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In the words of Ronald Reagan, here we go again. The unbelievable hatred that Democrats, liberals, progressives, and the mainstream press have toward President Trump continues to consume them, with the latest manifestation being a second impeachment of President Trump, just a few days before he leaves office.
Isn’t the purpose of an impeachment to remove a public official from power? Trump is out of power on January 20. The impeachment trial won’t even be held until after January 20. What’s the point?
I’ll tell you the point: hatred—deep, unfathomable, all-consuming hatred for Donald Trump.
After all, if Trump committed a criminal offense by “inciting” an insurrection, a rebellion, a revolution, or a Reichstag fire, as his detractors are claiming, there is a remedy for that: a criminal prosecution. The Justice Department under President Biden could secure a criminal indictment against Trump the day he leaves office or afterward.
So, why go the impeachment route?
One big reason is the hope that if they can convict Trump, they can then go one critically important step further by voting to disqualify him from ever running for public office again, especially for the presidency.
Trump, of course, has suggested that he might run again in 2024. He already has many millions of dollars in the bank to finance another run. The last thing the Democrats and the mainstream press want is to have Trump back on the campaign trail spouting “End the steal by electing me again.” Given their obvious aim to forever bury any reference to the possibility of fraud in the 2020 election, including by censoring people or simply labeling them as traitors, to have Trump running again spouting off about a fraudulent election would be their worst nightmare. An impeachment conviction followed by a disqualification vote would end that threat.
What is it about Trump that has engendered so much deep hatred and rage among the Left?
After all, from a libertarian standpoint, Trump’s term has been an absolute disaster. His Berlin Wall along the border, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico but that was actually financed illegally through the use of a Pentagon slush fund. His destructive trade war with China. His continuation of the Pentagon’s and CIA’s forever wars that he promised to end. His deadly and destructive sanctions against Iran. His stoking of a crisis with North Korea, only to fall in love with a Communist dictator. And much more that go against the principles of libertarianism.
Yet, despite all of Trump’s antilibertarian actions, there is no deep visceral hatred among libertarians for the man, as there is among people of the Left. In fact, some libertarians even like or respect the guy.
Why is it so different for those on the left?
After all, it’s not as though there are philosophical differences. Both the Left and the Right, including Trump, favor things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, the welfare state, farm subsidies, trade restrictions, the Federal Reserve, income taxation, the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, foreign bases, foreign interventionism, coups, alliances with dictators, foreign aid, the drug wars, and much more socialism, interventionism, regulation, militarism, and empire.
And it’s not like the hatred began with the recent Capitol melee. It actually stretches all the way back to the very beginning of Trump’s administration, when the hatred so consumed the Left and the mainstream press that they spent the first two years convincing themselves, falsely, that Trump was a covert Russian agent, one whose assignment was to deliver America into the clutches of the nation’s Cold War rival. When that investigation went nowhere, it was followed by Impeachment I, which also went nowhere.
Consider Impeachment II. It provides another good example of the deep hatred that absolutely consumes these people. How much time and deliberation went into that vote? Answer: none. It was done immediately, without the careful consideration that should always go into such an important decision.
Blinded by their deep hatred of Trump, the Left and the mainstream press would respond, “What is there to deliberate? It’s clear that Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection.”
Oh, but it is far from clear. In fact, some legal commentators are saying that Trump’s actual words and the timing of his words do not constitute “incitement” under the law. (See here and here.)
Moreover, it’s not at all clear that what happened at the Capitol was an “insurrection” or “rebellion” or a “revolution” or a “coup” or a “Reichstag fire.” It might actually have been nothing more than a peaceful protest gone awry, as protests and demonstrations sometimes do.
Regardless, if Trump himself didn’t do anything illegal, then why should he be impeached? Is the impeachment process to be used to remove a president simply because he is hated by the opposing party or because they disagree with his words or policies?
Indeed, as a libertarian I’d ask why mere words should ever be used to convict a person for “inciting” another person to act. Don’t people have free will? Those Capitol protestors were not automatons or even military personnel. They were perfectly able to say no to anyone who “incited” them to engage in illegal conduct. Why should a person who “incites” illegal conduct with mere words but doesn’t actually participate in the illegal conduct be liable for criminal behavior willingly committed by others?
But here’s the point: Why shouldn’t these issues have been carefully discussed and deliberated prior to the impeachment vote? Why weren’t there constitutional and legal scholars summoned to testify as part of the impeachment decision to give their legal opinions on whether Trump has done anything to merit removal from office?
Answer: because deep hatred causes people to act in impulsive and irrational ways.
Would you like to know the real reason for the deep, unfathomable, uncontrollable hatred and rage that these people have for Donald Trump?
I’ll tell you what it is.
It is acceptable practice for any politician and bureaucrat to criticize things that happen within the Washington, DC, sandbox in which these people play. But woe to the politician or bureaucrat who challenges the sandbox itself. He is toast.
No president since John Kennedy has dared to do that. Kennedy did it, especially in his famous Peace Speech at American University five months before he was assassinated. He said that the Cold War was a crock and that he was calling an end to it, which, needless to say, constituted a grave threat to the sandbox in which the national-security establishment had been playing and hoped to continue playing for the indefinite future.
We all know what happened to Kennedy, or at least those of us who are not afraid to examine and challenge the dark inner workings of the national security state sandbox. No president since Kennedy has dared to do that…until Donald Trump came along.
No matter his faults and failures and poor policy decisions, there is one indisputable fact about Donald Trump: He is not like the rest of the Republican and Democrat politicians or their followers and supporters in the mainstream press. During his campaign, he called them out all. He challenged their sandbox or, if you will, their swamp. He appeared to be willing to take on the military and its forever wars as well as the intelligence community and its nefarious, dark-side activities. He garnered lots of support and votes for that stance.
That’s why they hate him. No politician or bureaucrat is supposed to do that. And certainly no president is supposed to do that. Trump was a threat to their established order. He had to be smashed. He has to be terminated. That’s why they are trying desperately to ensure that he departs the political scene and is never permitted to return.
Oh sure, it’s true that for some unknown reason Trump ended up caving to the national security establishment. Early on, he surrounded himself with generals and warmongers and decided to continue their forever wars. He also surrendered to the CIA’s demands to keep its fifty-year-old JFK assassination records secret on the false claim that their disclosure would threaten “national security.”
Nonetheless, the die had been cast. Trump had committed the mortal sin of any national-security state—he had questioned the system itself. He had to go. They have to send a message that this type of thing will never be permitted again.
Reprinted from the Future of Freedom Foundation.