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We increasingly are living in a one-dimensional, sound-bite world. We consume “quick bites” on the news and our devices. It’s a very real danger, as life does not exist in one dimension. It exists in a multi-dimensional context, which is more than often complex.
Consider, Donald Trump says his impeachment was a “hoax” and that his phone call with President Zelensky was “perfect.” However, the context for his impeachment includes: the crime of withholding Congressionally appropriated defense funds, needed for the Ukrainians to defend themselves from Russia’s invasion; encouraging the propaganda that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election; and our president again asking a foreign government to interfere, in his favor, in a presidential election by investigating his leading opponent.
The dangers in this context included: Ukrainian soldiers dying because their country was not able to purchase the weapons needed for their defense; Russia being able to say it was Ukraine not Russia who interfered in the 2016 election; and the perversion of our democracy by having a foreign government damage the credibility of Trump’s leading political opponent.
Donald Trump is a one-dimensional person who fits perfectly in this sound-bite world. His single dimension only focuses on what is good for him, and it is constructed on lies. In Citizen Trump, this was either boring or entertaining depending on your perspective. In President Trump, it is extraordinarily dangerous.
As we begin to watch President Trump’s impeachment trial, it’s important to understand that while we will hear evidence explaining the context that supports why the president should be removed from office, his defense will be based on his alternate reality wherein the impeachment was a “hoax” and his call with President Zelensky was “perfect.”
Make no mistake, Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr are partisans. They will not, however, use the president’s terminology of “hoax” and “perfect call” in defending him. They will use synonyms that nevertheless support his one-dimensional view of reality.
I understand that Trump will not be convicted by a Republican-controlled Senate. Indeed, we the public may not even get to hear testimony from the likes of John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and Lev Parnas. What we will see, however, is unconverted evidence that Republican Senators, like their House of Representative counterparts, have chosen to live in Trump’s dangerous one-dimensional world.
Trump’s impeachment trial will not exist in a vacuum. It will exist in the context of the 2020 elections which will determine which party controls the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. What is at stake is whether during a Trump administration we will continue to be infected by an alternate reality based on a simplistic dimension of one man’s mind. Trump’s acquittal by the Senate will mean that the Republicans have unequivocally subscribed to his fabricated view of reality, and that for the rest of the time he is in office, Trumpism will have replaced reality, the rule of law, and our democratic process.