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By now, millions of people have watched the hilarious parody cartoon titled "Schiff Hits the Fan," a take on the Road Runner cartoon, but inserting "Schiff T. Coyote" for ole Wiley, and "Trump Runner" for the jet fast bird.  The nation needed some good laughs in the middle of this impeachment spectacle, and the online cartoon certainly provided them.

But, in many ways, what's happening is a national tragedy that is exposing a rift far too wide to make anyone comfortable.  This nation is as divided as during any time since the onset of the Civil War.  Perhaps it is time for all of us to ask some uncomfortable questions.  One of those is whether the repeal of the draft has not been an unintended cause of all this social strife?  As the experience for the true horror of war has become concentrated to an historically small percentage of the nation's population, perhaps too many Americans have lost the personal experience needed to understand why such a path of national violence should be avoided.

Our national birth became from a war, and our expressed ideals of inalienable rights of men sprang from the experience of tyranny carried out by an overseas monarch, and his aloof minions.  What unifies us is the Constitution, a document that expresses the goal of a government that fosters the greatest degree of individual liberty consistent with good order and civility.

If too many Americans seek to abandon the good order and civility, and replace it with obsessive rush to secure narrow-minded outcomes, then our Republic is under threat from within.  Donald Trump was barely elected before many prominent voices called for his personal destruction, including calls by elected leaders for his impeachment even before he was inaugurated.

Those early voices led to gross abuses of due process of law through an illegal conspiracy of American intelligence and law enforcement agencies to spy on members of the Trump campaign team, and these efforts morphed into the phony Russia conspiracy theme, which ended up with the Robert Mueller investigation.  When all this ultimately failed, the impeachment effort was immediately seized upon.  Throughout this, no thought was given to what happens when each side determines to adopt the same methods?  What happens to the nation when every time we have an election, the party that loses immediately determines to destroy the winners?  Does anyone seriously believe that's a path that avoids national destruction?

Adam Schiff and his fellow House impeachment managers used over 21 hours of their allocated 24 hours to harangue Senate members, repeatedly claim falsehoods as facts, and present a narration of false actions, that even if true, have zero federal statutory or Constitutional law behind them.  They've done this despite the clear mandate in Article II that the President can only be impeached for "Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes or Misdemeanors."

In contrast, the President's legal team appears to have wrapped up the first half of their defense in just over two hours of testimony!  What this difference proves is that if you have the facts on your side, you don't need to embellish.  It appears the defense team will wrap up their presentation next Monday.  Any objective analysis of this initial effort concludes that a very strong defense was initiated, and when one remembers whom the burden of proof rests on (the prosecution) that fair evaluation should already conclude that the President's actions are entirely inconsistent with impeachment and removal from office.

All of this is simply process.  What underlies all of it is a disturbing trend of people who are willing to destroy in order to achieve selfish aims.  Take your pick of what those aims are:  environment, climate, socialism, gun control, the common theme is people who champion these various causes willing to engage in the most radical of efforts, appearing to desire to curtail individual liberty, and to utterly destroy any person who appears to oppose their goals.  What this would turn America into is a collectivist government, and by default the state becomes elevated above the individual. 

George Washington well said that "government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force!  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." What the Democrats, and the left in general, have done to the Trump administration, is the definition of irresponsible action.  It has been grossly irresponsible, and unprincipled.

In order for a Constitutional Republic to endure, the people must be possessed of virtue.  Virtue is what prevents people from lying, from cheating, and from putting their own selfish desires above the good interest of the public.  Virtue has many sources -- good parenting, good schooling, but perhaps most of all, it comes from experience.  The one thing true about those Americans who have traveled half a world away, and witnessed the evils of a society destroying itself, is that is gives one a healthy appreciation to embrace the civility which our Constitution defines.

It's like a child seeing what fire can destroy determining never to play with matches!

The most beautiful part of the Constitution is that it recognizes that only through liberty can a diverse society live in harmony with itself.  We don't need to demand conformance, nor seek uniformity.  Our society can remain as individually diverse as their are citizens living in it.  All that needs to remain is the virtue to preserve the same liberty of self-determination for all people, to never abuse liberty, and to never seek out to deprive liberty to others.  The entire balance of our judiciary is to be a virtuous and effective place to settle natural conflicts in the pursuit of liberty, and to settle them in strict accordance with the law, with the goal to preserve the maximum degree of liberty, consistent with good order and civility.  That due process of law extends to all legal proceedings, especially to any impeachment effort.  Yet, due process was sorely lacking in what the House voted for, and we can only hope that due process finds itself restored in the Senate.

The abuses carried out by federal intelligence and law enforcement, plus this impeachment, all to attack Donald Trump and his staff, have undermined that trust in the law and faith in our government.  By elected leaders abandoning their oath to the Constitution, through false impeachment, we are tittering on the edge of a great incivility, one that could result in civil war.  There are many Americans who can warn of the great threat in all this.  The question is are their enough Americans at least willing to heed those warnings!

-- Ken Stallings

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