October 3, 2019
What a 14th Century Monk Can Tell Us About Impeachment
By Buck Sexton, Executive Editor
In the weeks ahead, you’re going to hear a lot about the need to protect our democracy. Both sides of the political aisle will point at the other, claiming transgressions that shake the country to its constitutional foundation. The overblown rhetoric of the impeachment inquiry will become a cacophony of partisan outrage.
To put all of this into clearer context, let’s turn to a neutral observer…
No, not the mainstream media.
Anyone paying attention should understand that America’s cable news channels and major newspapers are almost entirely staffed with political activists posing as journalists.
The neutral observer I’m talking about is William of Ockham, a Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher from 14th century England.
“You mean the razor guy?” you are no doubt wondering.
Indeed. William is credited with giving the world the heuristic of “Occam’s razor” (almost as elegant of an innovation as OneBlade.)
William explained this concept at length and applied it in many contexts back in the late medieval period. As he described it, “Plurality must never be posited without necessity.”
Put into action, Occam’s razor means you must slice away unnecessary assumptions in an argument with two competing conclusions and favor the simplest form.
Boiled down: The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.
So now we return to the present moment… What happens when you apply Occam’s razor to the frenzy over impeaching President Donald Trump?
First we have to start with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ theory of the case, so to speak: The belief that President Trump has once again committed an impeachable offense. (And conveniently enough, just in time for the 2020 election.)
That’s right, we are to believe that after three years of claims that Trump has broken the law or engaged in the high crimes and misdemeanors mentioned (but not described) in the Constitution, he has finally gone too far.
Remember, the Democrats didn’t manage to get anywhere on Russian collusion, the Emoluments Clause (foreign diplomats having cheeseburgers at Trump Hotels), Mueller’s obstruction of justice list, or the Stormy Daniels “hush money” campaign-finance violation. None of that was impeachable enough for Democrats to start an official inquiry.
But son of a gun, now they’ve got Trump! A call between our president and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine is all the Dems needed. The whistleblower has come forward – apparently from inside the intelligence community – to deliver Pelosi and company the pretext they needed at exactly the moment they needed it to impeach President Trump.
Was this fair play, or was it a partisan conspiracy?
For the answer, we turn to a 14th century monk: Which explanation for impeachment mania passes the scrutiny Occam’s razor?
Donald Trump has committed endless offenses against the Constitution and the American people – none of which pushed his opponents to impeach him – but luckily and at long last Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have him where they want him at the most opportune time for the 2020 election. Of course, they really didn’t want to drag the country through this, but our “democracy is at stake!”
The Democrats have been planning to do this all along. The whistleblower coordinated with Congressman Adam Schiff (and likely other Democrats) to release this report. And it didn’t matter what Trump said on the phone call with Ukraine or what he did in the past year… They were going to find a reason to impeach him and everything else is posturing and lies…
I’ll leave the slicing and dicing to you, dear reader.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
“Initially, we fully expect the negative sentiment to be more a driver of market volatility and Warren policy agenda carries significant market risks.”
For many companies, debt levels are now creeping higher, either by choice or involuntarily. Revenues are under pressure, and money is easy to raise. That tempts corporations to borrow to fund share buybacks and other moves that can boost earnings measures.
Not all that long ago – before the crony socialism that wrecked its economy, before the junta that robbed people of their rights, before the Weimar-level inflation that impoverished its people, before foreigners gave up on coming here – Venezuela had a lot going for it.
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Executive Editor, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
October 3, 2019