A passing thought about “Impeachment!”
I wonder how many of the tens of millions of Americans supporting Trump today, and condemning the Democrats for their “phony impeachment” and their “attack on American democracy,” were nodding their heads in agreement when Trump said, eleven years ago, that Nancy Pelosi — “a very impressive person, I like her a lot” — should have pursued the impeachment of George W. Bush, and further that Bush’s impeachment “would have been a wonderful thing” (I guess he didn’t think “impeachment!” was such a “very ugly word” back then), and further that the impeachment of his personal presidential hero and role model, Bill Clinton, was over something “totally unimportant,” whereas Bush deserved to be removed from office for “getting us into this horrible war with lies.”
How many of today’s Trump supporters and defenders agreed with him then? Ten percent? Fifteen percent? Today, on the other hand, I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find ten percent of them who, confronted with this bit of recent Trump history, would not come out with something like, “Well, in hindsight I think we can all see that Trump was right about Bush vs. Clinton!”
Because, of course, tribalism is just that way. Principles, beliefs, facts, and one’s own independent judgment (past or present) are worth nothing. The tribe — and in this case, in addition, the cult, which is tribalism on amphetamines — controls all thought. The tribe (and worse, the cult) owns your mind.
And in this peculiar case, given the symbiotic relationship between the Republican tribe and its subsidiary cult, and the nature of the support structure sustaining this relationship, we may infer that ultimately, in this tribe, Mitch McConnell owns your mind.
Can a person eventually recover from such a complete and soul-diminishing divestment of his independent thought and judgment? That remains to be seen. But in my opinion, the likely best case scenario would be roughly akin to the case of a person who overcomes long-term drug addiction. He may learn how to function as a normal member of society again, but he will probably never experience life — and in this case especially political life and citizenship — in its full dynamic range or color palette again. He will forever be spiritually drained by years of overexposure to extremes of irrational stimulation and artificial “meaning.”