I figured I'd be glued to the TV when the impeachment hearings began, but it's worse than I thought it would be. I started watching when foreign service officers were being questioned by Democrats, and attacked by Republicans. Then things changed. I changed. I've come to the point where I can hardly watch any more of it.
The Republicans have been having an epic pass-the-baton tantrum, which has carried over into every hearing: They're overly animated, agitated, disgusted, and offended. They're play-acting. The guy in the phony shirtsleeves get-up just makes me angry and sad. Angry because it's a costume, and costumes are for theater and Halloween. And sad because he might really believe what he's pitching. But he doesn't scare me half as much as somebody like Lindsay Graham, who was mentored by John McCain and presumably knows better. When people who know better go to the dark side, it's scary. Why would he do it? One reason only — duh — to be re-elected.
Trump's narcissism, which is off the charts, fuels his hate, and pervades his governing. Though the study of "malignant narcissism" is young, it's a condition that is terrifying when it describes a leader of this country: jealous, petty, thin-skinned, punitive, hateful, cunning, and angry. Thus, a man who attacks others in the ugliest ways will do anything to avoid criticism and will strike back like a snake when he is criticized.
This country means nothing to him; being Number 1 in this country means everything to him. People who support Trump think he's on their side, whatever that means. There's only one side and it's in his mirror. He scares me.
Whenever it comes, the end of Trump won't be the end of what gave rise to him: the corrosive factionalism in this country and the ruinous distrust. And it won't erase what he revealed about so many of the men and women in office, which is their craving for the power of holding office in Washington, and their elastic morality.
Trump supporters, who think, perhaps rightly, that they live in an occupied country, believe that people who have money and education look down on them. Again, they're probably right, but Trump looks down on them even more, and is more cynical. Who wouldn't look down on people who cheer for a man who reviles foreigners, people of color, women who are not beautiful, etc. He admires despots and cozies up to them, hoping to join their bloody ranks. He may incite his followers, but he does not love or respect them.
Of course there are also religious Trump supporters who must see how dangerous he is, but have bargained with the devil because of his anti-abortion stand (laughable considering his relationships with women) as well as his support of Israel, a place that is important so they can all get "raptured up."
I'll follow the election, though the Democrats seem hell-bent on nominating an old person or a billionaire or a combination of both. But I'm pushing myself away from the terrifying impeachment.
I read this recently in the New York Times: "The chief feature of the voters in the exhausted group is timidity. They do not get energy from conflict, the way, say, Trump does. Their instinct is to keep their heads down and just get through this craziness."
That's where I am now. Everybody's finding ways to cope. Dan Haley is praying. Ken Trainor is writing beautiful prose about grace (completely missing in the subject of this column). John Hubbuch is looking forward to legalized pot.
I'm reading crime novels and watching re-runs of Friends.
Answer Book 2019
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