Ed.: 081717 – Words: 1931 – Audio: 14:28
In a word… VOTE.
From the day he was elected I have been lamenting his sub-standard qualifications to be president and suggesting the best way would be to just simply impeach him. There’s certainly no loss for reasons to do so that not only satisfy the somewhat ambiguous Constitutional impeachment requirements (violating the emoluments clause, misdemeanors, lack of performance, etc.) but also the application of the 25th Amendment (his questionable mindset). We’ve not even taken into consideration what might turn up following the Mueller investigation. I mean, a Trump impeachment alone is enough given the weak reason the republican Congress impeached Clinton back in the day (that wasn’t even a Constitutional violation… and didn’t pass Senate scrutiny).
But the passage of time and unfolding events can change things.. even my own opinion. Given the volatile events in Charlottesville, VA this last weekend and the subsequent equally volatile response to it all by Trump, the general mood in the land is grappling with the appalling increase in interest in alt-right white supremacy racism and neo-nazi nonsense. A far right nationalist movement has always been in the political background in this country so this is nothing new. Since Trump’s bombastic shack & awe, in-your-face, methods for solving problems.. or creating new ones, this has emboldened the far right racial bigots and now we are seeing the result of that effort. Trump’s recent admonitions regarding the neo-nazi demonstration seeming to support the efforts of those folks has seriously questioned the addition to the President’s own politically declining image of being a racist (not to mention his mental state). No question more white racist demonstrations are in our future… and very likely more violence and even deaths (again I refer everyone reading this to the problem of the need to address mental health as a nation).
Given all that… those of us favoring one of the Constitutional ways of removing him from office (short of any indictments, if any, from the Mueller investigation) might want to consider what exactly that might set loose onto the country. If Congress sets into motion some impeachment proceeding we might see a very strong protest arising from the far right organizations, and even his own extremely loyal base, that could very likely result in civil disruption in the form of violent demonstrations… coupled with anti-racist groups confronting them in the streets. It could be a real mess. I’d not ever go as far as to suggest some new civil war.. but it would be a potential civil disobedience problem in that the far right will see impeachment as an attack by their conspiratorial “enemies”. In other words, a street ruckus in cities around the country resembling the 1960’s.
Now, if in fact the Mueller investigation reveals some reason to indict the President, that might also be perceived by the alt-right groups as a threat to their cause, suspecting some universal conspiracy given Trump’s base past protestations about the Mueller investigation team having given donation money to the Clinton campaign.
So.. it seems the one way that might make the most sense in removing Trump that may minimize an alt-right protest would be the 2020 election. In other words… people have to get out and vote. Now, you might be thinking… well, the 2018 mid-term election could shift the majority in Congress and thusly the democratic majority could push for impeachment in the second half of Trump’s term. Well, I think that will also incite violence from the alt-right groups. In a general election people generally accept the results given the entire process can’t be tainted (so far hacking has not been proven to have resulted in vote manipulation… just the introduction of fake news to influence voters.). Using our votes might be the best way to say adios to this guy. While those objecting to the voting results could cry out that the voting was rigged by illegal immigrants, etc., (ala Candidate Trump and President Trump), it’s still a formal process we do every four years and not some “trumped” up way to remove him from office.
Now… no question we have 3.5 years yet with this guy and with outrageous and appalling displays of Trump’s incompetence illustrated on a daily basis in some new event (or idiot Tweet), we are in for a very long haul to get to the next general election. The question is.. can we wait it out? This first 6 months have been like 6 years. We think the alt-right is volatile… but so is the President for inciting them. The crazy thing is… we are just talking about his domestic dramas and traumas. We’ve got international crisis’ going on in many places.. and with many antagonist nation players. Can we wait that out also? More to the point, will these antagonistic nations become emboldened by our political chaos and incompetent president and challenge us further in some way? What gives me a slight measure of comfort in our national ability to meet international threats in the future is the Joint Chiefs, in a very rare display of publicizing opinion, all coming out to express their unified abhorrence to racism. There’s a very subliminal extended message in all that… something like… “don’t worry America, the military will protect you in spite of… things.”. On the other hand, I’ve watched enough movies to also think… “Thanks, guys.. but don’t get too carried away; we have a Constitution. Keep Congress advised if the White House won’t listen.”
Ok.. let’s get back to this idea of getting off our asses to vote Trump outta there in 2020. As a modern democratic nation.. the most powerful and influential in the history of the world.. has a pretty piss-poor record in people voting. Now, a lot of this has to do with many different demographic and social reasons… even economic. It’s not that these things can’t be corrected, modified, or taken into consideration to make the voting process a bit more… socially and even practically convenient.
Here’s the sad stats. Of the total REGISTERED voters in the 2016 election something like 56-58% actually voted. The registered voters represent only 64% of those of voting age eligible for being registered in the entire country. According to Pew, the U.S. ranks 31 out of 34 top democracies in the world in voter turnout. Statistically Americans are hugely apathetic toward voting. Why?
Well, it’s not the scope of this post to explore the social demographics of voter apathy as books have been written about that. But there are a few glaring points we can bring up.
- The universal “excuse” for not voting… the fact that a person may choose not to vote is, in fact, expressing his right to use his vote or not.. and not voting is also an “opinion” in itself; “no one running is worth my vote”. The problem with that excuse is that no one has ever directly won an election by non-voters (although elections can be swayed by persons choosing not to vote)
- Fear of jury duty. This can be a legitimate concern with lower income families, single parent families.. who can’t miss work or would have to coordinate babysitting. This can also be an excuse of those people who simply don’t want the risk of ending up in some “O.J. Simpson” trial. The voter registration process is used as a potential jury pool.
- Wiki suggests the following…. “The age factor in voting plays a significant part in the voter turnout. Voters in the older age groups (45-65 year old and 65 and older) have the highest rate of voter turnout. In the time span from 1964-2004, 18-24 year olds usually had a voter turnout of 41.8%, compared to 25-44 year olds who had a turnout of 57.9%. The older age groups, 45-65 year olds and the 65 and older group has turnout rates of 69.3% and 66.6%, respectively. Older Americans are overrepresented during elections. The greatest percentage of unregistered voters is in the 18-30 year old age group. These people are more focused on other aspects in their life, such as college, marriage, careers, etc. that they in turn do not pay attention to registration. Voters tend to be older, wealthier, and more educated than non-voters.”
- Political apathy. Similar to the above element, there is a large segment of the voting age population, generally the young, who are either fatigued with all the politics in the media.. or simply don’t care at this point in their lives.
- The process is corrupted; D.C. politicians are all corrupt; the electoral college dilutes the impact of our vote. Well, in my opinion the electoral college is obsolete. But that’s not likely going to be changed any time soon.
Part of developing into an adult with a commitment to exercise your vote is a sound foundation while young that each vote does, in fact, make a difference. We live in a world of great technological advancements in the way information.. news.. is not only readily accessed, and almost instantaneously, but there’s also so much of it to filter. We need to adjust educational curriculum to include far more emphasis in basic civics and government. We also need to couple that with courses that develop critical thinking and social problem solving skills far more than is being done now. These are not elective or passive courses, mind you. These should be required as part and parcel to personal development; introduced at early ages along with elementary history, then in advanced grades (high school) and into college more contemporary applications as part of social development. There MUST be a greater effort to educate at an early age that the right to vote is not an “inconvenient job” but a desired function to place competent people as our leaders.
As a by-product, we also need to “clean up” the way history is taught in this country. Accuracy, of course, but in particular, more courses regarding the social behaviors… a kind of applied anthropology.. of historical periods in time that spawned historical events; that it’s more than just dates and events and contemporary results. It’s also about period moods, mores, and mindsets.
But For Now…
…returning to the theme of this post… using your vote to rid us of Trump is likely the best way for the country in general. We have the mid-term election next year. Historically far less people vote then than the general election. We should try and change that this time. The end result is that we change the majority in Congress… or not. It appears the GOP in Congress is not making any effort to take any sort of action against the President… not even the somewhat benign, but has definite image, action of censuring the president is being considered. It boggles my mind how impotent the GOP has become, and there are supposed to be people of sound principles and honorable intentions in that group. Alternatively, shifting the congressional majority of Congress to the Dems… might encourage a more vigorous attempt toward impeachment, and the resulting increased discourse and divisiveness around the country, as the point I am making with this post.
But… VOTE, damnit!
Carry On America