December 16th, 2016

The impeachment of President Trump

The title of this post is hyperbole on two counts: Trump is not yet president, and of course he’s not being impeached.

He’s being pre-impeached, and I’m using the word “impeached” in the more general sense:

2. Chiefly Law. to challenge the credibility of: to impeach a witness…

4. to call in question; cast an imputation upon: to impeach a person’s motives.

5. to call to account.

And this:

2. to cast doubt on; especially : to challenge the credibility or validity of…

The attempt is to invalidate Trump’s presidency in many people’s eyes before it even begins, as well as to brand him with many labels, but most particularly “racist.”

Now, anyone who follows this blog knows I have a history of not being a Trump fan, to say the least. Now that he’s president-elect, I’ve been relatively pleased with his behavior and his choices, particularly considering what my expectations were. But most of all, I try to be fair.

But although “fair” may be what I try to be, I certainly don’t expect fairness from either the politicians, the press, or the left. And the press in particular is certainly living up to my low expectations, and then some.

I was at a social occasion last week where about ten women I know were present. Most, not all, were liberals, with one leftist thrown into the mix. The talk turned to politics and Trump, and most of the ones doing the talking (maybe five or six of them, that is) were expressing a fear—and not just a fear; almost a certainty—that his election would result in so much racism that we’d be back in Jim Crow days or worse. They made it clear that they believed that Trump himself and most or all of his supporters were racists of the worst kind, and now they were in the driver’s seat.

These women were not talking about some white supremacist fringe of the alt-right who supported Trump’s presidency; they were talking about Trump himself, his appointees, and all his supporters. And in this astounding point of view they have been egged on by a great many people in the press, so it really shouldn’t be surprising that they believe it.

Slate offers the latest entry entry in the business of stoking these fears:

“Trump wanted to ‘make America great again,’ where ‘America’ was a metonym for a traditional, industrial, and white America, set against a rising tide of racial threats, from Hispanic immigrants and black protesters, to Muslim refugees and the specter of ‘radical Islamic terrorism…’” wrote Jamelle Bouie [this article in Slate]. “Roof, in his own telling, wanted to awaken white America to the alleged threat of blacks and other nonwhites.”

“There’s no causal relationship between Trump and Roof, no tangible link between the two events. From a certain view, this means they’re unrelated,” Bouie admitted. “But that view is too narrow.”

“Roof’s depiction of black Americans as violent and dangerous is just a few steps away from Trump’s depiction of black communities as violent and dangerous hellscapes that threaten the safety of the entire nation,” he continued. “Trump did not cause Roof. But their temporal proximity reveals thematic connections between the two.”

And of course, you can see for yourself the amazing amount of furor over the possible Russian hacking that we’ve known about for months, which almost certainly did not affect the election and which Wikileaks’ Assange says Russia was not involved in anyway (for what that’s worth).

Is it any wonder that many people like some of my friends, who were already distraught and fearful (which would certainly be logical for liberals at the Trump and the Republican victory), are now feeling even more so, with the flames of that fear fanned by the press?

This cannot possibly be good for the country, of course. I’m not even sure it’s good for the left, not that I much care about that aspect of it. But for every person who is stirred up by it, there may be another one (or two) who is turned off by it. What’s more—and everything really depends on this—if they fail to stop Trump from being inaugurated (and I believe they will fail in that endeavor), and if he acts without any particular racism during his administration, might at least some of the people who’ve been worked up to a fever pitch right now end up blaming and distrusting the press?

Well, I can dream, can’t I?

35 Responses to “The impeachment of President Trump”

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    I got into it with a fellow who jumped into my daughter’s facebook page with charges that Trump was racist. (She is a flaming liberal herself, so his comment was not surprising). I challenged him to provide one shred of evidence that Trump was racist. He tried to ignore me, and devolved into vulgarity to describe Trump’s vulgarity. When I repeated the challenge to provide one hard instance to support his assertion, he disappeared.

    Such individual attitudes are inflamed by irresponsible public rhetoric. The anger seems to be building. I really think we are entering a dangerous place in which ignorance, anger, and hysteria have replaced fact and reason. If someone with stature on the Left does not step forward to dampen emotions, there is sure to be reaction and escalation.

  2. Physicsguy Says:

    No way Neo that these people will ever look at the evidence objectively. The standard of living for blacks and others could soar under Trump and they would still cry “racist!” . Their politics is their religion and the source of their self worth. They can’t ever accept their rejection . Just step onto any college campus and talk to faculty….rational thought? Hardly.

  3. Fausta Says:

    Look, when you click on Slate, the pop-up asks “Help us defeat Donald Trump.”
    “nuff said

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Physicsguy:

    I’m not talking about all of them.

    I’m not even talking about most of them.

    I’m talking about some of them.

  5. mollyNH Says:

    I agree with oldflyer, some responsible Democrats should speak up and dampen things, but I doubt it, seems they all
    *got the talking point* straight from the DNC.

  6. mezzrow Says:

    Peeling off liberals via the cognitive dissonance fostered by “what they hear” vs “what they see” will continue as an exercise in salami slicing. Those who have the intelligence, historical background and innate ability to think through issues enough to be a changer will emerge, even if they do not self-identify. The price of that self-identification will likely go up until it disappears entirely.

  7. eeyore Says:

    “… Trump’s depiction of black communities as violent and dangerous hellscapes that threaten the safety of the entire nation”

    I don’t remember Trump saying this would affect the entire nation but certainly does affect those neighborhoods. Chicago is a prime example of the decimation to the quality of life in these communities when the police are attacked by the residents, politicians and media so they can no longer provide the protection needed by the residents.

    If the Slate writer does not see this perhaps they should move to these areas to experience it. Roof wanted a race war while Trump wants the area to be safe for those who live there and underscores the dangers they face.

  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “if he acts without any particular racism during his administration, might at least some of the people who’ve been worked up to a fever pitch right now end up blaming and distrusting the press?” neo

    We all have our dreams and as dreams go that would appear to be fairly modest. Shouldn’t people be open to reevaluating their premises when reality proves otherwise? But then we’re talking about a world view that makes self-worth dependent upon allegiance.

    dialog from the movie, The Wild Bunch
    Pike Bishop: A hell of a lot of people, Dutch, just can’t stand to be wrong.
    Dutch Engstrom: Pride.
    Pike Bishop: And they can’t forget it… that pride… being wrong. Or learn by it

  9. j e Says:

    Leftists are often very quick to disparage (unfairly, in my estimation) those on the political right as hostile to science (and thus incapable of viewing the world rationally and logically), yet the extent of paranoia, hysteria, and baseless fear-mongering in most precincts of the left (academia, MSM, social media, blogosphere, Hollywood) is so egregious that the only possible conclusion is that is the left that is fundamentally irrational and hostile to logic and to arguing from facts and evidence.

  10. T Says:

    It’s a sad commentary on the populace. I have some acquaintances like this myself, I suspect we all do, so I’m sure you are hardly alone.

    These acquaintances may be educated, credentialed and far from stupid, but based on your description (and my first hand knowledge of people like that), they are hardly wise. They are so inured to being told what to think, and so righteous in their sanctimony that they can’t think for themselves and don’t even realize that they fail to do so.

    Even in the darkest days of the Obama administration, when many conservatives branded him as a socialist, I don’t recall anyone claiming that he was going to lead us to a full-fledged communist state.

    Perhaps this is a sign that the correction which Trump portends is long overdue.

    Like you, I am encouraged by the initial signals, but we don’t yet know whether these signals predict patterns or are simply hollow gestures. I am optimistic, but we shall see.

    I am, however, quite amused as I watch liberal heads explode day after day. I feel as though I’m living a version of Mars Attacks!

  11. The Other Gary Says:

    Is it any wonder that many people like some of my friends, who were already distraught and fearful (which would certainly be logical for liberals at the Trump and the Republican victory), are now feeling even more so, with the flames of that fear fanned by the press?

    The fact that your friends and other liberals/leftists are “distraught and fearful” is not surprising — as is the fact that their already hyper-dramatized fears will be exacerbated by the hysterical MSM. But the content of their fears (the coming “Jim Crow days or worse” !!?) is anything but “logical.”

    Driven by a toxic combination of emotionalism and self-righteousness, it was inevitable that liberals would concoct the most extreme, irrational image of Trump and anyone who voted for him. After the jolt of Trump’s shocking win, they needed powerful reassurance to bolster their battered self-esteem. Demonizing their foes in absurd ways accomplishes this by creating a huge, favorable gulf between themselves (The Good Guys) and Trump/Trump voters (The Bad Guys).

    Every group falls prey to the temptation to rationalize away defeats and always viewing themselves as The Good Guys. But the Left exceeds the Right at this by a country mile — or ten.

  12. T Says:

    “I challenged him to provide one shred of evidence that Trump was racist. He tried to ignore me, and devolved into vulgarity . . . he disappeared.” [Oldflyer @ 1:53]

    This is how you know you’ve won the argument, anytime a leftist resorts to ad hominems or vulgarity and/or disappears. Someone once compared arguing with a leftist to playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon walks aimlessly around the board knocking over pieces, craps ont he board and then flies away.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    The Other Gary:

    As I said, it makes sense that they are afraid. But the supposed return of the Jim Crow days is only part of their fear. Some reasons for their fear are logical (his election and the rise of the GOP to power). It is logical for a liberal to be upset and afraid about that. Not all the specific content of their fear is logical at all, and in my opinion the idea that Jim Crow is about to return is illogical.

    But it’s very common, and is being purposely stoked by the MSM.

  14. M J R Says:

    T, 4:34 pm — “It’s a sad commentary on the populace. I have some acquaintances like this myself, I suspect we all do, so I’m sure you are hardly alone. These acquaintances may be educated, credentialed and far from stupid, but [they are] so righteous in their sanctimony that they can’t think for themselves and don’t even realize that they fail to do so.”

    Many have remarked as follows, and M J R is providing a paraphrase as a public service:
    Conservatives think liberals have bad ideas, but liberals think conservatives are bad *people*.

  15. M J R Says:

    I got into it four years ago, during the Obama-Romney campaign, with a once-friend [the Facebook-and-then-e-mail conversation (a copy of which I still have) I’m about to describe ended the decades-long friendship; she un”friend”ed me, and my subsequent attempts to reestablish the friendship have gone unanswered]:

    We both knew I was right-leaning and she was left-leaning, but we got into it anyway.

    Sample 1 — “And if you think that overturning Roe v. Wade is going to stop abortions, maybe you should read up on the facts. Women who are powerless to make their own decisions about contraception and reproduction cannot break out of the cycle of poverty. Just google women, poverty, abortion and or contraception.” [Links generously provided. — M J R]

    I had written nothing — *nothing* — about abortion and all that stuff. Actually, I tend to be pretty agnostic on the entire subject. It’s nothing I ever get into, generally speaking.

    But, my GAWD, *no* one was even considering “overturning Roe v. Wade”. I’m reminded of how George Stephanopoulos insisted on bringing it up with Mitt Romney, who was flabbergasted, because the topic came from out of nowhere (it seemed) in the interview and Romney really wasn’t going there at all (that I recall) in his presidential campaign.

    Sample 2 — “I fear for our country if Romney is elected, and if he is it is because he bought the presidency. As a woman, wife, mother, and human being I am terrified of a Romney presidency and what it will mean.”

    “Terrified of a *Romney* presidency”???

    My GAWD (again), after Trump, she must be on multiple tranquilizers by now, if not totally institutionalized. [ /sarcasm ]

  16. chuck Says:

    Scary, isn’t it? In some ways smart, educated people are more susceptible to these bizarre movements because they have never recognized their own capacity for violence, delusion, and bigotry. Those capacities are inherent in human nature, but because many of us live such coddled lives we never get in touch with them and are not prepared to deal with them. To quote Solzhenitsyn

    “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. … And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.”

    I do wonder if the “one small bridgehead” is overly hopeful. BTW, I recall the reaction by the Harvard faculty to Solzhenitsyn’s commencement address and remember thinking that it exposed their own limited experience and perspective.

  17. Tuvea Says:

    Neo,

    I think it is great for the United States that ‘the Left’ is beclowning itself. Fewer Americans will take them seriously because of their unrealistic angst.

    The MSM and their willing accomplices among the fascists in the Socialist-Educational-Legal-Industrial-Complex need to be taken down a peg or three in ‘stature’.

    The fact they are doing it to themselves just makes it even more sublime. Never interrupt your adversaries while they are making mistakes.

    It might be bad for ‘the Left’ but it is very good for the country.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Tuvea:

    Depends how many people are convinced by them. Your idea of “beclowning” isn’t necessarily everyone’s idea of beclowning.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    M J R:

    And she probably now looks back on Romney as the good old days.

  20. parker Says:

    Fear, especially fantasy fear, and blind hatred sustained over weeks, months, and years is very harmful to body, mind, and spirit. As MJR notes the left thinks we are bad (and actually evil) while the vast majority of us on the right think those on the left have not only bad ideas, but ideas divorced from the lessons of history. The left believes, based upon wishful thinking, that human nature can be perfected. That does not make them evil, but it does make them a dangerous mob from time to time.

  21. T Says:

    “The left believes, based upon wishful thinking, that human nature can be perfected.” [Parker @:34]

    And their preferred method of perfection is government regulation, which, of course, is the leftist conundrum. Regulating something is not perfecting it, just restraining or controlling the bad impulses that they deny even exist.

  22. DNW Says:

    A celebratory Karoli Kuns of Crooks and Liars writes,

    “Scott Baio is whining to the Ventura County Sheriffs that a nasty woman grabbed him by the p*ssy — metaphorically speaking, of course — and roughed him up. Poor, poor Chachi, was allegedly grabbed by the wife of Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.

    Nancy Mack, you are my new hero. Anyone who can reduce that swaggering fool into a bag of whines looking for a safe space deserves a round of applause.”

    Of course what she is crowing about is at common law and by statue in most places, the commission of a battery. What she is mocking is Baio’s decision to refer the incident to law enforcement rather than resorting to self-help, as he was morally entitled to do.

    Try asking them whether they think a response in kind would have been better, and then time how long it takes you to be deleted and banned.

    Might as well try having a discussion with a flesh eating zombie as a modern liberal.

  23. parker Says:

    T,

    If only we had the right (as in correct) dear leader (s) and the perfect plan to implement perfection all would be perfection for evermore. In a perfect society 0.1 % would be the dear leaders, 25% would be the bureaucrats of perfection, 25% would be informers, and 49.9 % would be useful idiots. 😉

  24. OM Says:

    Parker:

    But you overlooked that progressive math never adds up, it will ALWAYS be something over 100%.

  25. Molly Brown Says:

    The MSM is what it is. Thank goodness for the internet making it increasingly irrelevant.
    I am more concerned with the bias of academia that both inspires and reinforces the leftism of the press. The pressuring and propagandizing of students is ruining higher education for many. I wonder, would it be possible for the incoming Justice department to turn the tables on the left and use the concept of ‘disparate impact’ to force colleges and universities to hire conservative faculty? Don’t know if it’s possible to frame a valid constitutional argument around intellectual discrimination but the current Justice Department has established some pretty elastic parameters.

  26. parker Says:

    OM,

    Ok, ok, ok… 507% would be bureaucrats. Details, details… it get tedious placating progressives.

  27. AesopFan Says:

    Apropos the comments and subject matter:
    http://www.claremont.org/download_pdf.php?file_name=1106Codevilla.pdf

    “The Rise of Political Correctness”

    lots of historical and philosophical information

  28. Sergey Says:

    The best description of the present situation in USA is, in my view, moral panic among liberals of all stripes. The Black Swan of the Trump presidency instilled in them such inordinate fear that their ability to think rationally was sevearly impaired and in many cases completely destroyed. In such event all former fears are lumped together and projected on person who scared them, without any attempt to check if such fears have any evidence to confirm them. Selma witch hunt was the favorite classic example of moral panic, and now we witness a phenomenon of the same intensity only on the national scale.

  29. Sergey Says:

    Salem, of course, not Selma. A typo.

  30. Sergey Says:

    Molly, I believe that the better venue would be supporting “The Academic Bill of Rights” advocated by David Horowitz as a student protest movement against unwanted political indoctrination on campuses.

  31. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Just wait till the actual hallucinations start. Comet Pizza Gunman was just the beginning.

  32. Gringo Says:

    Neo
    And she probably now looks back on Romney as the good old days.

    Which is a long-standing tactic on the other side of the fence. When Reagan was President, he was the devil, according to our Demo friends. After Reagan died, he became a “good guy” to compare current Pubs to. There was a commenter here named Mitsu who made the claim currently that Reagan would not have been right-wing enough to be a Republican Presidential candidate. Of course, he made that claim years before Trump was nominated.

  33. Ray Says:

    Years ago I read a book on the psychological origins of political correctness and the author pointed out that when you become PC you have to deny reality and live in fantasy land. The democrats are sure demonstrating the truth of this.

  34. Big Maq Says:

    “Even in the darkest days of the Obama administration, when many conservatives branded him as a socialist, I don’t recall anyone claiming that he was going to lead us to a full-fledged communist state.” – T

    You owe me a beer, at least part of one, as this made me spit out a mouthful with a mix of amazement and laughter.

    On the conservative side, 2008 was very much like that, and 2012 even more so.

    What about when many trump supporters were agaga over the “flight 93” case, and some here, even before then, declaring clinton’s continuation of obama’s policies would inevitably mean we’d have gulags here?
    .

    The strange thing this election cycle is that it’s made it apparent that both sides play the same hyperbolic game, and both sides claim the other are ridiculous in their exaggerations.

    Piling on the left because there are some who are panicked, smug and undeservedly righteous, all within our own bubble, is just part of that same game.

    And round and round we go.

    Add in trump’s denial of what is real, and his claims on things that are not, and we have a rather destructive political mix on our hands.

    I HOPE trump does the right things, but he’s not given us much to put to bed some rather serious concerns about how he will govern (or is that rule?).

  35. OM Says:

    Big Maq:

    Yes, selective memory is a funny thing that must be ignored. 🙂

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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