These Are Times that Try Men’s (Women’s) Souls

Times that Try Men’s Souls (NBC News)

For the next week or so, the United States is going to continue seeing rioting and possibly even some abject crimes amid the peaceful protests and demonstrations surrounding impeachment and the upcoming presidential inauguration. The FBI has cautioned citizens to be careful around U.S. state capitol buildings, as armed groups may use those venues to demonstrate their grievances. A couple days ago, I suggested impeaching Trump or invoking the 25th Amendment should be avoided. Then yesterday, Tuesday, Donald J. Trump stated that the speech he gave at a rally last week that incited a mob of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol was “totally appropriate.” The man has no ability to self-censure, even in the vilest of moments. Blame his narcissistic personality disorder for that character deficiency. I still stand by my assertion that impeachment or invoking the 25th will likely be comparable to pouring jet fuel on an already burning fire. But I also admit that in Trump’s current state, he could be a dire harm to the United States, even in the seven days he has left in office, even though I consider it unlikely.

But one should not castigate Donald J. Trump without doing some critical thinking about all his enablers over the past four years. I am not going to review every single incident or every single enabler. You likely know who they are if you have been paying attention. And you should be able to quickly recall those critical junctures when Trump’s actions were emboldened by supporters. Consider the 2021 post-election cacophony we have all witnessed and the number of Republicans who stood by and said nothing, or more egregiously, supported the madman in his groundless assertions that the election was rigged. Now many of those same enablers are calling for his impeachment. I can’t help thinking of the accessories to common crime who later plead their innocence and point their fingers at the other guy. Not only is there no honor among thieves, but there is also little honor in U.S. politics, one could argue.

The house debate in Congress regarding impeachment just started. A vote on impeachment will follow. It is likely that the article of impeachment will pass the vote. The case will then be adjudicated in the Senate whether to remove Donald J. Trump from the presidency; he will be leaving regardless on January 20 when President-elect Biden will resume the White House. According to Senator Mitch McConnell, if Trump is impeached and removed from the presidency, it will be much easier to purge him from the Republican Party. Apparently, McConnell’s remarks refer to the suggestion that Trump’s recent actions lost the Senate majority after Democrats won the Georgia run-off. Interestingly, the Senate has said there will be no trial until after Biden’s inauguration. So once again, I guess I will join others who wonder what the point is in pressing for impeachment. Aside from that, I do completely understand that it will be much easier to excommunicate Trump from the Republican Party if he is ‘officially’ removed through impeachment.

I find it interesting that in debate, both sides choose to highlight rhetoric that fits into a particular framework of their liking. Astute listeners must always remind themselves what the original charge concerns and decide for themselves whether the rhetoric supports or condemns that charge. It’s easy to get caught-up in the weeds listening to artful speakers. If the charge is absolutely correct and true, then realistically, any rhetoric contrary is a hollow plea if it does not address the charge directly. It is only a distraction meant to overshadow truth. Of course, there are always those who consider charges to be absolutely correct, but the debater does not believe impeachment is necessary, like me. If anyone has any question about how debate and/or public discourse should proceed, they should watch the House debates and take a lesson. Unlike the maniacal verbal mayhem we often see on social media, true debates are quite interesting and informative to witness – the method gentlemen and women use to conduct disagreements.   

Folks, history is being made once again. During the House floor debates, Representative Adam Schiff reminded that U.S. democracy has survived despite the civil war, world wars, McCarthyism, pandemics, and Trumpism. Will his words carry into the future? Will U.S. democracy continue to hold strong and even thrive through upcoming events? We will see soon enough. I trust it will. Do you?   

Published by kipocasek

Kip Ocasek left his Idaho homestead at the age of 18 to seek his fortune. Nearly 40 years later, after adventures that would 'make the hair stand-up on your neck,' he has settled down to a life of writing and broadcasting.

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