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Our Times Are Ugly, Divisive, Harmful And Exciting

Well it is the moment we’ve all been waiting for: impeachment. As Congress’ impeachment process transpires it is sure to be ugly, divisive and harmful. I must admit that I am a little bit excited to watch it all.

We get to watch history unfold day by excruciating day. Indeed, we will be living it. It will all be included in at least a couple days’ worth of civics lessons in government class. I was not around for Watergate and I was just a toddler when Bill Clinton got the dreaded “I” word. I get to enjoy my first major Presidential scandal with the benefit of 24-hour cable news coverage, the internet and social media. Even better than that, the crimes Trump and his goons have been accused of–and in some cases admit to–make the DNC Watergate burglary and Clinton’s philandering look like small potatoes.

The partisans have staked out their ground. Roughly one-third of the country has already concluded that Trump and basically everyone surrounding him are crooks (Chris Collins, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort) are all headed to the slammer. Another third would not care if the President really did “shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue.” The remaining 33 percent wished we would all just shut up already.

Democrats’ biggest challenge is that they are up against a massive, coordinated disinformation machine bent on confusing the public by smothering truth and reality. Even worse, our Founding Fathers and Constitution were not prepared for a Chief Executive with so much obnoxious contempt for the rule of law or our system of checks and balances. Nixon had the tapes and Clinton had the dress–Trump just brags about his crimes on television. Tough to counter that.

The problem for Republicans is that they have completely sold out to a man they know full well is utterly unhinged. The corruption and incompetence will get so bad that eventually they will have to choose between their job or their dignity. Their advantage, though, is their downright lack of shame. Guys like Tom Reed, Chris Collins, Mike Pompeo are able to keep plugging right along as if this is all completely normal and not a fundamental threat to our country. It is genuinely sad for me to watch by all accounts, decent career public servants twisting themselves into pretzels to defend a guy who would throw them under the bus without thinking twice about it. When history is written, they’ll say they fought against it. But we’ll remember. Even tricky Dick Nixon had people cling on until the better end.

Get your popcorn ready.

Derek Smith is a Frewsburg native.

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