The attack on the Capitol and Trump’s second impeachment trial centered on the same thing . . . Listening versus Hearing and our Constitutional Law. Let me begin by saying our Constitutional Law is supposed to outline the Intent of the Law. I call it the intended outcome of the law. However, as we all know, we and our courts are the bodies that render decisions on the Constitutional Intent. Meaning we sit in judgement, as jurors, of the perpetrator of the crime according to the law.
Since law, at the highest level and even much lower levels, is often not crystal clear, we listen to evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense of the perpetrator. This is exactly where listening versus hearing enters our decision process.
Listening and hearing are not the same and often the prosecutor and the defense intentionally base their case on listening or hearing. The prosecution often has the job of proving the abstract version of the case, “What did YOU hear?” and, “What did YOU see?” The capital letter emphasis is there for a reason. It’s what YOU heard and saw, which may be different than what someone else heard or saw.
The defense’s job is to make you believe that the actual words or actions are all there is to the evidence. Meaning what you should have actually heard or seen are the only relevant facts in your decision process. Nothing else matters.
The prosecution’s abstract version of the evidence is much harder to prove. Often, they must connect other seemingly unrelated statements or actions of the perpetrator as additional proof of the perpetrator’s intent and ultimately their guilt.
Now for the Second Impeachment Trial.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans made convincing arguments in their trial presentations. However, both were skewed toward their constituency base. The House of Representatives Impeachment Team, all Democrats, accumulated and presented evidence leading up to and including January 6th. Meaning the Democrats, the Prosecutors, made their abstract case (listening) showing many of the Trump events, statements, tweets, actions and conversations leading up to and including the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The Democrats were trying to prove Trump intended to create an insurrection. The Republicans, the defenders of Trump and the Trump legal team, made their case about the day of January 6th and for the most part only the fact that Trump used the words “peacefully and patriotically march to the Capitol”. The Republicans were trying to prove Trump had no role in the insurrection by recounting some of his exact words (hearing) on the day of the insurrection.
The bottom line according to Trump, as we all heard for months, “the election process is rigged against him UNLESS he wins”. Following up on that statement is something like this, “we must do something if they steal the vote. From steal the vote came Trump follower’s slogan, “Stop the Steal”.”
So what is the TRUTH? How should We the People look at this trial?
Trump has no real defense. Praise for bad follower behavior, followed by statements about peaceful marches is confusing. Which is it? When there is confusion in the minds of listeners, who are followers, from months of conflicting rhetoric and actions, there is no real defense.
What people heard and what was conveyed, could be two different things. However, the result is same, an understanding or misunderstanding leading to an intended or unintended result for which someone must be held accountable. Even if insurrection was not Trump’s intention, insurrection was the result. His continued rhetoric and actions at rallies, on twitter and other sources motivated some of his followers to attack the Capitol. Those followers are now using his rhetoric as a basis for their defense. They believed the attack on the Capitol was what he wanted, even though he couched it in the words “peacefully and patriotically march to the Capitol”. Those followers believed Trump was telling them, from their months of listening, “attack the Capitol”!
Whether you are Trump supporter or Biden supporter, Democrat or Republican makes no difference, leaders that don’t immediately, within the hour, condemn significant violence or provocative rhetoric are not leaders. However, we have become so partisan that this simple understanding left us struggling with what to do. We sat on our hands for months prior to the 2020 election and continued to observe Trump use this type behavior. In fairness, because our governing system does not adequately address this type of situation, we must now address it with bi-partisan Constitutional legislation.
In America, leaders cannot be the instigator of violence against anyone, either directly or indirectly by their actions and rhetoric. Such action or rhetoric must automatically disqualify them for any position in governing leadership or if in office, must immediately initiate an investigation and hearing for removal from governing leadership. Leadership of this kind is not the America we created so many years ago. In America, leadership restrains from violence or the instigation of violence until violence is the only way to subdue actual violence against the innocent.
In our Democracy peaceful protest is allowed, violence of any kind is not. We cannot have leaders that can’t make this simple process understood! Neither can we have leaders that use their power to influence law enforcement action against peaceful protesters. Leaders like Trump at the top are not leaders. We the People need leaders that are much better than that.
Additionally, We the People, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or like me, a longtime Republican voter switched to Democrat, we must strip away party affiliation by doing away with political parties. Political parties only separate us, and therefore, cannot serve all of us. We must now vote only for True Leaders, leaders who care about all of us and each of us, nothing else matters. Our Democracy, our Country and our world is falling apart due to misguided partisan leadership. True Leaders know that we need a serious tweak to our way of governing, our economic system and most of all our connection. Without better connection between each other, we are on a short path to humanity’s destruction. Accordingly, courageous True Leaders will focus only on ALL People First solutions . . . because today’s world demands it!