I try my best to write about topics that are relevant and current. I also like to do my writing and research on the days where my wife is working. This is so I have enough quiet time to focus on the task at hand. This past weekend my wife had three days off in a row. She works in a retail clothing store and has been there for the past year. Having off for the full weekend is unheard of. Seeing as how this was such a rare event, I suspended my normal writing schedule and spent my time having fun with her. Knowing this was going to occur, I scheduled a mental health day for myself from work. I don’t take them as often as I should and really enjoy them when I do. Mental health days are great as they allow you to be as lazy or productive as you want to be. Either way, the day is all about you!
I knew I was going to focus on the current impeachment debate, as it is front and center in the world of politics. I didn’t know what I was going to say. Right now the Senate is spending the majority of six days going through the formalities of the impeachment process. Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has deemed that Democrats and Republicans will each have 24 hours to prosecute and defend the case for impeachment, giving each side three days consecutively. What that translates to in layman’s terms is that for three days straight, Democratic lawyers have been going over the reasons why the president should be impeached. Eight hours a day, three days in a row. That wrapped up and now it’s the Republicans turn.
I could take this time and write about the formalities. How all-100 Senators are not allowed to speak during the debate or communicate electronically at risk of imprisonment. I could write about the substance of the debate. Currently, they are debating whether or not to allow witnesses to testify or just move forward to the impeachment itself and vote for or against it. That would be too easy. My personal feeling is that Democrats are looking to stretch out the process as long as they can. The message of impeachment has been one they have promoted since the president won the election in 2016. By keeping the debate going and having witnesses to be “fair” to the president and the American people, Democrats keep the narrative of impeachment alive and on the minds of the public. They also receive free airtime and media coverage. Once this trial ends and the case for impeachment has been decided along party lines, they will have to start spending money on ad campaigns. By that time the primary process should reduce the field of contenders to just a few.
To be honest, I’ve spent very little time watching the Senators and their representatives speak. There’s a good chance I’m not alone in this group. The reason, it’s boring! Watching the lawyers argue for eight straight hours, on why the president should or shouldn’t be impeached, with no new facts, and having each person repeat the same talking points over and over again, is worse than watching paint dry. Imagine being berated by someone for hours on end on something you’ve been told many times before. Eventually, you shut down mentally and physically and tune them out. That is the summary of this impeachment process to date.
So what do I write about? How do I take the most pressing political topic of our time that receives 24/7 news coverage and do it in a way that’s interesting and doesn’t put you or me to sleep? This was my dilemma until something that occurred while out with my wife hit me. It was a conversation I was having with a cashier that when I reflected on it after made this entire impeachment process make sense. I needed to suspend reality.
Let me explain. My wife loves high-end fashion, especially Louis Vuitton. For those who are unaware or are familiar, this is a company whose products are the epitome of luxury. They never go on sale and you will never find a coupon. My wife owns a few of their products. All year long I set aside money from each paycheck and put it into a separate account specifically for her luxury fix. I do this knowing that once a year we will make the trip to either the local high-end mall or go to Fifth Avenue in New York where all of the designer stores are. If you have a moment, go to their website and see what their product line costs. This will help bring home why this is a once a year event.
Besides being a luxury brand, Louis Vuitton and other fashion houses have successfully accomplished the art of illusion. Whereby setting their prices to an amount, where if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it, has become an exclusive club. Along with that exclusivity, which is worn by supermodels and the elite, they have promoted a lifestyle to aspire to. By being able to afford their astronomical prices and purchasing their products, you become a member who belongs. You are now special.
I will never pretend to fully understand the mind of a woman. 17 years of marriage has taught me as much. When I ask her why she loves the luxury labels so much she tells me it makes her feel special and beautiful. As much as the whole premise makes no sense to me, her answer tells me all I need to know. I would never spend $200 on a key pouch that you don’t put keys in for fear of wrinkling it, or $650 on sneakers that you can’t wear in the rain for fear of getting them wet, but that is me. I’ve also been told that these products are an investment and can be sold many years later even when they are not in good condition. Having witnessed it first hand, I am now a believer.
So, how does this all tie into the topic at hand? What do French fashion lines and other luxury labels have to do with the impeachment process and what was the ‘aha’ moment I had that made it all make sense? When I was checking out of the Louis Vuitton store and waiting to be rung up I was making small talk with the cashier. I told her when I come to these stores I have to suspend reality. None of it makes sense to me but, I understand this is not about reality; it’s all about feelings.
And then it hit me!
If you look at the past three years of the push to impeach the president, facts have not mattered. Whether it was Russian collusion theories that were disproven after a nearly two year, $30 million dollar investigation that proved no wrongdoing by the president, or the current investigation into withholding aid from Ukraine, the facts to support those claims are not there. All of the witnesses who testified during the House impeachment trial spoke about their feelings and beliefs, not on what they knew for certain and could prove. In fact, the only person who actually spoke to the president regarding the delay of funds being released to Ukraine and the reason why confirmed there was no demand for quid pro quo. Though he confirmed that verbally and backed it up with the release of the transcripts between himself and the president of Ukraine, the Democrats and all of their witnesses feel Trump did so to gain “dirt” on his political opponent Joe Biden. Because they felt he was guilty and have felt he should have been impeached since he won the election, though no wrongdoing has been proven, they voted to impeach him along party lines and are now trying to convince the Republicans and the viewing public to do the same.
If this was a civil or criminal court of law, the case would have been thrown out at the onset. Why? The facts are not there to support the Democrat’s claims. When all you have are witnesses who base their testimony on hearsay, conjecture and their overall contempt for someone whom they dislike vehemently, you have no basis to convict. Imagine being accused of a crime that the prosecution has no proof of and being found guilty because they don’t like you. This political impeachment process is not based on facts, but more so is rooted in feelings.
If you feel Trump colluded with Russians and WikiLeaks during the 2016 election and is now looking to do the same to influence the 2020 election, then he should be impeached. If you feel that he is unfit for office because of his at times vulgar use of language and Twitter rants where he slanders his opponents and calls any and all reports against him by the media fake news even when they are true, he should be impeached. If you cannot prove the delay in aid to Ukraine was to obtain “dirt” on a potential political opponent, though the president claims he wanted to investigate corruption in a proven corrupt country, but believe this to be true because those involved, all feel, that was the only cause for delay, he should be impeached. If facts do not matter and you cannot prove your case based on what can be proven and can only proceed with a gut feeling and are willing to base that decision on grounds that if the roles were reversed, you would call unsubstantiated, unconstitutional and unfair, you should suspend reality and vote for impeachment. This, after all, is politics and Washington, D.C. A place where facts do not matter, perception is king, and party loyalty and quest for power trumps all else. In contrast and comparison, this impeachment process and my wife’s love for luxury labels bear a striking similarity. The Democrats desire to impeach the president and her desire to feel special and beautiful require objectionable people like myself to suspend reality and everything we know that is rooted in common sense and facts and just go with it. Why? Happy wife, happy life!