The public impeachment hearings will begin in a couple of hours. When comparable hearings were held about Richard Nixon’s presidency, public opinion gradually turned against the president as they became informed of the reality of Nixon’s crimes. As public opinion turned, Nixon’s Republican allies in the Senate gradually grew more willing to find him guilty. Faced with the inevitability of his impeachment and removal from office, Nixon resigned.

It is heartbreaking that we already know the public exposure of the facts about Trump’s crimes and abuses in these hearings will have no effect on the opinions of Trump supporters, for whom such facts are unimportant or, by default, regarded as “fake,” part of a conspiracy right-wing propaganda media has convinced them is true. As their close-minded feality to Trump remains unaltered, so will the entrenched support of elected Republicans, many of whom know better. Lies and distortions about the motivations behind the impeachment efforts and opposition to Mr. Trump will continue to be generated and spread by the diseased triad of Trump’s enablers in Congress, his supporters in the electorate, and outlets like Fox News, Breitbart, etc.

As a “liberal” whose views are probably fairly representative, for what little it’s worth, I’d like to take a moment and state for the record that my disapproval of Mr. Trump has zero to do with “bitterness over Hillary losing.” It’s bullshit, okay? I was never a passionate fan of HRC and would actually have felt a little bitter if a centrist like her had won (although, for all her flaws, she was infinitely better than Trump); I respected the 2016 election outcome, although a sober examination of the facts that have subsequently come to light indicates that at least two quite dubious phenomena (a campaign by Russia to influence the election in favor of Mr. Trump and the pay-off by Mr. Trump, shortly before election day, of hush money to women he had had affairs with) might well have altered the election outcome. It’s impossible to know for sure.

My disapproval of Mr. Trump isn’t because I want “open borders.” What gibberish. I don’t want open borders. I want a sound, effective, pragmatic, humane immigration policy informed by research. Trump’s “big beautiful wall” is pretty much the opposite of that.

My disapproval of Trump has nothing to do with wanting to “take away guns from law-abiding Americans.” I don’t want to do that. Even if I were in favor of an outright gun ban, I know it wouldn’t be practically possible and I respect the view other law-abiding Americans have on this complex subject. I think policy that limits access to weapons of war for some individuals is perfectly reasonable, not because it would eradicate gun violence but because it would reduce it a little bit (research shows this) and it’s reflective of a healthful society to improve the public weal by making even symbolic attempts to reduce violence.

I don’t disapprove of Trump because I want to “kill babies right up to the day they are born” (this is a close-to-verbatim quote by Trump at one of his rallies, I think). I understand abortion is a highly divisive issue with no easy answers, but my support of women’s right to choose doesn’t include, as a motivation, a blood-lust for slaughtering infants. Actually, as a loving and devoted father, that whole idea is kind of offensive to me, you know?

I don’t disapprove of Trump because I “hate and want to destroy America.” I strongly support American democracy and want to support its best manifestations; these don’t include leaders’ getting away with ignoring the separation of powers, using their position to illegally enrich themselves and otherwise violating federal laws without consequence. This is not a partisan issue at all; if Obama, for example, had withheld approved aid to another country in return for dirt on a political opponant, I would say he should have been impeached and removed too.

I disapprove of Trump because he’s a bully, a conman, a gaslighter, a criminal, and an enabler of racists. He’s a cruel, crude, deluded, malignant narcissist. He’s a liar. He speaks approvingly of despots and derivisely of America’s allies. He treats women as mere things instead of humans, either as sex toys or surrogate mamas. He doesn’t “believe” in science and rejects the counsel of experts over his own gut notions, which include the snide dismissial of climate scientists, whose dire findings require urgent, concerted actions by all world leaders, especially the one leading the United States.

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