One of the things I have observed in my almost 40 years of medical practice is that when ironies and paradoxes abound it usually indicates that people and circumstances are “not quite right”. Equilibrium has been lost.
The impeachment proceedings have taught us several things about the law:
It turns out that all legal cases including those of impeachment are actually comprised of three components:
1. The facts acquired by law enforcement personnel including the police, FBI, and other agencies.
2. The law that is applicable to the crime.
3. The “procedures” are the rules and process agreed upon by the attorneys and the judge that will be used during the case.
We have also learned that the “strategy” employed by attorneys when the facts of the case are against them, and the law does not support their defense, is to argue the “procedure”, which is the only legal option left to them.
In medicine, the patient history and all studies performed correspond to the legal facts, the knowledge of medicine to the laws of the case, and the logistics of medicine(including the cost of care, pharmacy used, any transportation required, all the paper work) to the legal “procedures”.
All of these are necessary components of the legal and medical systems, and when needed must be provided for a satisfactory outcome. However, the first two may be considered strategic, whereas the third is logistic. In medicine, there is no need to stress logistics if there is no solid strategy, and without strategy there is no need for logistics, since no medical case is discernible.
The same is not true in law, where “procedure” may be argued often obscuring the lack of facts and law.
During the impeachment proceedings the supporters of the president ultimately resorted to arguing the “procedure”. And, for this reason it was appropriately pointed out that their strategy indicated that they did not have the facts or the law on their side. Despite this they have continued with this tact.
But there is another relevant point to be made about their behavior and how significantly it departed from their prior stated beliefs.
The attempt to argue legal “procedure” during the impeachment proceedings is much the same the strategy used by attorneys using “legal technicalities” to get their clients acquitted when their case also lacks the facts and the law. Cases like this have served to confuse us over the years, and caused many of us to question whether those “technicalities” ensured that justice was served.
In the past those legal “technicalities” were especially criticized by those on the right, who were particularly concerned that this practice allowed crimes to go unpunished. They even condemned this as an example of “our overly liberal society”.
So now for all the supporters of the president to resort to using the strategy of legal “procedure” during the impeachment hearings appears to be the height of hypocrisy, since they were so vehemently against using legal technicalities in the past!
Not only that their support of the president required them to act as his sycophants by taking a page from the play book of their “master”, who is guilty of using all the legal “technicalities” and “loopholes” that his money and influence could buy, making their “master” only a master of legal deception.
It is obvious that money, power, and the selfish desire to maintain their political positions is so intoxicating that it has caused them to overlook their oath to defend the Constitution. Ironically this is an issue appropriately addressed by term limits that many on the right had advocated for in the past as well.
But also ironically these members of the “working class” have more opportunities than the rest of us, and have more job security available to them. And, if necessary most of this bunch will continue to sell out their souls to unscrupulous lobbying firms that continue to use legal “procedures” and “loopholes” to their shady advantage.
The public may get sick and tired of this, but we have come to accept it as the way things are done in our political system, our “free market”, and our free country. We would never want to “clip” any of our economic freedoms to make a buck, even thought it will never be available to most of us, anddespite the fact that it threatens our very existence. ”Un-American”. Heaven forbid we would ever resort to that and fix a problem.
What we do embrace is a strong belief that justice be served, and that it means appropriately punishing the guilty, and exonerating the innocent. This has stood as a bed rock of our Constitution and our society from it’s very beginning. Heck we say it in the “Pledge of Allegiance”. “With liberty and JUSTICE for all”. However we have come to acknowledge that justice is not always served, even though we have one of the best legal systems in the world.
And when justice is not served, it only adds to our division, rendering us even more vulnerable to those that would attempt to harm us. That is exactly why the impeachment of the president is so vitally important. If he gets away with violating our Constitution, it will only add to the prevailing sentiment of lawlessness that already exists in most of us. Let’s be honest all of us lie multiple times a day, and “stretch” the rules to meet our needs.
No one is perfect, precisely why the framers of the Constitution included impeachment as the legal means to keep the most powerful person on the planet honest as well. In America no one is above the law, we are all created equal. And we must always strive to maintain that Constitutionally given right.
This is not the time, or place for us to act complacent because we might think less of ourselves, our political system, or our elected officials for not living up to some higher standard. We can always be better, and all of us are corruptible given the right circumstances. The issue here is one of magnitude of responsibility. Those entrusted with safeguarding our public good and safety have a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to act appropriately for the common good, and maintain that bond of trust. This applies equally to all our law enforcement personnel as well as our Chief Executive. Despite our imperfections we must hold those in responsible positions, particularly the president, to the highest of standards. Impeachment is the appropriate means to that end.
Consider the fact that despite our short comings, we continue to parent and nurture our children as best we are able, because we have a responsibility to them and our family.
Achieving the higher standard requires us to approach our problems as objectively as possible by prioritizing the best information available and logically coming to the best conclusion in order to provide the best result.
The legal facts here show that the president is guilty and has been caught “red handed” of violating the Constitution of the United States. Legal and Constitutional experts, valiant US foreign representatives, and Trump’s own admissions are all corroboratory. And, this same conclusion would deserve the same penalty no matter who committed these acts.
Arguing over legal “procedure”, believing the political spin, and criticizing others of everything under the sun does not change the truth.
What really scares me as a physician is that we are in the perfect storm, and by allowing it to continue unabated, we are allowing our country to be played right into the hands of an agent of our own destruction.
Why would we ever want or allow that to happen under our watch?
The fact is we have become too complacent. Our sense of being protected as a nation and as individuals has ironically left many of us with feelings of ambivalence, disconnectedness, and a sense of futility, rendering us unaware and unwilling to fight for what’s right. It is also responsible for promoting feelings of emptiness, anxiety, and depression that afflicts too many of us.
A corollary may be seen in many of our children, who were inadvertently “over-protected”, by loving parents, leaving them unaware of the “real world” and what the future has in store for them.
Their lack of involvement and unwillingness to engage in relevant discussion is a sign of their detachment. In its extreme forms, “affluenza”.
Yes the outcomes are often preordained, but that is no excuse to not get off our ever enlarging derrières and engage. It’s a state of mind, not a physical limitation, and it’s our public duty. Our country does not ask much more of us. And go vote your conscience!
We have advanced as a people and as a nation since our inception, yes we have recently taken a step backwards, but we are the “melting pot of the world”. Our diversity is impressive, and needs to be cherished. Supporting an empathetic President who knows how to get us on a new and different path, by using everything at their disposal, including the valuable positive and negative lessons from the Trump years is the treatment we most desperately need now!
In medicine the term is “best practice”.
Medical providers deal with enemies everyday that want to hurt, and even end our lives. They are called diseases. We are never complacent, nor act in our own best interests. On the contrary we always act in the best interests of our patients. It is our code and we have taken an oath to maintain it. If Medicine remains a “noble profession” it is exactly for that reason.
In religion, the same ideal is embodied in the statement, “giving is better than receiving”.
Our founders and framers gave us an opportunity unlike any other on this planet. But there come times when our liberties and freedoms will be tested by our nation’s enemies. Often subtle like so many diseases, but more obvious to the experienced and the specialist, and later to all in retrospect.
Now is the time to face the enemy and demand justice be served, no matter how long it takes. Even if it backfires politically, it is the just thing to do. Tyrants always make that one tragic strategic mistake that allows mankind to survive.