Why it Matters

Published: November 29, 2019

By Jim Lichtman
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This is not about Democrats vs. Republicans; this is about Right vs. Wrong.

America used to be the standard of moral behavior: liberty; justice for all; freedom of religion, press; human rights. While we haven’t always been perfect, we constantly strive toward a more perfect union.

On the other end of the continuum, we have one individual who — abetted by Washington allies and a cable propaganda network — decides what is right and what is wrong.

Trump has called the impeachment inquiry a “witch hunt,” and that he’s “done nothing wrong.”

Right on cue, supporters respond:

“I think it’s a witch hunt,” Tyler Ganley says. “There was nothing wrong…”

Sadly, Trump supporters refuse to even look at the facts behind the impeachment matter. What they do believe is that the only person they trust is Donald Trump – two words that are as far apart as Trump and N. Korea on nuclear arms.

In Trump’s “reality,” everything is political and should support his needs, not the country’s.

Department of Justice, B.B. (before Barr)?

“It’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country,” Mr. Trump said. “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that.”

Department of Justice, A.B. (after Barr)?

Attorney General William Barr believes that White House officials have “absolute immunity.” Translation: Trump can do and order whatever he wants absent any accountability.

Department of State?

Secretary Mike Pompeo believes in the broadest definition of presidential powers, and is unwilling to defend career State Department officials – who have served multiple presidents from both parties – against unfounded attacks.


“I know more about ISIS than the generals do,” Trump said, and he will decide the right sentence for a Navy SEAL.

Aid to foreign allies?

Yes, but only if the foreign head of government is willing to do him a personal, political favor.

Intelligence community?

“…the intelligence agencies have run amok,” Trump said. “They have run amok.”

Federal Reserve?

Trump said Fed Chair Jay Powell has, “No guts, no sense of vision.”

North Korea?

“We fell in love,” Trump said after receiving personal notes from Kim Jung-Un.

“Despite all the friendly notes and photo ops,” John Bolton writes, “North Korea isn’t our friend and never will be.”

What Russia wants; what Putin depends on is Trump and his allies assaulting Americans with so much disinformation that they can’t trust anyone, or worse, become apathetic.

Supporters have ceded their trust and decision-making to one individual who believes he can decide what’s best while Republicans ignore his transgressions.

Here’s what they can’t ignore:

Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone.

Why does all this matter?

Because respect matters; tolerance, responsibility, empathy and honesty matter.

Because we should be able to trust the words of a president to act in the best interests of the country, not his own.

We need a president who responds appropriately and respectfully to hurricane victims, not one who calls the press into the Oval Office to display a map justifying his own irrational predictions from a Sharpie pen.

In an annual ceremony in which the president pardons a turkey, Trump likely doesn’t comprehend that Thanksgiving has come to symbolize immigrants coming to a country free from political and religious attacks, and that we were none to kind to native Indians.

This Republic is standing at a moral crossroads. Which way it goes may come down to a minority of individuals who feel disaffected and angry, but believe, as Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said, that Trump is God’s “chosen one.” (If that’s true, Rick, God must’ve been having a bad year.)

If this president’s transgressions do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses, what does?

If all the president’s lies do not matter, then what does?


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