|Prescient art, found on a brick wall in hipster Brooklyn, November, 2017|
This is how Democracy dies. Not by foreign conquest, although that could come after Democracy's death. Not by nuclear holocaust, although that could come, too. Not by flood, and drought, and famine, and epidemic, although it is not certain yet how close our negligent Republican government under Trump has brought us to all of that.
Democracy dies when a smug Senate Republican leader, his fat cat party members, and a handful of cowards sell out the very idea of democracy to save their Senate seats for themselves, even though they know that what they are doing is wrong.
They are about to do just that.
As I write this, the Republican-dominated United States Senate is about to shut down Donald Trump’s impeachment trial by preventing John Bolton and other witnesses from testifying. To do so, they’ve twisted themselves in knots to justify smothering the truth.
The House of Representatives “didn’t try hard enough” to hear witnesses, like John Bolton who has only recently stepped forward, they say. Therefore, we must not hear him.
The house managers have already “proved their case,” which the Senate will nevertheless reject, on the grounds that the house managers have no case. And therefore we must not hear any evidence that might bolster the case.
There will be no new information, they say, without waiting to hear whatever information Bolton and others can provide.
These are not reasons. These are part of a sham. The White House, almost guaranteed, will classify all or most of Bolton’s book, to make sure the citizens of the United States never learn what happened in the White House, although anyone with half a brain has a general idea.
The idea that is America is finished, murdered by Donald J. Trump, and by Mitch McConnell, and by his band of servile Republican senators, and by the law whores like Alan Dershowitz who fashion their legal opinions to match the needs of the highest bidder.
The United States of America may continue on for a while, until the vultures pick it to pieces little by little — its economy, its trading power, its alliance-based military strength. For America is more than an economic engine, and more than a military arsenal. It is an idea, an idea based on justice, and fairness, and international leadership, and support for the little guy. That idea is all but officially killed as I write this.
And when the idea dies, so does the United States of America.