America is in a “dialogue with history.” These were the words of one of the impeachment managers in the closing hours of our nation’s Capitol Hill drama.
Former president Donald John Trump was charged with a single count of Incitement to Insurrection. Fifty-seven members of the US Senate found him guilty, the remainder (43) determined him to be “not guilty” on a purely partisan basis. Only seven republicans had the courage to side with all 50 democrats.
If ever there was a reason to impeach a president for a second time, even after he had already left office, the impeachment of Donald J. Trump was that precedent setting reason.
Of all those who voted for acquittal, Senator Mitch McConnell’s vote could be considered the most shameful of the lot. For even after his unconscionable “not guilty” vote, he began his post-vote remarks with a detailed litany of Trump’s unprecedented impeachable offenses! And yet he – the Senate Minority Leader who’s wife resigned from the Trump administration following the January 6 insurrection – voted for acquittal!
The insurrection of January 6, 2021, and the subsequent impeachment of Trump (and its unfortunate outcome), reminds me of two memorable quotes. I am reminded of the words of French philosopher Voltaire and the Mexican philosopher Antonio Caso.
Voltaire said: “Those who can make us believe absurdities can also cause us to commit atrocities.” This was evident on January 6, 2021, when a violent mob of Trump supporting sycophants stormed the US Capitol based upon his frivolous claims.
Antonio Caso divided humanity into two categories. One he termed “La existencia como economia” (Existence as economy). The other, “La existencia como caridad” (Existence as charity). It has long been my view that politicians (generally speaking) are some of the foremost exemplars of “La existencia como economia” – for these are individuals with the capacity to do good, but only after engaging in a careful and narrowly self-serving cost-benefit evaluation.
The world has now witnessed this principle in play on a grand stage, within the highest legislative body of the United States of America. The politicians who voted “not guilty” will now have to live with this damning legacy for the rest of their lives!
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
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