Perspective

The Tunnel Vision of Impeachment

It feels almost absurd to write a piece about the current impeachment process unfolding against Donald Trump in the halls of American power.

It feels almost absurd to write a piece about the current impeachment process unfolding against Donald Trump in the halls of American power. The warp speed with which this deranged and exhausting tale is now unfolding would easily render any analysis in any particular moment outdated as soon as it is printed. In the mere hours before this is to be printed, it’s truly anyone’s guess what might unfold. Maybe Trump will admit on Twitter that he wants to withhold aid to Kid Rock for not supporting his wish to purchase Greenland. Is that a quid pro quo? Nobody knows! Perhaps Rudy Giuliani will light himself on fire while hamming it up with Sean Hannity. Every conceivable insanity seems squarely in play. It is difficult to differentiate much of what has happened in America from the moment Donald Trump descended down his escalator and into a throes of a madness that would make Shakespeare blush lo those few years ago. But, it does look like this really might be it, that finally something is hurting Trump in a way that most cynics always felt would be impossible. The level of delirium on display in the American body politic really has increased exponentially. You can see it on the airwaves, as pundits and anchors sporadically scramble from scandal to scandal, even admitting they don’t know how to really explain all if to anyone at all. Instead they run Dear Leader’s tweets up on a screen and just gag and guffaw. “I promise you, valued viewer, this isn’t normal!”

The obsession over impeachment is not necessarily unwarranted, but it might be extremely misguided. For all of the attention paid to each ‘stunning’ leak, each ‘unprecedented’ exposition, each botched attempt at a coverup, everyone is too busy trying to process the mania that no one is even bothering to consider what normal will ever look like again. No one is even attempting to come to grips with the potential outcomes of all this. 

This is not to suggest that Donald Trump should not be held to account for his behaviour. But, surely we should give a bit of pause, and wonder exactly what it is that will be achieved by all of this. As the walls begin to actually close in, are we sure we want to see exactly what this man is capable of? What if his madness grows exponentially, along with the attempt to impeach him? We’ve already seen signs of this, as the man’s Twitter feed has somehow gotten even more insane. Hell, he just rubber–stamped a potential genocide! Probably, Trump convinced himself that he needed to Wag a Damn Dog, and so after talking with Turkey, he suddenly announced he was okay with Turkey invading northern Syria. Maybe sensing some discontent, here’s how the man tried to play down concerns and assert control. Really, actually look at this tweet: “As I have stated before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).” Obviously, this sent the world scrambling, and led to contradicting messages from the White House, the U.S. State Department, and the Pentagon. It laid bare the absolute vacuum of power in the world’s most powerful country, and the danger of what a man like Trump may try if he ends up sensing that the end really is coming. 

What would an impeachment do for a re–election? Assuming the Republican Senate doesn’t actually remove Trump from office, he’ll be running again. This time he’ll be claiming the impeachment in Congress was a hoax, witch hunt, fake news, that actually amounts to collusion and election interference! Imagine now the man loses an election and decides that the results should not stand? What the hell would actually unfold? Even if the utmost chaos were avoided, let’s say these results, which Trump will undoubtedly dispute, are ratified, what then? What on earth does a Trump transition look like? Think he just gets stuff ready to help out the incoming President? 

During his first campaign, chaos was Trump’s best friend. He confused both his opponents and the voting public into the strangest election victory in American history. This time, the chaos is becoming his enemy, but more worryingly, it really might burn down the house. Everything that is about to unfold in the next year and a half will almost certainly be utterly beyond both the people and institutions involved. It is this unknowing that underpins all of this mess, it is this uncertainty which is the elephant in the room. What looms is unspeakably troubling, and perhaps that’s why the tunnel vision of impeachment gathers steam. It’s a last distraction before whatever has been sowed truly comes to be reaped.   V


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