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Kamloops News

THOMPSON: History won't be kind to Senate Republicans in Trump impeachment trial

February 03, 2020 - 12:00 PM



Have you ever noticed that we human beings tend to take something simple and make it complex? I’ve found this to be the case more often than not…and proved it to myself once again last week.

It was a beautiful afternoon and I paused to watch a couple of guys - students at the University of Florida - toss a frisbee with their two dogs. These guys were tall, athletic, quick and nimble. They only occasionally missed catching the frisbee. But I noticed the two dogs never missed when it was thrown anywhere near them…not once.

When they paused to rest, I said, “You guys are pretty good…you must do this a lot?”

“Well, yes, we do,” one of the students said. “But, it’s really part art and part science.” I was struck by the young man’s assertion, and asked, “How so?”

“Every throw is different. We consider the temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, as well as the speed and angle of the frisbee,” he explained. “There’s a lot to consider if you want to be good.” I nodded, because it all seemed plausible. After all, I just watched these guys throw and catch a frisbee between their legs and behind their backs…making moves that would likely put me in traction.

The two walked over to drink from bottles of water…and one of the dogs followed them. The other stayed with me…a friendly dog…and I reached down to pet him. I’m not sure what kind of dog he was…my wife - who judges dogs - would have known in an instant. He was young, black and white, and wagged his tail a lot.

A dog catches a frisbee in this photo from Flickr.
A dog catches a frisbee in this photo from Flickr.
Image Credit: FLICKR / Doug Hurd

Like most people, I began talking with the dog. Of course, you don’t really expect answers when you talk to dogs. But we still say things like, “You’re a good boy, aren’t you?”

For some reason the dog stared at me intently, and I found myself asking him another question, “How are you so good at catching a frisbee, boy?”

Just then, his owner called his name, and he ran like stink when the young man threw that frisbee maybe 50 yards. The dog ran as fast as he could…and he never once diverted his eyes from the frisbee…until it was in his mouth. I had my answer.

Turns out that temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction aren’t all that important to catching a frisbee. It’s simply whether you can get to a frisbee - without being distracted -before it hits the ground. The dogs knew what their owners didn’t. The humans just made it more complex…more complicated.

So, last week as I watched the impeachment trial of President Donald J.Trump…I thought about what that dog taught me.

I don’t believe history will be kind to the 53 Republicans in the Senate who tried Trump. Led by Mitch McConnell and a team of second-rate television lawyers, the Senate Republicans did not judge Trump guilty despite facts and ample evidence.

Facts and evidence had little to do with the outcome in a corrupt Republican-led Senate. Every American with a brain knows that not removing Trump from office is simply wrong…it allows a corrupt administration to continue undoing American democracy and the Constitution. But, remember and take heart everyone who respects justice and fairness…what goes around comes around.

Every American should now consider just one single thought before the next election: Does an innocent man - and a jury seeking truth - want to consider every shred of evidence and hear every relevant witness? If I were charged with a crime or corrupt act and I was innocent…that’s all I would care about. That’s not complicated, is it?

I keep thinking about that dog. He never took his eyes off the frisbee…and ran just fast enough to catch it every time. He kept it simple. I think Americans might just do that in November.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.

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