What if President Donald J. Trump shot your relative, your son or daughter, father or mother, or the family pet on Fifth Avenue?
Would he still not lose your vote, as he infamously claimed four years ago, he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters?”
When “somebody” is not a specific person that you know, you say what the heck, just political boasting from a politician.
Time and time again, Trump has gotten away with the political equivalent of “shooting somebody,” and he has not lost “any voters.”
Hold on, what if Trump’s infamous “somebody” had a name, the name of your loved one, or the name of your free democratic republic.
Does this change anything? Would you still be inclined to give your votes to him?
American voters must decide if they will continue to support this Presidency. A President who shot the national security of the country and the European Alliance by holding up lethal aid to Ukraine, funding appropriated by Congress to help Ukraine repeal Russian aggression in their country.
Albeit, Trump released the aid to Ukraine when Congress received notice of a “Whistleblower’s” complaint. This complaint alleged President Trump had pressured Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, to announce plans to investigate an American citizen, a potential General Election opponent, former Vice President, Joe Biden, in exchange for releasing the aid to them.
In the three years of his presidency, Trump fired several missiles at prime American targets, shooting a hole into the superior negotiating position the US held over the North Koreans. For instance, Trump played “patty-cakes” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, giving Kim legitimacy on the world stage, and quite possibly the time Kim needed to acquire the nuclear capacity to reach US shores.
Also, Trump took the word of Russian President Vladimir Putin over the thorough investigation of sixteen American security agencies tasked with exploring what foreign actor interfered in the 2016 election for the 45th American President. Taking a foreign dictator’s word was a shot of historic proportion as no American President in history has ever sided with external powers over the collection of evidence by the Intel community.
Additionally, Trump withdrew American troops from Iraq, leaving our allies defenseless, and handed over to the Russians the military bases built by funds appropriated by Congress from taxpayer receipts without the Russians firing a shot.
These examples and others are direct broad daylight shots to American national security. One may excuse them, but only at the nation’s peril.
Following the conclusion of the House Intelligence Committee Hearings on Impeachment, these now become urgent questions.
What if the proverbial “somebody” shot by Trump was The Constitution of the United States of America?
Is it okay to hunker down along partisan lines?
What if this political stagnation drags down the oldest standing constitutional government known to world history solely because its political party has the muscle to put party control at all cost over national interests?
If Americans are good with this, then there is no need to read further, nor to write beyond this line.
The Republican responses to a mountain of proof that Trump bargain funds approved by Congress for Ukraine in exchange for a personal favor that would aid his political campaign for reelection were a shameful partisan hack job.
Despite attempts by the Intel Committee’s Ranking Member, David Nunes, and their designated attack elephant, Rep. Jim Jordan, to muddy the waters, the House Intel Committee delivered the evidence for Impeachment of Donald J. Trump.
Nunes’ defense of the indefensible made a mockery of Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution. It is not likely that Americans will take the impeachment powers in the Constitution seriously again for the next 100 years. If there is no need to invoke the powers of Article 1, Section 2, then it does not matter, but should a knight errant again occupies the Presidency, Nunes, and Jordan’s desecration of this constitutional section makes it difficult to check a future President.
Two things stand in the way of a House Impeachment and Senate conviction and removal from office, first The Trump Rule: “I could kill a person in broad daylight in New York City and get away with it, it’s like so incredible.”
In a Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted between November 20–22 The Trump Rule looks invincible. A majority of registered voters said they believed the Intel Committee proved Trump behaved outside the bounds of the law with his dealing with Ukrainian aid. However, only 48 percent of the respondents believed impeachment is the appropriate remedy, while 45 percent opposed impeachment. Seven percent of those polled were undecided on impeachment.
The second thing is the failure of twenty-first-century Americans to follow an Old English dictum uttered by Edmund Burke two hundred years ago.
Edmund Burke wrote, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Burke’s epistle is no less correct today. Expanding upon Burkes’ sage advice in the parlance of today, the only thing necessary for the triumph of good over evil is for good men and women to stand up and do something.
Indeed, the barbarians are at the gate. They are on the precipice of gaining control of the minds of Americans who are too busy protecting political party turf to see the ruse.
Would it make a difference if the person Trump shot on Fifth Avenue was you?
Harold Michael Harvey is the author of Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.