Trump, impeachment, and the future of the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Florida, U.S., December 7, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Editor’s note: Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policy of Africa for 30 years. The article reflects the author’s views, and not necessarily those of CGTN.

This week the Judiciary Committee concludes the impeachment proceedings against Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States. This committee, controlled by the Democrats, is likely to approve articles of impeachment within the week.

It is anticipated that the majority Democratic Party in the House of Representatives will vote for impeachment before the Christmas Holiday break. 

Therefore, it is quite possible that when the Congress returns to Washington. D.C. in January, the first order of business will be a trial of President Trump in the U.S. Senate. Thus, America, and indeed the world, will begin the new year of 2020 with a dangerous strategic destabilization caused by a weakening of the U.S. Presidency. Regardless of the outcome, this course of events bodes ill for the future of our U.S. 

For me, a lifelong Democrat, who has been involved in American politics for over half a century, this impeachment process, driven by the leadership of the Democratic Party, is not legitimate. Removing a U.S. President, elected by the American voters is the most serious and extreme measure allowed under the U.S. Constitution.

A President should not be removed from office without overwhelming and provable evidence, that she or he is endangering the security and existence of the U.S. No such evidence has been provided. I fear for my country when a partisan majority has the power to remove a President between national elections (as was the case of the impeachment of President Clinton, which I also opposed).

The Trump presidency

From the morning of November 9, 2016, when it was clear the Donald Trump was elected to be the next U.S. President, the entrenched political-financial establishment, went “bonkers” in effect.

Trump was not supposed to win. Many in the media predicted his defeat in advance. The rage against Trump by the establishment following his victory was primarily due to the elementary fact that he was not (and still is not) under their control.

To be truthful, President Trump has not delivered on two vital key economic pledges he campaigned on. Upon taking office, he immediately dropped any support for an urgently needed Glass-Steagall banking reform and has done nothing to rebuild America’s dilapidated infrastructure.

This is not surprising given that he has little to no understanding of the key principles of the American System of Political Economy, upon which our nation was built. His construction of hotels, golf courses, and gambling casinos affords him no special advantage to formulating a comprehensive national infrastructure program. He still foolishly believes that the Stock Market is an actual measure of economic wealth.

However, the base of his supporters were not primarily attracted to any of his policies per se. He won the election because a large section of Americans were fed up with Washington’s policies ruining their lives and not listening to their legitimate grievances.

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (1st R) speaks at a news conference to announce articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., December 10, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Clash over foreign policy

Once you get past the headlines of Russia-gate, followed by allegations of obstruction of justice, and now, the so-called quid quo pro in Ukraine; examine the real underlying issue of conflict between President Trump and the establishment. He disagrees with Washington’s anti-Russia policy.

And, most importantly, as the only nationally elected official in government, he has the constitutional power to change U.S. foreign policy. It is because of his pursuit of a different foreign policy agenda, one not dictated by the establishment and in opposition to what is called “deep-state,” that he has been ferociously attacked. In this era of McCarthyite hysteria against President Putin, President Trump is known for saying: “Working with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.” 

Despite the anti-China propaganda that has engulfed U.S. society, President Trump would like to work closer with Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, his own counterproductive tariffs against China are getting in the way of a more fruitful relationship, which should include U.S. support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

President Trump has similarly angered those who want to continue America’s involvement in endless wars and regime change, which became a permanent destructive feature of U.S. foreign policy during the sixteen years under Presidents George W Bush and Barrack Obama.

The neo-cons of the Bush administration demolished Iraq that led to one million Iraqi deaths, and created the conditions for the emergence of ISIS. Obama’s liberals overthrew Muammar Gaddafi that produced a failed state in Libya, which has caused hell for the nations of North Africa. To his credit, President Trump is still resisting the mob like anti-Russia and anti-China mentality of both parties in Congress, which is unfortunately echoed by a large section of the U.S. population.

The way forward

A partisan-driven impeachment does not enhance the well-being of America. Some pundits speculate that a motive for the rush to impeach, is the fear that the current weak field of Democratic presidential candidates will lose to President Trump in next year’s election. 

America needs leaders who can articulate a bold visionary policy to develop the full potential of its people, and a foreign policy that promotes global economic development.

Presently, the U.S. is lacking that quality of leadership. U.S. citizens are not absolved of responsibility. Their desire to think only in sound-bites, and to base their opinionated views on what is presented to them in the headlines of 24-hour news cycles, is detrimental to formulating American policy.

To ensure that the U.S. survives these troublesome times, the quality of political discussion in the U.S. must change. Let us turn the period leading up to the U.S. presidential election, which is sometimes called the “silly season” into a real discussion of genuine ideas. Creating a strategic alliance, anchored by the U.S., Russia, and China, committed to advancing the “common aims of mankind” must be a required component of such a discussion.

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