Donald Trump
Credit: The White House/Flickr

Steve Benen says, “In theory, lawmakers charged with assessing the seriousness of Trump’s misconduct should value the judgment of the nation’s leading scholars.” But, as we all know, members of the modern Republican Party do not value the opinions of scholars, scientists, or experts of any kind. Rather, they hold these people up as elitists who look down on ordinary Americans. As Rep. Jim Jordan said during the House Judiciary Committee hearing that led to articles of impeachment, “They don’t like the 63 million people who voted for this President. All of us in flyover country, all of us from Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas, they don’t like us.”

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But whether Republicans want to listen or not, over 750 legal scholars have concluded that Trump has committed impeachable offenses and over 750 historians have just co-signed a letter concluding the same thing. Their conclusions are based on their understanding of what the Founding Fathers feared and intended when they included presidential impeachment in the Constitution.

On that score, see if what Alexander Hamilton wrote sounds applicable to Trump:

Hamilton understood, as he wrote in 1792, that the republic remained vulnerable to the rise of an unscrupulous demagogue, “unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents … despotic in his ordinary demeanour.” That demagogue, Hamilton said, could easily enough manage “to mount the hobby horse of popularity – to join in the cry of danger to liberty – to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion – to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day.” Such a figure, Hamilton wrote, would “throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’”

It’s almost like Alexander Hamilton had  clearer foresight than Nostradamus. It makes me wonder if he based this merely on his understanding of human nature or perhaps had some specific historical examples in mind.

The Founding Fathers were children of the Enlightenment, and it’s not difficult to know what they would think about a political party that devalues education, scholarship and expertise. But, whether we like it or not, that’s where we are as a country, being led by resentful know-nothing demagogues and their enablers.

If that doesn’t concern you, then this certainly should:

President Donald Trump, the first modern president to face impeachment during his first term in the White House, now leads his top Democratic rivals in his bid for a second, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds.

The national survey, taken as the House of Representatives planned an impeachment vote and the Senate a trial, showed Trump defeating former Vice President Joe Biden by 3 percentage points, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by 5 points, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren by 8 points.

In hypothetical head-to-head contests, Trump also led South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg by 10 points and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg by 9.

Over in the United Kingdom, the left was just beaten down to a level not seen since the 1930s. Here in the United States, it’s time for people to get serious about the threat we face.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at