by Errington C. Thompson, MD –
There is a great Far Side cartoon where this goofy-looking guy is staring at a map.
The legend at the bottom of the map states, “In the Middle.” Then, smack dab in the middle of the map is a big red dot that says “Nowhere.” I have a feeling that we are spinning in the middle of nowhere. Up is down. Right is wrong. Inside is out. I have had this feeling ever since Donald J. Trump was elected president.
Worse than Watergate
It may be hard to remember now, but the country was completely riveted by the Watergate hearings of 1973. Five guys broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, DC. The men who were arrested were found with large sums of money, which was traced back to a slush fund run by President Richard Nixon and White House Republicans. It was a confusing and complicated web that ended in obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress. Many of the president’s closest advisers ended up doing prison time. President Nixon resigned rather than wait for the House to impeach him and the Senate to convict him.
In 2019, Donald J. Trump, trying to win reelection, decides to dig up some dirt on his would-be political opponent, former VP of the United States Joe Biden. (In the old days, Trump would’ve dug through tens of thousands of votes that Biden had cast over his years in the Senate and found something to attack him for, but this would’ve taken work. This would’ve been honest. And as we know, unfortunately, that’s not our president.)
Instead, President Trump decided that having a foreign country investigate Biden was the best way to smear him and remove him from serious consideration as a presidential candidate. It is now clear that President Trump reached out to a number of countries to try to get someone interested in his political investigation. It is not clear how he decided to involve Ukraine. But Ukraine was the perfect target.
Ukraine is completely dependent upon United States for financial and military aid. Ukraine was recently invaded by Russia, and had a large chunk of its land—Crimea—forcibly annexed. We had pledged Ukraine aid to help them fight Russia. This, in Trump’s little mind, made Ukraine ideally vulnerable. He would use the aid—promised and appropriated by Congress—to pressure Ukraine into opening an investigation into Joe Biden.
This is illegal. This is an impeachable offense. This is an act that Donald Trump has admitted to. It is an act that is clearly delineated in the White House transcript of Donald Trump’s call to the Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky. This is a clear case of Donald Trump being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The fact that the president does not think that there is anything wrong with his actions is not germane. (I’m sure Jeffrey Dahmer thought there was nothing wrong with killing all those people, but it was still wrong.)
The Democrats, in the last few weeks of November, held hearings and released testimony from dozens of witnesses. The bottom line from all these witnesses is that Donald Trump really wanted to get this done. This wasn’t something he dreamed up in the middle of the night during one of his tweet-storms. Instead, witness after witness talked about how the president wanted to use Rudy Giuliani as his spokesperson in order to push Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son. He even went so far as to remove his own ambassador to Ukraine in order to put somebody in who was more pliable. Donald Trump wanted someone to push his agenda in Ukraine. That agenda was to investigate the Bidens. Pressure the Ukraine government to announce its own investigation of them. It doesn’t matter what you find, or if you find nothing; just announcing that you’re investigating them for corruption is enough to smear them. Otherwise, no aid. Rudy made it 100% clear that he was working for the president. He was the president’s personal lawyer and spokesperson.
It is now time for Americans who have a true moral compass—and a backbone—to stand up. It is time for us to say no. It is time for us to say the lies must stop. It is time for us to say we expect our politicians to tell us the truth. We need to speak as one nation. We have had enough. Stop.
This is not a Republican or Democratic thing. This is an American thing. In fact, all of this is a Trump thing! No, the size of Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd was not the biggest ever; it wasn’t even close. No, Donald Trump hasn’t done anything to help us with the opioid crisis; Americans are still dying every day. No, the trade wars that Donald Trump started with China, with Mexico, and with Brazil are not helping trade. They’re hurting trade, and they’re hurting us.
I’m not sure who Donald Trump is helping. He is not helping Americans. Donald Trump promised some sort of legislation to stop the gun violence. We’ve seen nothing. Americans are dying left and right from vaping. If you’re smoking cigarettes, you are likely to die in 30 or 40 years; with vaping, Americans are dying now. Once again Donald Trump promised “perfect,” “spectacular,” “the best” legislation; but, once again, he backed off from that promise.
We’ve seen overwhelming data that climate change is the result of human burning of fossil fuel. This is not a couple of scientists in their mom’s basement publishing obscure stuff. This is 95% of climate scientists publishing in international, peer-reviewed journals that climate change is real—and that we are causing it, and we’re ignoring it. Donald Trump is trying to back us out of the Paris Accords. He’s rolling back pollution regulations. He opposes clean energy and is pushing coal and oil! This is nuts.
It is time for us to get out of the briar patch, our comfort zone. We must fight for what is right. In North Carolina Republicans have put out a new election map. It is gerrymandered again. The courts have come up with an excuse that it’s too late to change the map again. This is horse puckey. Our state needs a fair map. A map that doesn’t lean Republican or Democrat but instead a map that leans North Carolinian.
As we enter the holiest of holidays for Christians, Jews, and other Americans, we should think about our moral obligation to each other. Our God has told us to love each other. As far as I can tell, lying to each other is not a form of love.
So stop lying, and starting loving. Whatever task or cause you undertake, do it for the love of humanity. Let love force you to act!
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed here, as well as assertions of facts, are those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Urban News.