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October 30, 2019

What Can I Say?

Patricia A. Kelly

There’s the problem. Every time I think of writing, I think of impeachment, and of street mobs, and I’m kind of out of things to say about them.


I’m a columnist, though, so I must make some attempt in spite of this writer’s block.


Impeachment: If President Donald Trump violated his oath or the Constitution, committed a crime or initiated a quid pro quo arrangement for his own personal grain rather than for the gain of our country, he should be impeached. I just don’t see the evidence of that in anything presented so far. I see opinion and assumptions.


When I heard the transcript of his phone call with President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy of Ukraine, my opinion was: “He’s still trying to find out what happened in the 2016 elections.” It never occurred to me that he was looking for dirt on Joe Biden in order to win the 2020 election. I think he’s too smart to take such a risk for no reason.


Joe Biden is not that compelling a candidate, makes his points very poorly, and continuously caves to the radical left on agenda items. It’s hard to imagine him winning the nomination, let alone the general election.


Secondly, there is nothing in the transcript that confirms a quid pro quo. Even if there was one hidden somewhere, proof would be required for a successful impeachment.


Thirdly, quid pro quo has been the story of our foreign policy and our foreign aid for eons. That’s what countries do. We gave money to Egypt under their corrupt and thieving dictator Hosni Mubarak, who may even have been responsible for the murder of Anwar Sadat.


The money went to the Egyptian military in exchange for the government’s agreement to refrain from attacking Israel. President Mubarak’s personal enrichment at the expense of his constituents, his failure to provide basic infrastructure in Egypt, and other crimes seemed unimportant.


We gave money for years to another corrupt dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, of the Philippines, no matter what crimes he regularly committed, in order for the United States to keep military bases there. Again, his crimes and corruption didn’t appear to count.


A certain quid pro quo in relationships between people and governments is normal. If you give someone a chocolate bar, you expect him to be nice to you. If you help another country, it’s not a bad thing to ask for some goodwill gesture in return.


In my view, it was perfectly okay for President Trump to threaten to withhold money from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico because of their roles in allowing floods of illegal immigrants to come to our southern border.


Quid pro quos from politician to politician for personal or political gain are another story. That’s not okay at all. Don’t see the evidence against President Trump, though. Hope he wasn’t that stupid. I’d be disappointed. The assumptions and opinions of people who already despise him aren’t proof.


As for item two on my writers’ block list, street mobs, they appear to arise from out-of-control leadership, and out-of-control news media giving them emotionally charged sound bites and opinions in the place of truth or genuine news. Just throw out a sound bite calling someone a homophobe and outcome the rainbow flags, the screamers and the rock-throwers, strong in emotion and opinion, but very weak in genuine knowledge of the complex real issues.


Then, the news media covers the protests, expressing extreme sympathy for their suffering and for their causes, taking pictures of impoverished mothers holding babies, or allegedly bullied transgender children. They leave out their own role in causing the upset, fail to mention the beating of conservative reporters, and fail to cover the girls who can’t win their track meets because they are forced to compete against biological males.


All this vituperation. All this hate. All this yelling. Who could even think rationally if a real issue were mentioned?


Unfortunately, there is more to our country’s needs than name calling and misleading sound bites. There are actual issues, from infrastructure to national defense, to school safety, to interpretation of the Constitution.


We are so busy trying to win points in the political game and sell our news media stories that we have no time – or energy – to deal with what is a very complicated real world. Too bad.


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