Certain events over the past several months are creating great consternation in America. The unsavory actions of politicians, the press and our president are generating an inordinate amount of anxiety. And, most importantly, the behavior and some of the comments made by powerful people and influential institutions are not in the best interests of America.
The election of Donald Trump has been, without a doubt, a disturbing phenomenon. His disdain of statesmanship and presidential tradition has bewildered Americans, our allies and even enemies of the US. But Trump was duly elected and, in spite of all that has transpired, he deserves to be treated with respect.
It has been said many times that the election of Trump was made possible by the incompetence of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the mismanaged and directionless Democratic Party. Without their truly questionable tactics and combative attitude, Trump would likely be peddling real estate to this day, not leading the world, cutting taxes, abrogating lousy treaties and pissing off just about every person he meets.
The vicious attacks by Trump’s political opponents are something that has never happened before. The characterizations of the president are degrading and inappropriate. Future presidents will likely be treated similarly even if their demeanor is more mainstream than Trump’s.
But there are other things happening that are reflective of the poisonous climate in Washington. Take the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) recently mused about the unhinged questioning of Kavanaugh and subsequent comments to the press by Democrats during the confirmation process. He pointed out that until recently, most Supreme Court confirmations were not so confrontational.
Former presidents recognized that a lifelong appointment to the highest court in the land warranted an extensive vetting process. Problems were usually surfaced before nominees faced the Judiciary Committee. Most nominees were unanimously confirmed or received an overwhelming majority.
Today the venom between the majority and the minority is front and center. Opponents of Kavanaugh are blatantly attacking the man and questioning his integrity. Accusations of unsubstantiated perjury and misconduct have occurred every day. An honorable man is being besmirched for political gain. Liberals are “borking” him. This refers to the witch-hunt affiliated with the confirmation hearings of Judge Bork in 1988.
Graham went on to say that it is perfectly reasonable for a conservative president to nominate a conservative justice, and a liberal president a liberal justice. Why all the fuss about Kavanaugh? Did his opponents think Trump would do otherwise?
The fact is that Kavanaugh is a highly respected scholar and judge. He deserves to be confirmed. The disrespectful interrogation by Democrats has been disgraceful.
The presiding president gets to make nominations to the Supreme Court when an opening occurs, and Americans should not be surprised if that nominee is ideologically aligned with his sponsor. The best way to insure that Supreme Court nominees represent your perspectives is to elect a president that will pick people of your persuasion.
There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of impeaching Trump for all sorts of alleged crimes. This is an unproductive debate for many reasons. The most important one is that a president can always be replaced within four years without creating a constitutional crisis.
Impeachment is the accusation by the House of Representatives of crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president. A majority vote is required. Then the impeachment is sent to the Senate where 2/3 must vote to remove the president from office. Given the current division of Democrats and Conservatives in Congress, there is no way that a “trumped up” charge by Democrats (assuming they achieve a majority in the House in November) would ever be supported by a supermajority in the Senate. Frankly, the conversations about impeachment are tearing the country apart.
Liberals are so frustrated that they are moving further left than any time in history. Let me be clear, there should be great latitude for progressives. In fact I support a number of their positions. But to elect self-proclaimed socialists . . .?
Russia, China and India, three of the largest and most powerful countries in the world have given up on socialism. All have elections even though it’s questionable whether they are fair. Each of them embraces capitalism. They have recognized that capitalism and democracy (to some extent) is what most people want. Why is America poised to move in the opposite direction? All socialist countries to date have been abject failures.
At first I thought the concept of Fake News was a joke or a political ploy. Now I think it’s real. Our press that benefits by extraordinary protection in our Constitution is abusing its vaulted position. Too often reporting is editorial. Too often news zealots, who think that they can trick average Americans, twist the truth. To often stories and sources are not vetted. Too often the press walks back bad reporting.
Lastly are the outrageous actions and biases of the Special Counsel. He has refused to give anyone a heads up on his progress in determining whether Trump illegally influenced the elections in conjunction with Russia. The Special Counsel is not above the law, and is responsible to those that gave him his power. He is not a judge, jury and executioner. He should not have unlimited power and resources.
The midterm elections are just a few weeks away, and Americans have learned nothing from the Special Counsel, other than he has indicted several people not involved in Russian collusion.
The country is eroding before our eyes. Americans are at each other’s throats based upon political affiliation. Politics is now everything, and Congress is in a state of paralysis. We must enact term limits and rid the country of those lawmakers who have created such a destructive environment.