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A voice from nearly 240 years in the past has described our fearless leader Donald V. (for vengeance) Rumpt in exacting and uncanny detail. The voice from the distant past of our republic happened to be that of Alexander Hamilton, co-author with James Madison of essays in the Federalist Papers regarding impeachment.
Yes, regardless of the smokescreen of killing an Iranian general to set more distracting fires in the Mideast there is an impeachment at hand. New revelations from emails within the White House and Pentagon now clearly indicate Rumpt ordered the hold on military aid for Ukraine in exchange for goods on a political opponent. The emails also highlighted the worry from budget officials that the president was violating the Impoundment Control Act that forbids a president to stop congressionally approved funding without consulting congress first.
That was all hidden from view by the administration.
The president released the funds only after congressional committee chairs decided that evidence showed he had withheld the funding after pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and to investigate the false conspiracy theory that Ukraine had hacked our elections, not Russia. Oh, and that a whistleblower had come forward with concern about Rumpt’s conduct in asking Ukraine for a “favor.”
Rumpt was caught.
Yes, folks, we have a president who cheats at business, cheats on his wives, cheats on his taxes and cheats at golf.
I happened to read a column recently written for the Washington Post by presidential biographer Ron Chernow and it couldn’t have cast a better character for impeachment than Rumpt.
Chernow wrote, “Unlike Thomas Jefferson with his sunny faith in the common sense of the people, Hamilton emphasized the ‘turbulent and changing nature of the people’ and that he worried about a ‘restless and daring usurper’ who would ‘excite the jealousies and apprehensions of his followers.’”
Chernow wrote that Hamilton thought the country should be governed by wise and illustrious figures who would counter the fickle views of the electorate. He hoped members of the Electoral College, expected to exercise independent judgement, would select “characters preeminent for ability and virtue.”
Well, that didn’t happen and we ended up with a boob and a liar in the White House, elected by a minority of voters. The Electoral College failed in its duty.
Chernow pointed out that throughout history despots tended to be silent, crafty and secretive. Hamilton, he said, was more concerned with noisy, flamboyant figures, who would throw dust in the voters’ eyes and veil their sinister designs behind it.
“These connoisseurs of chaos would employ a barrage of verbiage to cloud issues and blur moral lines,” wrote Chernow. “Such hobgoblins of Hamilton’s imagination bear an eerie resemblance to the current occupant of the White House, with his tweets, double talk and inflammatory rhetoric at rallies.”
Chernow said Hamilton did sketch out the type of con man and charlatan who he felt might most threaten the republic.
Hamilton said it best.
“When a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper… despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”
Hamilton and Chernow hit the nail on the head. They have described Rumpt in a nutshell and Hamilton’s descriptions come from over two centuries ago. That’s a voice from the past.
Chernow finished by saying: “In the last analysis, democracy isn’t just a setoff institutions or shared principles, but a culture of mutual respect and civility. People must be willing to play by the rules or the best-crafted system becomes null and void, a travesty of its former self. We are now seeing on a daily basis presidential behavior that would have been unimaginable during more than two centuries of the American experiment. Not only is Trump himself on trial, but he is testing our constitutional system to the breaking point. In his worst imaginings, however, Hamilton anticipated—at least in its general outline—the chaos and demagoguery now on display in Washington. He also helped design and defend the remedy: impeachment.”