Frustrated, disappointed, angry, astonished.
All these things I feel about the impeachment trial currently underway.
You see, I remember. I remember when Clinton was impeached and I was of a very different mindset. I attended a small, local, nondenominational church twice on Sunday and once in the middle of the week. I sat in Bethel’s sanctuary a couple of times back then. I voted how I was raised.
And those I voted for, those whose words seemed tied to the ideal of the American Dream, spoke of honor and morals and truth. They mentioned these values with honey-dripped tongues, as if they held them up themselves in their lives. They publicly chastised a man and embarrassed his young daughter in the name of higher principles. They said his behavior was unbecoming of a President.
I bought every criticism of the man and seethed with equal disgust at each mentioned indiscretion.
I hollered “Amen” when my pastor rallied on about keeping our nation upright. I vigorously nodded in agreement at each proverbial cursed arrow hurled in the direction of the Clintons and even signed my own name to a few. I lamented with my brothers and sisters at the state of our nation’s degradation and believed we were in dire straits if a lying president was not brought to justice.
Then, in a moment of heretical self-reflection, I took my eye from the pinhole camera of religion and Fox news and looked at the wider world. Eventually I came around to the ability to sift lies from truth. Eventually I understood the difference between more valid journalistic resources and nefarious propaganda machines. Eventually I realized I couldn’t stay where I was, either politically or religiously, continuing to contort my mind around false narratives and pious pontification.
That was fifteen-ish years ago. Today, I am frustrated, disappointed, angry, astonished.
You see, this time around I’ve been hearing the same sound bites from the same people who held up the notion of piety to Clinton and finally just rubbed his face in it.
I’m frustrated because those who stand on the soapbox of righteousness now defend a man whose morals defy all that Jesus ever taught, after they nitpicked over every salacious detail of Clinton’s adulterous activity.
I am disappointed that my naive, idealistic young self didn’t see the facade for what it is: a happy families picture that hides dirt and grime and lies and betrayal.
I’m angry that currently those same congressmen and pastors are making excuse after excuse to justify Trump’s behavior that neither would tolerate if the same was exhibited by a president with the letter ‘D’ after their name.
I am astonished that those who pounded the desk of justice and preached about the sanctity of our judicial system three presidents ago refuse to revere that system today, and make a mockery of it by walking out of the proceedings, reading during them, or causing distractions like one of my favorite, yet trying, sixth graders.
The oaths they took meant nothing, and we all knew it. The hypocrisy is blatant, we all smell it. Justice is being aborted, each one of us a witness.
But no matter my frustration, disappointment, anger, and astonishment, I call and write encouraging our senators to uphold their constitutional duty by listening to, and weighing the evidence, including witnesses. They are, after all, on my payroll.
I challenge you each to do the same if your frustration, disappointment, anger and astonishment is similar.
“Because in America, right matters. Truth matters. If not, no constitution can protect us. If not, we are lost.” – Rep. Adam Schiff.