* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Why Trump Supporters Will Never Change on Impeachment

Donald Trump’s supporters will almost certainly not change their stance on impeachment, despite the fact that strong evidence continues to grow in support of the allegation that Trump used the power of his office for personal gain.

The testimony of a number of highly respected witnesses corroborates the the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint was the catalyst for the Trump impeachment inquiry. A number of the witnesses have served honorably under both political parties, and stress that they are loyal to the country, not to a president or political party. Yet Trump’s supporters will have none of that.

It’s not just because Trump’s supporters are loyal (often irrationally so). It’s not because they see Trump as an honorable, or even innocent, man. It’s in large part because many of Trump’s supporters seem unable to fully connect the dots between Trump’s alleged conditioning of military aid to Ukraine, and the importance to the U.S. of Ukraine’s position in the world (and its relationship with the U.S.).

Many Trump supporters, taking their cue from GOP lawmakers, now acknowledge that Trump may well have required that Ukraine investigate one of Trump’s political rivals (Joe Biden) and Biden’s son, Hunter, in exchange for (already allocated) military aid. (“Do us a favor, though,” said Trump.) And, parroting Trump, they maintain that what Trump did was not wrong.

But the idea that the impeachment inquiry is nothing more than folly goes beyond simply the belief that Trump did nothing wrong.

Many Trump supporters feel we shouldn’t be helping Ukraine, anyway. Other countries, according to Trump and, consequently, his supporters,  are far behind the U.S. in their aid to Ukraine, and should step up. Let Ukraine help themselves, they say, or let other countries help them for a change. We should be focusing on America and Americans.

That mindset, however, shows an ignorance of the strategic diplomatic balance required not only to support Ukraine in its fight to remain free from Russia, but also to help maintain the balance of freedom and national security for other countries, including, yes, the United States.

The U.S. cannot afford to be an island. It’s in our best interests, not just those of Ukraine, for the U.S. to continue to offer its support, and to avoid dangling support in front of Ukraine on condition of a “favor” in return.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the U.S. has consistently provided aid to Ukraine, in part because Ukraine is a key Russia-bordering country. Pro-Western political and military links in Ukraine are vital to the U.S, as well as to the well- being of the Western world, in general.

“Our efforts have been designed to promote stability, to protect the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and to help it reform,” said former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine John E. Herbst, now director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council.

And according to Ned Price, a member of the National Security Council during the Obama administration, “(Military aid to Ukraine) is to send a signal that Russia cannot violate one of the key tenets of international affairs, and that is that big countries cannot bully small countries. Our aid has been an integral part of a deterrence against Putin’s worst ambitions.”

The idea put forth by Trump that other countries are not doing their part to provide foreign aid to Ukraine is false. Since 2014, European countries have provided approximately two-thirds of all of the aid given to Ukraine. The E.U. has sent more than $16.5 billion in loans and grants to support Ukraine’s reform process, and Germany and Britain, on their own, have each offered millions of dollars in assistance. Japan, too, gave $3.1 billion to Ukraine in the early 1990s to establish diplomatic relations.

To Donald Trump’s supporters, withholding aid from a foreign country is, in part, what “America First” means. Global security, to them, may mean eliminating our perceived enemies, but it doesn’t consider strategic protection and global relationship-fostering. And, to Donald Trump’s supporters, loyalty to country means loyalty to Trump, who preaches that not only do we not need to nurture relationships with other countries to Make America Great Again, other countries don’t need us, either.

Why U.S. Aid Is So Important To Ukraine | NBC News Now
NBC News  [2019-10-14]

Camerota asks voter how she would vote if Trump shot someone. Hear her response | CNN  [2019-11-06]