Every day, now, I fight the urge to flee to wilderness, and hide until all this is over, one way or another. Election night, 2016, was devastating. It was like that carnival ride where you spin around and the floor drops out from under you. Since then, I’ve developed all sorts of health issues, including a depression I couldn’t shake. I finally had to take medication for that. Since the election, I’ve developed an interest in survival skills, in keeping a go-bag and emergency supplies “just in case.” Now, I’m not a full-fledged prepper, but I am a survivor, and I don’t want to be caught unprepared for the unimaginable apocalypse. Until something that terrible takes place, the go-bag will stay stored.
What shall we do and how shall we feel about this pivotal moment in our history?
So much has happened in just a few years.
This is my Fever Dream.
I close my eyes and I’m on a runaway train. Some passengers are climbing on top and train-surfing, whooping and hollering about how much fun it is, or squirting oil on the tracks because they think it’s high-time for a crash. Everyone else is arguing about the best way to stop it. Some are tugging the brakes, some are busy criticizing the suggestions of others, some are studying the designs for the train and tracks, some are throwing things in front of the train to try to slow it down. Far too many remain in their seats wearing noise-canceling headphones, reading a book, and still others huddle in a corner with their hands over their ears, singing It’s The End of the World as We Know it. Then there are the few who are taking turns leaping off the train to their deaths.
Meanwhile, there are sick passengers and no doctors aboard. Nazi militias are lining the tracks and shooting at this train with AK-47s. And someone found a ticking bomb on board.
I wake in the proverbial cold sweat. When I’m able to catch my breath, regain my bearings, I feel a swath of morning sunshine warming my face; the breeze through the window is a gentle caress on my skin. Birds sing. I am loved. I am safe.
The train whistle is a faint trilling in the distance, but I can hear it clearly. I can feel the vibrations of heavy steel and iron, far away, but still on the move.
Like many of you, I believe that trump deserves impeachment. If it were possible, I’d say he deserves to be impeached about 27 times. (Then executed, revived and executed again.) Most people with two brain cells to rub together believes this as well. The challenge inherent in that, however, is not so easily conquered.
In thinking about this over the last few weeks, I came up with several scenarios.
SCENARIO 1: trump is impeached in the House, and those articles of Impeachment are sent to the Senate, and then the GOP there–toadies and sycophants, all–will choose to allow trump to remain in the office of president.
Then at the very next MAGA rally, trump will claim that not only has he been exonerated by Mueller’s report (as he’s already stated) but that he was vindicated in Congress, as well, and therefore we should all get back to the business of making America NAZI again. And he may then ride that all the way to re-election, if the the Electoral college, gerrymandering, Russian hacking and haters have anything to say about it. (And they will).
SCENARIO 2: Impeachment leads to ouster of trump in the Senate (miracle of miracles), and then we have President Pence to deal with. Aside from turning this country into a twisted theocracy reminiscent of that in A Handmaid’s Tale, he will immediately PARDON trump, and trump will get away with everything he’s done, just as Nixon and Agnew did.
SCENARIO 3: The House folds to the pressure from some Democrats screaming “Impeachment Now!” and the evidence has not been made public, the Mueller Report has not been released in unredacted form, hearings have not been had, investigations have not been followed up, and the process again fails in the Senate, with trumpers and trump shouting from the rooftops that there was no evidence, that it was, indeed, a witchhunt, and the end result is the same as Scenario 1. Four more years of this nightmare (and beyond, if trump manages to become Imperial Ruler of America, and refuses to ever leave office, with support from the GOP).
SCENARIO 4: The House plays hardball and issues arrest warrants for those who defy subpoenas and ignore the constitutional power of Congress….this will send a strong message that this carnival of treason will not be tolerated a moment longer. Public hearings begin as soon as humanly possible, so that the truth can be told, lies exposed publicly. They call in Mueller, Rosenstein, Barr, and everyone else involved to testify.
Democratic voters allow the House to complete their constitutional duties to conduct investigations, as expected clearly by Mueller in his report, have their hearings publicly, and allow the process to lead naturally to impeachment anyway.
My hope would be that by then, there might be enough GOP senators who are pressured by the newly-informed citizenry to remove trump. And if not, maybe the American voters will cleanse congress and the White House in the election, and we can start anew.
In my fantasies, I imagine the investigations in the House and in other State jurisdictions will result in indictments for many GOP senators. Special elections will be held, wherein Democrats will unseat enough of the GOP to have control over the Senate, and then vote on the Articles of Impeachment and remove trump…and then the Congress abolishes the Electoral College, do everything they can to correct the barriers to a legitimate election. All that is broken is in the process of being fixed and we can all cancel our Zoloft prescriptions and go get a bowl of pistachio ice cream.
None of those scenarios inspire a great amount of confidence for me, but as I see it, that’s what we have. Mueller clearly expected the House to use the information in his report to start the impeachment process. Impatient Democrats screaming for impeachment right this second are not allowing the process to take place.
Does something need to be done right away? Of course! But don’t forget, the Mueller Report has only been out a little over a week. Work is being done. But I do think that public hearings ought to commence immediately, to get that part going for those of us who still feel we are in the dark, sheltering under a canopy of redactions.
In all of this, my biggest concern is with the 2020 election. No matter how many of us vote blue, and no matter what the popular vote is, we could have the same interference and sabotage and the same issues that will again elect trump.
I believe congress–the House in particular–has to do something. But immediate impeachment, as I’ve just illustrated, is a dicey proposition. My hope is that the people in charge will use all their many years of political savvy to find the best solution.
Meanwhile, I entreat all the Democrats to please avoid the mistakes of the last presidential election. Stop attacking each other over candidates. Support your favorite, and then vote for the one who makes it as the nominee. Stop the in-fighting, stop dividing. In this case, that sort of dividing will not conquer.
United, we stand–divided, we fall.