Impeachment and a Food Trough

By Erick Erickson

December 20, 2019 5 min read

There are several billion people on this planet who live in stable, highly ordered societies, where they do not have to deal with the braying of biblical donkeys in our Congress yelling at each other. Contrary to claims heard this past week in the House of Representatives, impeaching the President is not more unfair than Jesus before Pontius Pilate. It is not worse than Pearl Harbor. It is not equivalent to fighting against Jim Crow. Failing to impeach the President is not an endorsement of tyranny or a dictatorship.

The impeachment is a messy, gross affair with politicians of both sides preening before cameras. If Congress took cameras out of the House and Senate chambers, our political discourse would improve overnight because the members of Congress would be unable to posture and preen in their chambers and committees; well, it's either that, or we just would not see it anymore.

With all of that on the record, return your attention to those billions who live in stable, highly ordered societies. Those societies are highly ordered and superficially stable because they are oppressive and repressive authoritarian regimes. The trains in China can run on time because the conductors will disappear if they delay. Politics runs smoothly because the people have no choices except the mandated choices. Elections are Potemkin villages designed to placate Western media outlets that write glowingly about the efficiencies of the regimes.

The National Basketball Association gets vocal about social progress in the United States because we have freedom, which allows the players to speak up. They get strangely silent in China, when money is on the line and censorious authoritarians are watching. In this country, progressive protestors took to the streets last week to demand President Donald Trump's impeachment. They went home after the protests, had access to hundreds of channels of uncensored entertainment and then slept comfortably in their beds, knowing the President they hate had been impeached.

Congressional Democrats, too, could go to the floor of the House of Representatives, insult the President, decry would-be dictatorship, vote to impeach and then go home at night to sleep safely, thinking they had stood up for democracy and the Constitution. You may not like that the protestors protested or the Democrats voted to impeach. But you should love that they could do both — and you could do both, if you wanted.

There are several billion people on planet Earth who cannot vote to remove their leader. They cannot take to the streets without risk to their own lives and those of their families. In Hong Kong, protestors wear masks to protest and live in fear of their police state. They crave the chaos inherent in the freedom of our system.

I disagree with the Democrats' impeachment of President Trump. I would have voted against it. I maintain that this issue is best left to the voters in less than a year. But I love that they could do it. The process we have witnessed play out is not a bug in our constitutional system. It is the design of our system. It is messy. It is chaotic. It is often embarrassing and sometimes hard to explain. It is also the best system of government on this blue orb we all share, and millions have lost their lives trying to get to it. We should be thankful for all of it.

As I get older, one reason I think so many Americans are yelling at each other more and more is because we know each other less and less. We now have more daily interactions digitally than in person. Two thousand years ago, the God of all creation, who brings bread from heaven and water from rocks and raised all of us from the dust of the Earth, came back to live with us. He downgraded from wandering the desert in a tent with the Israelites to a food trough in Bethlehem, surrounded by real braying biblical donkeys. If he wanted a relationship with us that much, perhaps we should work on our relationship with him. Part of that involves working on our relationship with each other. There is no better time to start than at Christmas. Merry Christmas.

To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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