Think About It: Truth or dare

It seems that any person, presentation or speech labeled “political” takes on its own set of rules, a set that doesn’t have to include facts or truth for that matter. I am at a loss to understand why both parties’ elected or philosophic-representative commentators take pains to tell us that the impeachment and trial process is “political,” not legal.

I think of the process as neither; I think of impeachment as a constitutional process.

Describing impeachment as “political,” even though it is for some, renders it unserious and takes away the sobriety required of the moment. Twisted versions of being political such as name-calling, distortion, misrepresentation, distraction and refusing to focus on the question are present.

Sadly, politicization is all too prevalent in governing circles in small and big ways. It infects the very institutions that should be objective in order to be effective stewards of the nation’s resources, and that secure our nation from enemies who seek to destroy our way of life on land or in cyberspace.

Look no further than the president’s insistence that a hurricane was headed to a state that wasn’t under threat and, using his personal Sharpie pen, corrected the official weather bureau forecast map. It seemed silly and somewhat harmless to me until I heard the weather bureau administrators sort of, kind of mumbling an explanation to cover the president “politically.”

Apply political rules of obfuscation and fear-baiting to big national issues that have great impact on the nation as a whole and it becomes a form of anarchy.

The form can be insidious by chipping away at regulations founded on science such as environmental regulations intended to control if not eliminate pollution or sweeping such as actions that mis-characterize the long-standing credibility of agencies like the CIA, FBI and DOJ.

We individual Americans are affected by “politics” big and small.

Reason or willful denial

Take the individuals who rely on their reason to organize their lives, opinions and directions. Likely, they appeal to or at least try to appeal to the budding reason of their children. They suffer greatly when asked to turn their reason into a playfield of competing ping-pong matches of facts and alternative facts. They too might turn to mumbling to explain the failure of reason to their children.

The president and party in power, Republicans, are happily and way too easily dismantling the aforementioned environmental regulations meant to protect Americans.

And, way too easily explain their actions away by saying climate change dangers are a hoax.

I listen for the voice of reason from powerful Republicans and am constantly disappointed.

I wouldn’t care so much but it’s dangerous for the well-being of Americans. The party in power seems to form policy while blowing windmills and whistling past graveyards.

Look no further than the party in power working to repeat and weaken government programs that provide access to affordable health care for young and old.

Threats to Social Security and Medicare are beginning to surface again by no one less than the president at the January economic summit in Davos, Switzerland.

We can look forward to calls of unpatriotic and/or socialist labels for those who don’t want to spend down the deficit created by graveyard politics that reward the rich and diminish the middle class.

BTW: This is the same summit in which the president again tried to pick on Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old climate activist. She would have none of it.

Truth or dare

I’ve come to believe that forces are at play that are forcing us to make a choice between governing through fact or through fiction or said another way, truth or dare.

Why else are we being exposed to this impeachment trial complete with double speak and double binds, all of which challenge our reason and, most likely our mental health.

We get to pick our winners and losers in the process but we are being told that “politics” will win. We are told that the party in power has the votes to throttle any effort to control or even provide oversight to the actions of the president and executive branch.

If true, it was a setup from the beginning orchestrated by the most powerful man in the country, the Senate Leader whose party holds the majority in the Senate and can vote any action down without debate or thought.

The Senate Leader is restraining the process through his rules. He is not allowing the calling of witnesses from the muzzled executive branch.

He and the president are intimidating anyone who doesn’t follow the president’s direction or party line by promising retaliation that will be ugly. And, they are afraid.

We should observe and learn from both sides to the extent our time and lives allow before we decide our hope for the future. I have. Readers are right to point out that I already have an opinion about one side’s values versus the other. All of you get one, too.

My opinion is derived from being one of those people rendered forlorn and angry by dishonest rhetorical intentions, deliberate intimidation of those with less power and gross indifference to the Constitution of the United States.

The intent, meaning and process put forth by our founders in the Constitution are brilliant.

Apparently, it is easier for some to live up to the brilliance than others.

Bertha Cooper spent her career years as a health care organization and program administrator and consultant and is a featured columnist in Sequim Gazette. Cooper has lived in Sequim with her husband for nearly 20 years. Reach her at columnists@sequimgazette.com.

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