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Impeachment Inquiry Exposes Nation's Priorities Impeachment Inquiry Exposes Nation's Priorities
by George Cassidy Payne
2019-10-05 09:23:51
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As reported by the Washington Post, a new Quinnipiac University poll released shows that support for impeaching Trump and removing him from office has grown from 37% of registered voters to 47% in the latest survey. In the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “The polls have changed drastically about this. … Our tone must be prayerful, respectful, solemn, worthy of the Constitution.”

pelos001_400Finally, it appears that the nation is coming around to the reality that Donald Trump has abused his power and must be held accountable. But why now? In other words, why has the president’s violent and inhumane policies targeting migrant children not been enough to galvanize the House to impeach; or his proposed travel bans on Muslims, the near abandonment of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and his daily assaults on American institutions, including the free press? None of these high crimes and misdemeanors ultimately shifted the dial. What it took was the president withholding foreign military aid in order to secure cooperation from a foreign government to get dirt on a political opponent. As nefarious and unconstitutional as that personal transaction (on behalf of tax-paying citizens without their knowledge) may have been, it cannot be thought to be morally worse than his border strategy of deterrence through terrorism, including the separation of babies from their mothers, the use of tear gas (i.e, chemical weapons) on families, the imprisonment of children in holding pens, and worse.  (According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 2,300 children were separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border between May and June 2018.)

Given the gravity of those actions which violate international human rights and the spirit of our Constitution, this impeachment inquiry reveals just how thoroughly militaristic, geopolitical and pragmatic America is. Think about it. The act of governmental betrayal that ultimately forced moderate Democrats (backed by their constituents) to push for an impeachment inquiry did not prioritize human rights, racial justice, economic prosperity or ecological sustainability. The act that ultimately compelled Nancy Pelosi to move ahead, even against her better political instincts, centered on a perceived threat to national security in the form of mishandled military aid. 

“We want to keep this simple,” said Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who heads the party’s messaging arm. He added: “This is not complicated. This is misconduct that the president has admitted to.” Sure. But did Trump not admit to wanting children separated from their parents?  Has he not repeatedly stated that he must protect the border from an "invasion" at any cost? Not only has he made these comments in public as a matter of White House policy, but he has also enacted laws that amount to a political and social war on migrants, immigrants, asylum seekers, foreigners in general, and people of color with non-European ancestry.

Of course, there will be those who support Trump even if he shoots someone cold blood in the streets of Manhattan. We live in a postmodern world and the last flames of absolute truth are flickering out faster than anyone could have predicted. There will always be a group of Trump loyalists who will go down with the ship no matter what he says or does. Must I really speak directly to their concerns or acquiesce to their fanatical allegiance to a demagogue?  I don't think so.

With House Democrats and a growing percentage of Americans, I totally endorse the impeachment inquiry. If not now, when? 

But let’s not fool ourselves. This impeachment process should have begun much earlier. When Trump turned on innocent children in such a callous and even lethal way, he should have been at the very least censured. Why did it take THIS crisis and not the others to finally move Democrats to act decisively? The answer to that question says more about the priorities of our nation as a whole than anything else. 



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