“Objective judgment, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance-now, at this very moment-of all external events. That’s all you need.” — Marcus Aurelius
The only time to act is Now.
This is always true.
From the moment Donald J. Trump became unfit for office, removal from office should have been the number one priority of every American who cares about our country.
Look around us. See the dystopia.
That includes every Representative with an obligation to impeach, to every Senator with an obligation to convict, to any officer given the opportunity to arrest him for his excessive amount of crime, to every individual with the resources to dedicate time to figuring out how to just get it done.
Trump believe he’s a genius because he has managed to get ahead in a broken system by starting out ahead and then acting without morals.
Trump lived in a building full of organized crime. It was his building and that is who he did business with, often in large cash payments. His business often violated the laws. He had mob lawyers.
Trump surrounds himself by yes-men who echo his opinion back to him. He puts his personal opinion over that of subject matter experts. He is a prime example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
“In this chapter, I provide argument and evidence that the scope of people’s ignorance is often invisible to them. This meta-ignorance (or ignorance of ignorance) arises because lack of expertise and knowledge often hides in the realm of the “unknown unknowns” or is disguised by erroneous beliefs and background knowledge that only appear to be sufficient to conclude a right answer.”
Chapter five — The Dunning–Kruger Effect: On Being Ignorant of One’s Own Ignorance,
Trump was very upfront about trusting his own opinion over others, no matter what area of expertise. Trump believed that he was more successful in life because he was genetically superior to others.
“I know what I’m doing and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are. But my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”
— Donald Trump
I would argue that he is exactly the type of person you wouldn’t want in any position of power. I would argue that he is the type of person the Founding Fathers were concerned about when added protections against tyranny to our Constitution.
The longer he was allowed to stay in office, the more he was able to consolidate his power.
“No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
— James Madison: Federalist №48, February 1, 1788
People unwilling to work with his administration resigned and were replaced by people with personal goals. Department after department found themselves with former opponents as bosses.
Previous to Scott Pruitt leading the EPA, he was a climate denying attorney who was suing them. While leading the EPA he argued that the warming of the Earth may benefit us.
“We know that humans have most flourished during times of, what, warming trends. I think there are assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that is necessarily a bad thing.”
— Scott Pruitt
The Treasury and Commerce secretaries both made large sums of money owning companies that benefited from mortgage crisis.
Gary Cohn was there to push favorable tax policy, even though he understood that Trump was dangerous.
Cohn and Porter worked together to derail what they believed were Trump’s most impulsive and dangerous orders. That document and others like it just disappeared. When Trump had a draft on his desk to proofread, Cohn at times would just yank it, and the president would forget about it. But if it was on his desk, he’d sign it. “It’s not what we did for the country,” Cohn said privately. “It’s what we saved him from doing.”
It was no less than an administrative coup d’état, an undermining of the will of the president of the United States and his constitutional authority.
— “Fear” by Bob Woodward
An authoritarian is a type of person, not a form of government. When an authoritarian is given power within a government, they reshape the government to achieve their will. Trump is an authoritarian, even if his attempts sometimes failed.
“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total.”
—Donald Trump via “Rage” by Bob Woodward
So when should he have been removed from power? Probably when our government had evidence that his campaign was illegally working with foreign powers to influence our elections.
The Mueller Report seemed pretty damning to me. Unfortunately the DOJ decided to follow a policy that the President is above the law, and cannot even be investigated for crimes. The testimony given by Robert Mueller made it very clear that only impeachment may be used against a sitting president.
And yet he wasn’t impeached for the contents of that report. The impeachment we received was narrowly scoped to the Ukraine, and failed as expected when the GOP seemingly violated their oaths to perform impartial justice.
That seems like a problem that would need to be addressed immediately.
During the election Trump’s campaign had hired Cambridge Analytica, a firm that used big data to target people’s biases with disinformation. They were the subsidiary of SCL Group, who build psyops capabilities for militaries.
This looks a lot like Fascism to me. Someone promising simple answers to complex problems. Confident that what the country really needs is them personally. That applying brute force can fix anything.
As I’ve written about before, this looks a lot like key aspects of Fascism to me, even if the specifics of policy differ.
Authoritarians promise more than they deliver. I believe this is because they promise the impossible. You cannot effectively deliver a strategy consisting of hundreds of pet projects. Passing each individual policy separately is possible, but this does not mean that they can work together.
You cannot increase spending while you decrease tax revenue without driving up the debt, even if it increases corporate profits and the stock market.
The presidency requires real leadership, which isn’t a trait typically found on con-men.
With enough time, we will be able to understand the details of how this administration destroyed our country and divided our people.
Trump decided that the economy was more important than saving lives by stopping COVID, demonstrating a deep lack of understanding any of the relevant topics. The people *are* the economy.
With enough time, we will be able to understand which part of it each of us was personally responsible for. What we did. What we could have done. How much time and energy we wasted trying to choose other people to make decisions in the future, instead of working on what’s real around us.
Taking action is costly. Financially, emotionally, politically, and more.
Failing to take necessary action builds up tension over time. The last 4 years is just a continuation of the last 12 years, which continues on from the previous 24. The problems have been the same, and our blaming and sabotage is still increasing tensions while we fail to address 40 years of stagnant wages.
And now we appear to be at risk of a civil war.
So let’s take a look at what an alternative strategy might have been at various points along the way. We’ll start today, and move backwards.
Donald Trump is a criminal who incited an insurrection against the United States of America. For years, he has been using paid and unpaid propaganda to manipulate struggling Americans, especially those who are struggling.
He ran government like a ruler, rather than a public servant.
His own agenda was his own guiding light.
It’s gaslighting on a international scale.
The right thing to do it remove him immediately, because there’s no way to know where he will draw the line when the consequences of a life of crime catch up to him.
He’s dangerous, gave us a free demonstration of how he thinks, and he has been escalating tensions with Iran for years.
He should be removed right away, so that he does not start a World War to prevent himself from facing justice.
It’s not reasonable to remove him from office on something that he has not done, no matter how obvious it seems. Luckily (maybe?), we have four years of investigating his corrupt actions to pick from.
Trump should be removed for inciting an insurrection.
Trump should be removed for having a team of people running around committing election fraud. I’m not an attorney or particularly versed in this area of law, but it seems like having your legal team attempt to disenfranchise states worth of voters just because you can’t believe we’d vote against a mob boss, then calling this a Democracy would be a stretch.
I don’t know how the Democrats can be walking around telling us that our elections are secure when we can watch armed gunmen attempt to steal it on the news.
Wasn’t there an impeachment about Trump using political power to attempt to influence our election process? Wasn’t there a disinformation driven coup attempt that started on election night and culminated with armed conflict on January 6th?
I’d argue it started earlier, given that the GOP was blocking election reform bills in early 2020, and Trump had been claiming that the only way he’d lose is through fraud for months in advance of the election.
“We have to win the election. We can’t play games. Go out and vote. Do those beautiful absentee ballots, or just make sure your vote gets counted. Make sure because the only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. Remember that. It’s the only way we’re going to lose this election, so we have to be very careful.
… The only way they’re going to win is that way. And we can’t let that happen”
— Donald Trump — August 2020
Trump should be removed for extorting our allies. For trapping the new Ukrainian President who ran on anti-corruption in a situation where he needed to submit to quid-pro-quo or be unable to handle an ongoing active war with Russia.
I’d like Mr. Ratcliffe to have a longer conversation with the Democrats in front of the American people about his justification of a slippery slope. As if they’re bickering co-owners of a country, rather than extremists sabotaging each other.
George Washington Warned Against Political Infighting in His Farewell Address
In 1796, as he neared the end of his second term, President George Washington was 64 years old and suffering from ills… www.history.com
“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”
— George Washington Farewall Address.
Trump should have been removed when his administration chose to separate families and cage children. In some cases, he was expanding programs created under the Obama administration, in line with laws that Congress passed.
“Only following orders” isn’t a defense for crimes against humanity, but this does highlight that our problems may be more fundamental than just Trump.
Trump should have been removed when he threatened to annihilate multiple countries.
Was he bluffing? Would we stop him if he wasn’t? What do either of those say about us?
During the 2016 campaign, Russia was attacking our elections, and multiple members of Trump’s campaign were knowingly or unknowingly assisting Russian agents.
Members of our government knew this, but the information was kept from the American people.
In a larger context, Donald Trump seems to have been conspiring against the interests of our country with quite a number of different groups, while running for President, and we will hear testimony for why it was not prevented, and why an illegitimate election was allowed to stand.
The Mueller report showed a massive conspiracy between organized crime, foreign powers, large conservative investors, and others to win the presidency by any means necessary. One that Trump was right in the middle of.
Trump should have been impeached and removed for that.
If the GOP won’t convict for a well described conspiracy, then they are corrupt, and we will hold them accountable for their corruption. More likely they would have backed off when they were put in a position of actually defending Trump’s life of choices.
Trump should have been disqualified by those who knew he was organized crime, while he was running for office.
I’ve seen evidence that Trump was working with organized crime, and may have been informing for the FBI.
Felix Sater was definitely an FBI informant. He was also a former Russian Mafia member, and former Trump organization employee/business partner, and he was in the Mueller report saying he was going to get Trump elected for and with Putin.
It seems to me that law enforcement refusing to hold a criminal accountable because he was running for president may have been a bad idea.
Trump should have been arrested many times over his career.
After all, he was a con-man buying politicians and helping Jeffrey Epstein.
At any time someone should have taken action.
We can take action now.
Or we can keep finding reasons to wait.