The last five years have seen a distinctive and worrisome change to our political process. There have been new and more dangerous weapons added to our political process. To those who hated Trump and anything related to Trump the ends of ousting Trump and then “killing off” his supporters make sense. Many of those who support these new weapons are new to the political dialogue and to them the ends justify the means. However, the leaders who are employing these weapons, don’t seem to care about the impact of their actions on our democracy. This is truly worrisome. Let me elaborate.
Impeachment. As we all know President Trump was impeached based on a phone call. Then the Democratic floor leaders added any other accusation into their rhetoric that they could think of to further smear this sitting president. Now, even after he is out of office the Democrats want to impeach him again in the hope that they can prevent him from running again in 2024. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, when he announced that he would not preside over such a circus, was sending a clear signal that he did not believe that such an event was constitutional. This hasn’t deterred the Democrats at all. One cannot be sure whether it is Trump Derangement Syndrome or fear of another Trump campaign that motivates the Democrats—it is probably some of both. The issue is that they have taken a constitutional procedure and weaponized it. When all else failed to prevent President Trump from fulfilling his campaign promises they went for the ultimate weapon—impeachment.
This weaponization sets a terrible precedent that could upset our political process going forward. Past Presidents must now be concerned that they can be impeached after they are out of office. Will the Republicans impeach President Obama for Russia gate? Will President Biden be impeached for his son’s financial dealings and his lies about them? We can’t answer these questions but we can see how this one precedent could upset our political process for years to come. Presidents could be afraid to do what is right for fear of a vindictive speaker of the house. The power of intimidation by impeachment threat—that is a new and dangerous weapon.
Tyranny of the majority. The second example of the tyranny of the majority is all of the discussion of removing committee assignments from a member of the House because of her recommendation that President Biden be impeached. It is a member’s party not the other party that decides a members committee assignment. What is even scarier about this is the used the process to skim off some Republicans, thus further dividing a party that really needs to learn to hang tough. However, now the Democratic majority has removed a member’s assignments by simple voting them off. Relatedly, the Senate Ethics Committee looking at Senators Cruz and Hawley for challenging the election results is another example of trying to deter future challenges of the majority’s positions by members of the minority. Again, the goal is power—the power to intimidate.
One must wonder what will happen in 2022 if the Republicans gain control of one or both houses of Congress. The Democrats know that the Republicans are not as vicious as they are so maybe they don’t have any concerns about precedents. Maybe we will get to find out.
Finally, another intimidation weapon is the denial of freedom of speech. Between the Democrats in Congress, the White House and the bureaucracies there is an active effort to deny people the freedom to speak their minds on a subject if it runs counter to what the majority wants the people to hear and maybe understand. This silencing through the power of big tech and the media is another threat to our political process. We will address it next.