by MEHOL K. SADAIN
Notoriety has a way of hugging headlines because, admit it, people are drawn toward the sinister and the malevolent. If you doubt this, just scan the newspapers and watch the television reports. They thrive on bad news because bad news sell.
We are drowned in covid19 illness statistics and problems in vaccine procurement instead of advances in covid19 research. We are swamped with crime stories and violent incidents instead of reports of achievements of people. We have a penchant for looking at the worse side of things instead of highlighting our better selves. We take interest in dire news and ignore the good ones.
So when we learn of Americans storming their Capitol Building following an election loss by their President and his subsequent words of incitement, we are glued to CNN or Fox News even if the events were unfolding a thousand miles away from us. We are all the more drawn into the American political maelstrom when the American congressmen filed an impeachment case against their President and proceeded to impeach him barely a week before his term of office will end.
It is not just the impeachment. It is actually the double impeachment, this impeachment being a historic and record-setting second vote against an American President in a single term of office. What made matters worse, and yet highly dramatic, were the events leading to this second impeachment: a pugnacious election campaign that saw the President’s supporters breaking health protocols, a roller-coaster vote count in the frantic race to 270 electoral college votes, and a vitriolic denial of the election results when opposing candidate Joe Biden was already being hailed as President-elect.
Today the American media are one in proclaiming: “Trump Impeached for Second Time” or something to that effect. In short, “Trumpeached”, — a word which can only refer to him and the bizarre events that led to his second impeachment by a vote of 232 (the same electoral college votes he got in losing to Biden) against 197, with ten of his Republican party-mates voting to impeach him. The Democrats are salivating to judge him guilty in the Senate hearing that will probably follow after the inauguration of Biden.
This “trumpeachment” of Trump should be a moral lesson in humility and prudence, as it is also a stern warning against arrogance and recklessness of political leaders. Leadership is service to others, and not to oneself. When one is elected to public office, especially as Head of State, he carries the divine trust to protect and safeguard the welfare and interest of his constituents. Governance is not about the governor; it is about the governed. When a leader starts to measure his rule according to the self-aggrandizement he derives from his position, that is the beginning of his end.
The virtue of servitude eluded Trump and the power of the presidency further deluded his megalomania. The four years he stayed as President failed to inculcate in him the purpose of public service, and instead heightened his sense of self-importance. When he lost the election, he attributed that to cheating because in his mind, he cannot lose. Then instead of appealing for calm, sobriety and resort to the rule of law, he urged his supporters and followers to protest as Congress was set to certify the victory of his political opponent. In the aftermath of the mayhem, he sent five of them to their death.
If he got “trumpeached”, he deserved it, and if he is subsequently found guilty he should face the penalty that is coming his way. MKS