It is hard to make sense of the political chaos reigning in America today. Most people throw up their hands in despair when asked to explain the impeachment. And rightly so. The proceedings have become a mixture of politics and circus.
This bizarre drama cannot help but confound. It lacks a cohesive plot, character development or script. Those directing the proceedings have filled them with emotions, fury and slogans that only serve to fragment and alienate America as never before.
There is something sinister in all this chaos. There does not seem to be a desire for clarity. We find a will to destroy revered institutions and protocols. The media-choreographers have created scenes like those which prepared revolutions past.
Thus, what can we say amid this chaotic landscape that defies simple explanations? Perhaps the best thing to do is to take a distance from the stage and the minute details of the case. We need to look beyond the quid pro quo squabbling that has dominated the debate.
Let us make some general observations about the overall picture as seen from a distance, far from the howling mob.
Not About President Trump
The first observation about the impeachment is that it is not about President Trump. Of course, there are the pretexts for the proceedings that involve his behavior. Independent of any merit of the case against him, the passion of the moment indicates that the real target is something much more intense and profound than the person of the President.
The vitriol of the left is directed toward something that the President represents, not so much who he is or what he has done. Those opposing him do so because he represents something they find so incompatible that they are willing to risk all to eliminate it from the political scene. This same motivation extends outside Congress to the liberal establishment and Hollywood/Silicon Valley false elites that now clamor for his removal.
They are not impeaching a man but a vision of America. It is so important it cannot wait. It must be done now.
The President Does Not Represent the Pseudo-Narrative Prepared for Him
The second observation is that the left and the media have prepared a false narrative into which they have tried to shoehorn the President and the 63 million voters who elected him.
According to this false narrative, President Trump represents a resentful and declining demographic of white voters who hate other racial groups, minorities, women and immigrants. They frame the debate in classical Marxist class struggle dialectics as a case of those desiring to stay in power against those whom they oppress.
The left has turned this false narrative into dogma, admitting no other motives for the Trump voter (like opposition to abortion, Hillary, or illegal immigration, for example). This narrative is repeated ad nauseam all over the liberal media. Indeed, The New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg described the final impeachment debate as “Republican speeches delivered by old white men alternated with Democratic speeches from women, people of color and young people.”
Thus, they have mischaracterized this debate as a racist one because this is their only issue that can still resonate with the general public. By tying the fate of the 63 million Trump-voters to “the most powerful white man in the world,” Goldberg and the left hopes to demonize everyone deplorable enough to have voted for the President no matter their reasons for doing so.
However, racism is not what the debate is all about, and those directing the left know it. They merely trot out this canard to further their cause. All Americans with common sense reject racism wherever it is found.
What Exactly Does Trump Represent?
If the impeachment debate is not about the racist narrative, then what do he and his voters represent — and why does it terrify the left into risking everything to remove the threat?
This is not an easy question to answer. Everyone will admit that the President is a complex person that defies categories, suffers contradictions and can behave erratically. Similarly, his voters do not form a monolithic bloc in which all think the same way. Given such unknowns, it is hard to plot a defined program or make an effective attack upon the moving target.
Adding to the complexity is the growing radicalization of society, the breakdown of the family and communities. This decay has shaken the solid foundation of the classical liberal world. In its place is a fast-paced unstable world where image is everything. Indeed, all becomes possible, although nothing is certain.
Thus, we should observe not so much what President Trump actually represents but what he has come to represent to both the left and right. The real fight is between two visions of America for which the President has served as a lightning rod.
A Fight Between Two Visions of America
For the traumatized right, the President touches upon certain universal themes that resonate deeply. Thus, he encourages the need for love of country. He promotes the family and the unborn with many of his statements and judicial appointments. He invokes the name of God, the cross, and unapologetically wishes Americans a “Merry Christmas!” Such positions represent hope in a forlorn world.
For the radicalized left, the President’s touching upon these themes represents all that is deplorable about America. It threatens all the “progress” of the past and especially that of the sexual revolution that introduced unbridled license for every passion.
When the Smallest Gestures Have Meaning
Some might object that other presidents made similar references to God, family and country. Indeed, it is part of our national discourse for presidents, even liberal ones, to ask that a vague God vaguely bless America.
What makes things different today is the desperation of the times. Many on both sides believe we have reached a point of no return. People are willing to grasp at anything even to the point of embracing glaring contradiction.
Thus, those who defend Christian morals will overlook the President’s defects and embrace his smallest moral gestures as encouragement to continue their fight for the Faith. The radical liberals will forget his past (and even some present) support for their causes and view his tiniest conservative actions as a trigger for outrage, irrationality and discontent.
Avoiding the Possibility of an Awakening
In such a climate, all the President’s actions take on exaggerated importance. Both sides see that a simple word of support for the unborn insinuates a moral law and a social order based on traditional marriage and the family. Outward manifestations of old-fashioned patriotism might resurrect notions of duty, sacrifice and honor at odds with the liberal demands for the abolition of borders and the setting up of a world government. A mere mention of God might awaken religious sentiments that challenge our sterile secularism.
The unthinkable possibility that moral gestures might reawaken something deep inside America terrifies the left and makes the impeachment urgent. Its drama/circus obscures the real issues. That is why its false narrative must drag down the 63 million voters who elected the President. We have reached a point of incompatibility in which the real object of the impeachment is a Christian vision of America.
Updated January 4, 2020.