moved the needle almost nowhere. A couple Democrats in the House maybe, but then again, Mitt Romney is no doubt catching holy hell from his constituents in very red Utah for voting “guilty” on “Abuse of Power.” His senatorial term is new enough that he will probably win re-election unless he keeps working against the President. Since his other vote was not guilty (Obstruction of Congress), he will try to prove his conservative stripes and his “search for the truth” with this. However, future pieces here in the Duran will probably do some exposition of this man as an avowed globalist, and not an America First person.
Readers internationally may also take issue with the point of view that “America First” is a good thing. For many in the geopolitical world, the US’ brazen and disastrous foreign policy is seen also as the execution of “America First” and so, why would any conscientious geopolitical writer say that what Trump wants is good?
I think the answer is this: The hegemony that rightly draws so much criticism and rage is not actually America First in the way President Trump sees it. That hegemony is more about American directing a global order, as contrasted with Russia or China or the Muslim world directing it. However, the main drive is to control the world, mainly for the benefit of rather wealthy people (not the super-rich, I am not going to credit such crazy conspiracy theories too much), who make a lot of their living through some level of exploitation of other people, usually comfortably far away.
This is not Mr. Trump’s vision of “America First.” His might resemble more America prior to World War I, where the US took more of an isolationist policy, staying out of world affairs, but refusing also to let the world interfere with the Americans in their own country. Such a view is taken by President Vladimir Putin, regarding his nation, Russia. While “Russia First!” may have some differences in policy than “America First”, both leaders wish first and foremost, to develop and help their own nations, and to develop constructive partnerships with others, but not at the expense of national identity or value. While an extreme point of such nationalism might give us a nation that decides to try to take over the world, such as Nazi Germany did, this kind of nationalism might better be called “self sovereignty of nations” meaning that each nation has its culture, borders, language and way of doing things as best suits the people of that country, and the other nations have no right to dictate that any country be any other way than it actually is.
While there are dangers even in this point of view (none are perfect), the opportunity for peaceful and competitive partnerships and alliances is enormous. “America First” in this view will reduce wars, at least the ones where America sends its troops, because it is not in America’s interests to run the rest of the world under such a worldview.
This was a big digression, but probably needed. The US has been and is at a fork in the road. Mr. Trump is very strongly supported by those who believe in his vision, and the coming months will show us if this movement is indeed slowly gaining momentum. It will need to if it is to win. The weakness displayed by the liberals is not enough to assure a victory for the Trump side. It will be a very hard fight, indeed.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.