By Vernon A. Williams
Here is what folks in Washington fail to understand. The stench of cowardice on the left and cowardice on the right smell exactly the same to the American voter.
What if a man is on fire in the middle of the street and is approached by men walking toward him from opposite directions. Say that one despises him and glorifies in his destruction. The other loves him and is deeply saddened by the predicament, but he does nothing to help extinguish the blaze. The outcome is the same despite intentions.
Revisit for a moment the Jim Crow Era in the U.S. Times before Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act, Voting Act, Open Housing and Public Accommodations Laws. There were vitriolic, hate-filled white folk celebrating the suffering of Black Americans. And some whites in that community disagreed, but sat silent using any number of justifications.
Their sorry excuses used to assuage their lack of urgency in resolving racism sounded something like this:
- The South will eventually change, but it will be a slow and long process.
- You can write bills, but you can’t legislate hearts and minds.
- This is just a way of living in the South and has been unaltered for generations.
- Black people must become less confrontational and more willing to assimilate.
- The real resentment is “northerners” trying to dictate the way of life for the South.
- It takes time to figure out how to make changes in the South without violence.
- People who live in Dixie will never be forced to alter generations of separation.
- A race war will result in “sudden” efforts to alter Black-White dynamics.
- People are really happiest when they are among their own kind.
- Black and White Americans are far too different to ever blend into one.
The point is, there was no shortage of weak excuses from feckless bystanders of injustice and few willing to tackle unpleasant truths head on. Uncompromised advocacy for African Americans was rare.
On to the matter of impeachment, it is not race but rather DEMOCRACY that is at stake. No objective observer can argue that the preponderance of evidence justifies at the very least the House of Representatives launching an impeachment probe. And yet only a fraction of Democrats believe taking such action would be prudent.
No. Let’s approach that issue from another angle. The wisdom of pursuing formal exploration of impeachment is pretty much general consensus. There is more than adequate evidence to justify scrutiny into the possible criminality of the incumbent. The hesitancy is that Democrats fear political repercussions.
They have convinced themselves that this is Trump’s greatest wish – to begin inquiry into impeachment. How does the investigation help him even if the Republican-controlled Senate does not take seriously responsibilities? Outcome be damned, if the evidence supports possible “high crimes or misdemeanors,” the House is obligated to pursue.
Most submit that evidence against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton paled in comparison to the voluminous results uncovered in the two-year Robert Mueller probe. Even the special prosecutor (who admittedly has done a Pontius Pilate ‘hand-washing’ in the situation) virtually begged legislators to follow up on information the report provided.
Trump doesn’t want to be targeted in an impeachment inquiry. No one in their right mind would. He’s like the scared bully when finally confronted by his victim. He sells “wolf tickets” flashing false bravado to say, “I dare you to hit me.” If you take him up on it and punch him, he will run. It is the nature of a bully. They do not want confrontation.
So what about the contention that Democrats can kiss the 2020 presidential election good bye if there is an impeachment inquiry? Poppycock. Tell me something. How can that be true when Americans voting overwhelmingly in the midterm 2018 election predicated on the expectation that a Democrat-controlled House would impeach?
Even 45 repeatedly bemoaned during the last round that a vote for Democratic candidates was a vote for impeachment. Yet, across the nation, Republicans experienced one of their most embarrassing thrashings of all time. What does that tell you? That the strong Democratic showing in 2018 came with the expectation of holding 45 accountable.
I don’t think an impeachment inquiry would be the death of Democrats in 2020. But the lack of one would severely threaten the lifeline of Democracy. There is no debate. Democrats need to be courageous enough to exercise their constitutional responsibility whether it is deemed politically expedient or not.
One last thing is certain. Trump cannot possibly WIN the presidential election in 2020. But the Democrats can indeed lose it. Trump won’t take it. But if he is reelected, it will be because victory was handed to him on a silver platter.
Do the right thing, Congress. Impeach Trump.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].