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Letter: Forget impeaching Trump; he is no more dishonest than predecessors
President Donald Trump takes the cap off a pen before an signing executive order for immigration actions to build a border wall during a visit to the Homeland Security Department in Washington. - photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais

In reply to Frank Lock’s recent letter, I don’t think President Donald Trump is anything new. Practically all politicians mislead their constituents. The last honest politicians we had were President Jimmy Carter and Rep. Ron Paul, and frankly most people didn’t care for their honesty.

Let’s face it, we prefer to be lied to. We want pie in the sky. We like the red meat, accusations and the “mean tweets.” Lies are easier to hear than the unvarnished truth because truth comes with unpleasant obligations. 

Trump isn’t the first president to mislead. Lyndon Johnson lied about the Vietnam War. Richard Nixon lied about Watergate. Ronald Reagan lied about the Iran-Contra scandal. Bill Clinton lied about sex. George W. Bush lied us into an illegitimate war in Iraq. Barack Obama lied about Obamacare.

Trump played to the lowest common denominators of conservative politics. What Republicans wanted to hear, he promised them in spades. Trump said he would jail Hillary Clinton. Nope. He said we would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it. Pie in the sky. Trump said he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Didn’t happen. Trump is waiting for Israel to negotiate a credible peace agreement with the Palestinians producing two viable states for two peoples. If Israel will do its part, Trump’s pledge may still be kept. 

While Trump’s undelivered promises may anger some citizens, my opinion is we would be in a worse position today if every president had kept every campaign promise. Sometimes politicians mislead for the right reasons. Would it really help us to prosecute and jail Hillary Clinton for questionable email policies when we know FBI head James Comey intentionally leaked classified info to serve nonofficial purposes?

Should we violate international law and Geneva Conventions by unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli territory without first securing a peace agreement to legitimize this position? What good is any law if we pick and choose those we honor and respect? 

Trump might not be the leader Lock wants, but he is president. I didn’t vote for Trump, but I think this noise about impeachment is foolish and dangerous. I would ask any pro-impeachment Democrat if you really want to make Vice President Mike Pence the next president? 

From a Democrat’s perspective, Trump is a metaphorical cork in a bottle holding back all the potentially disastrous things Pence and an unchecked Republican Congress might represent. I’d suggest you consider these issues carefully before you go off half-cocked. This could blow up in your face. If you want the worst aspects of hard-line, fascist, fanatical right wing conservatism tattooed across the side of your head, then by all means impeach Trump and make Pence the next president.

But know this: By pursuing impeachment without a legitimate legal case (which is exactly what happened to Bill Clinton), you will be doing more damage to our system of government than anything Trump has done as president. Let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face. 

Bruce Vandiver


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