I didn’t write this, but I’m glad somebody did. My friend in Ohio, Michael Dobson, always has something interesting to say about the day’s events and can link it back to our own shares humanity. He wrote the following about the Trump impeachment “trial” and the road we are on right now. I agree with everything he says here, but I want to add my two cents. The candidate to destroy Trump in the general election is Bernie, plain and simple. Everyone else is not on his level. Biden is sundowning fast and needs to drop out now. None of the other centrists have the policies to gather everyone. Liz Warren is my Senator and I love her as my Senator and she should lead in the Senate in a Sanders’ administration; she has good policies, but Bernie’s go further. It’s the difference between a Magna Cum Laude student and a Suma Cum Laude student. In my opinion we need the best of us; for me that’s Bernie. With that said, I’ll give Michael the forum.
What I’m about to say isn’t going to be popular, but hear me out.
The Senate shouldn’t impeach Trump.
I know, I know, but hear me out. Yes, he sought to have a foreign government interfere in the coming presidential election, via withholding military funds in exchange for a foreign administration working to dig up dirt on a potential political rival. Yes, he had people under him work to obstruct this – how many people under him have gone to jail for obstruction of justice? And yes, all of this is absolutely why a president should be removed from office. The precedent this sets is dangerous to the United States. I’m not disputing any of that for a moment.
Trump needs to be removed from office, in a way where there will not be questions of validity. The Republican Party, which has become seeded with Trumpism, which’s now openly running and electing people who are publicly spouting white nationalist talking points, needs to have it made clear exactly how politically damaging continuing to pursue white nationalism and Trumpism are. They will look at an impeachment and removal, and not get that message. They will do as they’re doing now, and claim it was all partisan, all biased, all the machinations of a few elite people in positions of power. If you think that they will take him being removed via the impeachment process as a lesson and back down? I highly encourage you to look at the last four years of them, and the rhetoric coming out of them now. This won’t end next week, next month, or even this year; if this’s the course that’s taken.
Trump needs to be removed from office, in a way where there will not be questions of validity. The best way to do this, is for him to be thoroughly and unequivocally beaten in a national presidential election. And when I say that, I don’t mean beaten in an election where it’s 51/49 against him. I don’t mean where Democrats win the Electoral College but lose the popular vote, or eke by in either or both. I mean that he needs to be beaten like Obama beat McCain. I mean that he needs to be beaten in ways so thorough, that nobody will be left questioning whether he “might have won the election if…” If this is something that Democrats are able to pull off, Republicans might – and I say “might” because I recognize both stubbornness and the entrenchment of white nationalism within the party – pull back from what they have embraced. It’s our best initial chance, and it is very necessary at the crossroads where we find ourselves. A great way to cement it, would be to have a Democrat who, once in office, enacts the kinds of needed sweeping changes that actually make life better for people who live in a country where a person working minimum wage can’t afford an apartment in all fifty states; where most people are working two to three jobs, and still not getting by; where people are going bankrupt or dying from a for-profit healthcare system that can be changed; where we’ve got an entire generation facing a student loan debt crisis that will financially hamstring them for the rest of their lives.
Look, I get it, one of the problems with those of us on the Left, is that we collectively too quickly run towards calling anyone we don’t like or disagree with, a Nazi or fascist. But look around you. People who studied Germany in the 1930s, who studied the Holocaust, and even Holocaust survivors themselves – are all warning us. This isn’t like Bush, or Reagan, or Bush Jr. Again, you can openly run as a white nationalist in the Republican Party right now. It’s happening – exactly like Richard Spencer said he wanted it to, in his victory celebration in Washington DC in November of 2016, after the election.
If you think this is “normal” politics, or “business as usual,” or that “things will go back to normal” once Trump is gone? I implore you, look around. We’re not “going back” from this, once one person is out of office. And hey, I get it, you don’t like Trump, really don’t like him. I don’t either. But I’m going to tell you something that if you haven’t thought about, you should. With the way things are going in what’s become of mainstream conservative America (and please, stop telling ourselves that the “never Trump” Republicans will rise up and depose him – Kasich, Meaghan McCain, or someone else could run against him in the primary, run as a third party candidate in the general election, and stop him, but they’ve made it clear they aren’t & won’t)? There very well will come a day when we look back and miss Trump. Because he’s a feckless idiot, who lacks focus and drive. Because he’s easily distracted, and doesn’t care about something he ranted about a week ago. You think every politician or white nationalist getting into politics, is like that? There very well will come a day when someone younger, smarter, focused, driven, is in the White House. Imagine Richard Nixon and COINTELPRO with 21st Century surveillance capabilities. Imagine every time our country has trampled on the human rights, not just civil rights, of a group of people for being a minority or different; but add 21st Century capabilities like drones, advanced ways of harming, torturing, or killing people. Imagine someone who considers people of color stupid and racially inferior, actually starting a war in a place like Iran or China. You and I should be scared of this.
Where we are now, is not and will not be “normal” politically. There are people who study the collapse of nations and coups. Look at what they’re warning us is legitimately on the horizon for us now. And look at the world and history; what happens when a despot is removed by a court or small group of people in power, generally? The results really don’t always go well.
I know what I’m talking about here is the hard way, not the easy way. I know that by sitting back and rooting for impeachment, many of us on the Left don’t have to do the work we would do in working towards a political landslide in November. I know this turns yet another primary season from yet another who we “like,” to something much more higher stakes.
But the truth is, the responsibility is and should be on us. Not the Senate. Who are actively showing they’re not up for it anyway. This is where it matters. Where we need someone who will appeal to more than just the traditional Democratic base – primarily college educated, middle to upper middle class white people. This is where someone who will get younger voters to turn out, who will energize poor & working class people, really matters. And I get that that is a responsibility some of us just don’t want.
Right now, it’s someone else in camps. Someone else’s kids in cages. At least if you’re a white, middle class liberal. But if you’ve studied history? This gets worse. The best way to prevent that, is collectively taking responsibility and bringing about change. No “going back to the way things were,” which quite frankly precipitated a lot of this mess. People were still working 2-3 jobs and not getting by when Obama was president, and going bankrupt or dying because they couldn’t afford medical care. Nationalism, which often links arms with white nationalism, rose up to give them an answer to what their problems were. It was wrong, but it was an answer – as opposed to telling them everything was basically ok, unemployment was low, and the stock market was up (yeah, that was a big part of 2016 too). Moderate or tepid responses to real problems, will only push more people into the arms of white nationalism. Gradual incrementalism, or an urge to return to pre-2016, will also do that. We need real, bold, progressive change.
Now, more than ever, before it is too late.