Thank you for your comment and for your passion on behalf of our besieged democracy. Would that more of our fellow citizens were so outraged!
To address a few specific points:
Your lawyer friend “Pete” is not alone. Complacent voters, MAGA cultists and uber wealthy conservatives will happily vote for Trump or another like him because it is in their best interest to do so. They do not embrace the view that ours is a representative democracy meant to protect the most vulnerable among us or that our representatives should be honorable, scholarly statesmen or women.
I could not agree more. (I should point out, however, that “Pete” is no more endorsing or condoning this fact than you or I are, but merely stating it — sadly — as a matter of reality.)
The evangelicals want biblical dominionism to replace our constitution at any cost. The rich want to expand their wealth with impunity. Corporations want to pollute, swindle their customers and lay off U.S. workers unchecked. The rest will just roll their eyes and shrug off Trumpian vulgarity and dishonor because he supports their bigotries, are unaffected by Washington politics or are just plain indifferent.
Again, I quite agree. Well said.
However, I am not prepared to condemn Mr. Mueller, though I too would love to hear him testify before Congress in open session on national television. I certainly would not put him in the category of “enabler” — let’s save that for the true quislings like Graham, Barr, McConnell, et al. Would I have liked to see a broader interpretation of his remit and more aggressive pursuit of things like Trump’s finances, or the counterintelligence aspect of the scandal (not knowing, of course, what’s been redacted), and an opinion on indicting for obstruction? Yes. But I am not a lawyer and I have a lot of respect for Mr. Mueller. So we shall see how all this plays out.
The system you think works is failing — even if you step up to vote every two years as an informed, earnest citizen.
I didn’t say that I thought the system works. On the contrary: I am very worried that it is NOT working. It is simply not built for an executive branch that openly flouts the rule of law, especially when the courts refuse to enforce it and one of the two political parties abets that effort. Even Nixon wasn’t this brazen. For all their foresight, the Founders never envisioned a president this venal or a Congress this supine.
Lastly, and despite all that, I would encourage you not to feel powerless. I share your outrage and often your despair, but I do believe that justice can prevail even if our institutions fail, if — but only if — enough of the American people get on their feet and say “We will not stand for this.”
To that end, thanks again. The point of that essay — whether Trump will leave office even if properly evicted — is one that looms even larger now than when I first published that essay last year. I invite you to check out some of my other, more recent essays, including a four-part series on the state of play, post-SCO report:
1) Reading Mr. Mueller (on how Barr tried to spin the report)
2) A Plague Among Us (on Republican defense of Trump)
3) Who’s Afraid of the Big I? (on impeachment)
4) How to Tell Elections Matter (on voting Trump out)