Photo by Raph Howald on Unsplash

America Is Truly Lost

The Senate vote on the constitutionality of Trump’s second impeachment seals the deal on America’s chances: they’re grim.

In a 55–45 vote held today, the Senate decided that Trump’s second impeachment was constitutional and would proceed. After a pyrrhic victory for the Democratic majority, Rand Paul could boast that the impeachment trial was “dead on arrival.”

Never forget this day, January 26th 2021, the day when 45 GOP Senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, openly acknowledged that American justice does not apply to rich, powerful, white men. The House has impeached Trump on one count of inciting an act of insurrection. In a regular, decent timeline, these words would have spelt the administration's immediate demise, a presidential resignation in dishonour, and severe judicial retribution.

But we don’t live in a typical timeline. Since 2016, we’ve branched out into a new version of the simulation where truth isn’t shared, values don’t matter, expertise not respected, and justice not served. We’re now trudging through a narrative that takes as much from Idiocracy as it does from 28 Days Later. A virus has infected millions and makes them angry, bitter, and revengeful: The Trump virus. It’s not a derisive term for Covid.

A few days ago, Trump announced that he was contemplating the foundation of a new political faction, the “Patriot Party.” Yesterday, he de facto announced the creation of an “Office of the Former President” in a move that is as much of a concession as we’ll get as it is pathetic in its desperation.

If Congress Republicans are scared of Trump’s ability to form and grow a third political force in the country, there is a simple solution: vote to convict in the Senate. A conviction on impeachment charges makes the convicted ineligible and unable to hold any government office. It doesn’t prevent any of his kin from running, but it would deal a deadly blow to any ambitions Trump might still harbour.

They have chosen another path. Their vote today indicates two things.

First, it makes it painfully apparent to any sane, conscientious person that the GOP senators will not vote to convict. The trial will be a sham, in that we’ll know its conclusion from the start. The GOP will take to their propaganda machine — Fox, OANN, Newsmax — and denounce a waste of public funds and of the Senate’s precious time. They will label the trial a witch-hunt, destined to humiliate a man now out of office, and they will vilify the Democrats for it.

Second, it also appears blatant now that the Patriot Party, far from being a potential fringe movement, is the GOP's core. Over 140 members of the House voted against certifying Biden’s election; seven Senators did the same on January 6th. There are now 45 of them, as complicit and guilty. Trump has become the soul of the GOP. More accurately, the GOP has sold its soul (assuming it ever had one) to Trump in a Faustian bargain.

I had argued that this deal with the orange devil would spell the end of the GOP, but it never came to my mind that the end would be a rebirth. Like many of their constituents, the Republicans are born-again, their saviour a spray-tanned loser.

Schumer compromised with McConnell on the start date of the impeachment trial. Like the Dems always do, he “reached across the aisle” offering an olive branch and, like the GOP always does, McConnell took the branch, ate it (fibre is an integral part of a tortoise diet), and returned it once digested.

Everybody agrees that not holding Trump accountable would mean the end of America. Contrary to Trump’s “a lot of people say” arguments, this one isn’t fallacious, however. The country is more divided than it has ever been. Politically, socially, racially, ethically, there is no shared dimension to the American people anymore.

Millions believe that Trump was waging a secret war against a global cult of Satanic Democratic paedophiles and that, one day, the Storm would happen, the day of reckoning. Five per-cent of all registered voters believe this nonsense!

Convicting Trump was the one move that would solve it all. At the same time, it would restore faith in the government and bring back truth and reality to where they belong. It would re-establish the Office of President's dignity and respect and demonstrate to the world that America serves justice regardless of your circumstances.

They couldn’t muster the courage to do right by their constituents, fellow countrymen and women, oaths of office, or personal ethics. Any vote arguing that impeaching Trump is unconstitutional is a vote defending his action, defending his racism, defending his white supremacy. We know that these are the GOP’s policy platform today, but still. In the wake of what is unarguably the worst presidency in history, they had an opportunity to rebrand and start anew.

They opted to stick with the orange imp, and in doing, I fear they might have sealed the country's fate. The Big Lie will live on. Injustice will endure, and division will not be mended. President Biden will face, like President Obama before him, the bad faith and depravity of the GOP at every turn. The Democrats will lose Congress in 2022, as always happens, and then… I don’t even want to think about it.

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