No matter what happens after today, America is forever changed.
Not just in theory, not just socially… the literal fabric of the Republic will be altered, permanently.
If you’re taking breaks from the media and internet for mental health, or just to avoid drama, or for any other reason… Now is the time to straighten your back, lift your head, and start paying attention. Because no matter what happens next, it’s not just going to affect you, it’s going to require your involvement. None of us are immune. Change is here.
To set the stage: the President of the United States is outright defying the sovereign and sole authority of the House of Representatives. The constitution states very clearly that there are three equal branches of government: the Executive (President), the Legislative (House and Senate, or Congress), and the Judicial (Supreme Court). Each branch is equal to the other in terms of authority and power, and as such, each must respect that authority and follow due process where the others are concerned. This is called Checks and Balances.
Furthermore, the House is a co-equal part of the Legislative branch — this means it’s equal in power and independent from the Senate. It does not require the senate’s involvement in matters where it is solely responsible… and Impeachment is 100% the sovereign and sole responsibility of the House.
President Trump is outright refusing to cooperate in a matter solely governed by the House, which means the Executive is refusing to respect the authority of the Legislative.
To be clear: IT DOES NOT MATTER if the President thinks he’s innocent, or if there truly was no wrongdoing… in Impeachment, the Constitution demands the President comply with all matters and requests (this is why the Senate is the body which tries and convicts, to prevent a rogue House from seizing control of the government…) — and by refusing, the President is stating that the Executive does not have to respect the authority of the Legislative.
This is a Constitutional crisis. This is not hyperbole. This is not overreaction. This is not media hysteria. This is literally happening right now. It’s historic and important, for several reasons:
1) the only other time in history we’ve faced this is with Nixon, and he eventually resigned, avoiding the showdown that looms over this moment. Should Trump resign, it’s historic because it’s the second time in the history of our country it’s happened, but also opens the doors to a billion weird options… all of which are nuts. He will be tried for crimes in the state of New York, his election will be investogated and possibly made illegitimate which, Jesus… that’s a lot to discuss on it’s own…
2) should he not resign, we now have a test of the Constitutional authority of each branch of government. Should Trump succeed in stonewalling, he will have proven the executive branch immune to the authority of the legislative – which will forever shift the checks and balances and make them impotent. The executive will be in sole control of the Republic, and we will forever from this point be living in a dictatorship.
3) should Trump resist and lose, what happens? If he exiles himself, where does he go? If he ends up in prison, what will his followers (and there’s enough of them to be concerned) do?
And no matter what happens or who “wins”:
4) you can guarantee that who ever is left after the smoke clears will legislate (or, if Trump wins, dictate) permanent changes to the law to prevent this ever happening again, including amendments to the constitution and laws regarding who may assemble, how many can assemble, when, and where…
As a person given to long bouts of researching how things were, observing how things are, and imagining how things might or will be… I am beyond struck by this current moment in our lives. It’s clear we are living through a moment that will be taught in textbooks across the globe forever after today.
If you’re not paying attention, now is the time I highly recommend you start, no matter how uncomfortable and not fun it is. Because there’s a very real possibility you’re going to be called to action – at the voting booth, or on the streets in protest – and you need to know what the hell it is you’re acting on.