“You are very kind, I said; and would you have the goodness also to inform me, whether you think that a state, or an army, or a band of robbers and thieves, or any other gang of evil-doers could act at all if they injured one another? “
“No indeed, he said, they could not.”
“But if they abstained from injuring one another, then they might act together better?”
“And this is because injustice creates divisions and hatreds and fighting, and justice imparts harmony and friendship; is not that true, Thrasymachus?”
“I agree, he said, because I do not wish to quarrel with you.”
“How good of you, I said; but I should like to know also whether injustice, having this tendency to arouse hatred, wherever existing, among slaves or among freemen, will not make them hate one another and set them at variance and render them incapable of common action?”
“And even if injustice be found in two only, will they not quarrel and fight, and become enemies to one another and to the just?”
“And suppose injustice abiding in a single person, would your wisdom say that she loses or that she retains her natural power?”
“Let us assume that she retains her power.”
“Yet is not the power which injustice exercises of such a nature that wherever she takes up her abode, whether in a city, in an army, in a family, or in any other body, that body is, to begin with, rendered incapable of united action by reason of sedition and distraction; and does it not become its own enemy and at variance with all that opposes it, and with the just? Is not this the case?”
“And is not injustice equally fatal when existing in a single person; in the first place rendering him incapable of action because he is not at unity with himself, and in the second place making him an enemy to himself and the just? Is not that true, Thrasymachus?”
— Plato’s Republic
We live in an age of distrust.
Politicians on both sides make over the top assertions about each other. Sometimes they’re true. We don’t see enough focus on demonstrating clearly to the American people what is true.
I read the Mueller report. I listened to his statement where he explained how the DOJ policy is that they are not allowed to even consider if a sitting president has committed a crime, which sounds like a terrible idea. I’m also not certain if departmental policies should have that level of impact on our democracy itself.
I believe I witnessed Robert Mueller clumsily trying to tell us that he saw evidence that Trump was guilty.
“And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.
The introduction to the Volume II of our report explains that decision. It explains that under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. A special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”
Representative Jeffries spelled out a rather compelling case for Obstruction of Justice charges, if there were anyone who could consider the matter formally.
I’ve spoken to Trump supporters who believed there was nothing wrong because there were no consequences. If they were looking for validation that their guy was clean, the lack of charges or impeachments looked like it.
If the President is above the law, then impeachment seems to be the remedy.
Docr. FRANKLIN was for retaining the clause as favorable to the Executive. History furnishes one example only of a first Magistrate being formally brought to public Justice. Every body cried out agst. This as unconstitutional. What was the practice before this in cases where the chief Magistrate rendered himself obnoxious? Why recourse was had to assassination in which he was not only deprived of his life but of the opportunity of vindicating his character. It would be the best way therefore to provide in the Constitution for the regular punishment of the Executive where his misconduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused.
— Madison Debates — July 20 1787
An impeachment that demonstrated what his campaign was up to would have looked very different. Forcing a discussion on the idea that the president is above the law would have as well. I’m not comfortable with the idea of short term kings.
Months later there was an impeachment for unrelated bad behavior, which makes sense. I’m a big believer in the character of a person driving their actions, and Trump’s character is poor. When it comes to impeachment, I believe we should be looking at the character and motivations of the individual. After all, we should be protecting our Liberty, not just punishing a failure to get away with a power grab.
When Gary Sondland testified that he was following what appears to have been illegal orders, there were no consequences. No charges for Rudy Giuliani extorting allies or calling for trial by combat, or for his involvement in Cambridge Analytica.
No punishment I’ve seen for the Trump campaign hiring a foreign political propaganda firm. No punishment for Robert and Rebekah Mercer for funding it. No punishment for Steve Bannon for being their VP.
There have been no consequences for denying subpoenas when the House is trying to perform their Constitutionally mandated oversight. No consequences for oath breaking in the Senate.
“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the constitution and laws: so help you God?”
— Impeachment Oath
I get the impression that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate GOP does not take their oath seriously, based upon his words and their actions.
“I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There’s not anything judicial about it. The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I’m not impartial about this at all.”
— Mitch McConnell 12/17/2019
Trump was gifted a supreme court nomination by McConnell, who was allowed to deny it from Obama. He got another when his former banker’s Dad retired unexpectedly. A third with the death of Ruth Baden Ginsburg did not have corrupt origins, but was implemented in a hyper-partisan fashion.
I see what looks like corrupt actions occurring without a focus on stopping them. I see discussions of political maneuvering to get power back, but no real attempts to hold corrupt power accountable.
I keep hearing that the Democratic Party should stack the courts and remove the filibuster in order to get power back, but I don’t hear much focus on taking any action against the corrupt.
Even if Garland is taking action where we cannot see it, that cannot change the minds of millions of Americans that we’ve allowed to be targeted by propaganda for decades.
These are people who will still exist after a political loss, still distrust the Democratic party, and still believe that their government is being stolen by evil baby killers. They’ll still be told by politicians that they trust that their rights were stolen by cheaters.
Top down power isn’t sufficient. We need a new national dialogue. Without it, we’re too divided to stand. We would need to break the bonds to protect ourselves from abuse of power by growing extremists.
We need to discuss openly about how both parties have failed the American people. We need to discuss our problems, not just give power to the people most willing to implement our one sided solutions. Otherwise it’ll look like political maneuvering by a party focused on getting top down power, because that’s what it will be.
We need justice, not power. We need participation, not more funding of elections. We need to discuss our problems, not how to implement our existing ideas.
How many problems could we solve outside of government with the billions we spend on elections that never deliver results? Do we believe that this will be the time when the rich will finally pay their taxes?
Is it possible to give the Democratic Party enough power to govern without addressing oath breaking traitors in their midst?
Should we trust them with it if we could?