Jeb Bladine: Asking ourselves the wrong question

In 1973-74, I watched the Senate Watergate and House Impeachment hearings after work and early into the morning on PBS. It was the ultimate political whodunnit.


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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In 2019-20, I again have been glued to the tube after hours to watch the Trump impeachment hearings and trial. However, the trial’s tedious legal wrangling about process — now spanning eight days of presentation and Q&A sessions — stands in stark contrast to the high drama of Watergate and President Nixon’s resignation.

It’s not a whodunnit … more like a whocaresaboutit.

The lockstep Republican majority is unlikely to convict and expel the president for one instance of simply being Donald Trump — an amoral egotist with unbridled power. With that long-presumed outcome, the trial would have been more provocative by focusing on the September 2017 petition signed by 60,000 mental health professionals and declaring:

“We believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States. And we respectfully request he be removed from office, according to Article 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.”

Meanwhile, pro-impeachment Americans are asking, “How can so many people support an offensive, spiteful, narcissistic, ultimately divisive president?” The more appropriate question might be, “Why do they hate us so much?”

Trump supporters are not blind to his mental, emotional and intellectual weaknesses. But their qualms often are offset by a deep loathing for cultural, political and economic liberalism. Democrats, particularly so-called democratic socialists, are “the enemy.” That rancor extends to the media, higher education and other institutions of presumed liberalism. Trump embodies their battle against advocates of abortion rights, gun control, open borders, climate action, redistribution of wealth and all manner of government regulations.

Donald Trump is not their hero; he is the antihero in a deteriorating political system that has lost its balance, and is losing the confidence of Americans and people around the world. Sadly, I could pose the “Why do they hate us” question in reverse simply by switching labels and describing the opposite side of today’s political reality.

The moderate and productive political philosophy that long governed Oregon and much of the nation has become a footnote in the history of American politics.

Perhaps, if “liberals” and “conservatives” asked themselves the question, and acknowledged some of the answers, it would motivate us toward compromises required for our democratic republic to survive and prosper.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.


Christmas has Talons

Another one sided article and you are asking why compromise isn't possible? On the upside though it's people like you and one sided articles like this that helped me transition from a "never Trumper" to someone who is voting for him this time around.

Of course you will use the excuse that this is your opinion and that's certainly true but your opinion seems to help you decide what is and isn't news and whose views actually matter in spite of the facts often
diametrically opposed to your opinion.

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