Thursday, February 27, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

An Open Letter to
President Donald J. Trump

January 19, 2020 --

Dear Mr. President:

Congratulation on your third anniversary as our 45th president. To think that there are many people who thought you would have been removed from office long before now.

As it happens, your third anniversary in the White House coincides with the effort by your political adversaries to see you ousted from office not long after your February 4 State of the Union Address, if not sooner. 

A New York Times headline, January 13, however, said, in part, "Dislodging Trump Is Unlikely...."  It is apparent, therefore, that even most, if not all, your enemies concede that the  attempt to remove you from office before January 20, 2021 will not succeed.   Still, you must contend with a trial in the Senate.  The trial offers you the opportunity to impress upon the American people the true nature of this impeachment: a refusal to accept you as the legitimate President of the United States, elected, pursuant to the terms of the Constitution, in 2016.  Please accept these thoughts from a grass root concerning the trial on impeachment.

Bear in mind the observation of Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr, in the January 11-12 edition, "A claim is not credible just by virtue of its being made. A bunch of unsupported claims do not become more credible because they  come in a bunch." 

Your enemies have seized on the transcript of your July 25, 2019 phone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, to claim that you pressured the Ukraine leader, according,  to  a New York Times article, January 13, for example, "to investigate [your] political rivals [cq], including by withholding as leverage a White House meeting and nearly $400 million in vital military aid from the country."   

At most, the transcript of your conversation with President Zelensky revealed a request that Ukraine look into the curious conduct of a political rival -- former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., not "rivals" -- and his son Hunter concerning the younger Biden's position as a very well-paid director for  a Ukraine energy company that had been under investigation by Ukraine.  Your enemies do not acknowledge that the Obama administration did not provide Ukraine military assistance to defend Donbas against separatist forces; nor do they acknowledge that the aid at issue was forthcoming within the required time. 

The claim in the first Article of Impeachment is simply not credible -- that in requesting an investigation of the Bidens you "abused the powers of the Presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit." This is merely an example of zealously creative, and over-the-top partisan, political writing.  

As for the "Obstruction of Congress" claim in  Article II, how can a presidential action -- resisting subpoenas --  that should, arguably, lead to disposition by the courts, be considered deserving of removal from office -- unless the principle of separation of powers is to be discarded?

Your enemies indicate that the false, indeed vicious, accusations against you will continue throughout your second term.   

The imperial House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised the specter of Russian interference in the forthcoming presidential election as even more "brazen"   than in 2016.   Frank Rich, in the January 6 - 19, 2020 issue of New York magazine compared officials in your administration, and others who support you,. to collaborators with the Nazis.   

The zeal with which your political and media enemies impute the worst possible motives to you should be obvious to most Americans, by now. Just consider the response of your enemies to the successful operation  taking down the ruthless Number Two man in Iran, General Qassem Soleimani.   A brief item in the New York Post, January 12, pointed to the comprehensive planning that went into this action, indicating that we had Special Ops forces on the ground to photograph the aftermath of the killing of Soleimani.   A lengthy Times story, January 12,  on the killing of Soleimani, however,  omitted mention of  Special Ops forces on the ground at the Baghdad airport.  The title of the story, "SEVEN DAYS:  How the Trump Administration Pushed The U.S. and Iran to the Brink of War,"  clearly reflected bias against you.   Yet, the Times itself, in its January 13 edition suggested the bankruptcy of its effort to question your judgment in approving the operation taking down Soleimani.  The January 13 edition ran a story how U.S. victims of Soleimani -- maimed military personnel, and families of dead service members -- believe justice was done in his killing.   Another story in the Times, January 13, quoted the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Hossein Salami as declaring, "'We are at war with the United States."  This stark comment was made as this general apologized for the downing of a Ukraine civilian airlines, killing 176 people, including 57 Canadians, a few hours after Iran fired missiles at two airbases in Iraq housing U.S. military personnel.    Bear in mind, too, the comment of Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, January 11-12, with reference to the killing of Soleimani: "For the first time in 40 years, since the hostages were taken in the U.S. Embassy  in Tehran, the Iranian government took a hard jab from America right in the face."    Imagine -- finally, after 40 years,  we gave a hard jab to Iran! 

Mr. President, what you are guilty of, I submit,  is taking a fresh look at public policy, at home and abroad.  As the action against Soleimani shows, you have taken a fresh look at our policy towards Iran, a policy that previously seemed to hold that Iran could be at war with us, but we could not be at war with Iran, and must turn the other cheek to its acts of violence against American people and property.  As indicated above, your enemies are really those who demand continuing the status quo, no matter how counterproductive that status quo is to the common good.  

You have insisted  on taking a fresh look at the administrative state and its hidebound way of operating.  Certainly you have taken a free look at our relations with our allies, include the  NATO countries.   And just consider your innovative poiicy vis-a-vis the Middle East, and, in particular, our ties to Israel. One caveat, downplay triumphalism. By emphasizing your  fresh approach to public policy in the 21st century, how can you not overcome the resistance of your enemies to your goal of maintaining the greatness of  America? One last thought:  pardon Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn -- to send a message to your enemies that you will not be inhibited by their propaganda from serving the American people.

Very truly yours, 
David R. Zukerman