Letter to the editor: Trump still a danger even in disgrace

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To the editor:

From my perch as a private citizen, I’d like to make a few remarks about the recent impeachment trial and events surrounding it.

Although the Senate failed to convict Donald Trump, I believe his reputation has been irreparably damaged and his presidency will come to be considered a low point in our nation’s history. My views should come as no surprise, but consider the conclusions reached by some of his most powerful Republican supporters:

Liz Cheney, third-most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives, made her position very clear: “The President of the United States summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

The Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, stated as follows: “Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty.” He went on to say, “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”

The impeachment trial defense of Trump reminded me of a famous quote by Carl Sandburg: “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.” However, they succeeded in providing enough cover for 43 Republican senators to vote against conviction.

Sen. McConnell pointed out that we have a criminal justice system in this country as well as civil litigation and that former presidents are not immune from being accountable to either one.

He added, “President Trump is still liable for everything he did while in office. He didn’t get away with anything yet.”

While the jaws of justice grind slow, they grind exceeding small, and I will be closely following the various legal actions involving Trump.

Although former President Trump may not have been convicted by the U.S. Senate, the most important court of all is the court of public opinion. I am hopeful that Trump’s actions surrounding Jan. 6 may well be the tipping point that finally opens the eyes of many Americans about the damage this man has caused our wonderful country.

However, in typical fashion, Trump is gleefully boasting about his acquittal and promising that his movement has “only just begun.” Those of us who are convinced of the threat that Trump poses to our democracy need to continue to speak out and make our voices heard. I firmly believe that we are on the right side of history and need to have the strength of our convictions.

Andy McKean
Anamosa, Iowa

4 COMMENTS

  1. Leave it to the Left to reference the 2 GOP politicians who the GOP base is most upset with as examples of the path the GOP needs to follow. Trump only represented the uprising of Populism that Progressives want to stop, but he is not Populism by himself, nor will his leaving politics (if that happens) stop Populism no matter how much Progressives wish that to be true.

  2. Excellent commentary, Mr. McKean. Your very reasonable voice is missed in Des Moines. The current crop needs to hear your good sense. Thank you for your service.

  3. This is American populism as I understand it.

    Before the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the advent of the counterculture of the 60s, the Dixiecrats switching parties and the 1968 general election, American populism was primarily a bit left of center and had been since the New Deal. FDR was a bit hesitant about ensuring Southern blacks were guaranteed the same advantages his social policies gave the impoverished Southern whites. He understood the difficulties of altering cultural norms and perspectives. Still, he eventually adopted a similar stance as that held by his wife, Eleanor.

    The New Deal was fine and dandy to the poor whites of the South until the blacks began to make significant gains. Because of those gains, support for Progressive policies began to weaken in the 1950s and all but disappeared in the South after the Democratic National Convention of 1968. The implementation of Nixon’s Southern Strategy put the final nail in the coffin containing the corpse of progressive ideology in the white South.

    Religious bigotry also plays into this. The prohibition of public prayer in the public schools caused an uproar in the evangelical community and still does. Until the mid ’70s, most evangelical fellowships were either prochoice or noncommittal about the issue of abortion. That is certainly not the case now. The feminist movement as well as civil rights for the LGBTQs stoked the fire even further.

    By the time of Reagan’s victory of 1980, American populism had become distinctly conservative, white, patriarchal, homophobic and evangelical. It’s no particular secret the radical right of the GOP is comprised primarily of white evangelicals.

    Knowing millennial eschatology as I do, I find it quite ironic most evangelicals are full-blown Trumpists. They support the man who at this time most closely resembles the very picture of the Antichrist they have set before us for generations. Indeed, the most common supporters of Trump, the American populists of today, are white millennial evangelicals.

    Could it be the Very Elect have been deceived?

    Mathew 24:24

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