Opinion

Rashida Tlaib — Stop the Rhetoric and Get to Work

I am all for discord, especially in politics. In fact, it is really the backbone of our society. We love a divided government. Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote, “Our country, if you read the ‘Federalist Papers,’ is about disagreement. It’s about pitting faction against faction, divided government, checks and balances. The hero in American political tradition is the man who stands up to the mob – not the mob itself.” A very true statement. The only way to have a sound and functioning government is through argument and disagreement, as crazy as that may sound.

Many people don’t understand what exactly is meant by argument. They assume that an argument is an aggressive fight between two or more people, often highlighted by violence of speech or even action. However, that is not true. An argument, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is actually, “a: the act or process of arguing, reasoning, or discussing: argumentation; b: a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a point of view.” This is how new and better ideas are developed. I have always told my children that losing is how we learn. We look at the mistakes we made and develop strategies to get better. A good argument is the same thing. In this case, someone else is showing us the weakness in our argument. What is important is that the argument is made of salient points and that it serves a constructive purpose.

Of course, it would be wonderful if our political system operated under such nice decorum. However, that has never happened. Since the inception of our government, politicians have used end-of-the-world scenarios and statements to help rile their constituents. It has long been known that emotion, far more than intellect, rules our decision processes. The political class has always used this to their advantage with over-the-top pronouncements. However, this does not mean for a moment that we the people should accept such statements.

I am particularly disturbed with what I am hearing from the newly elected Democratic representatives in congress. Let us, for example, look at Rashida Tlaib. If this is what the democrats hold up as class and poise, we truly are a nation in trouble. Last Thursday, while speaking to a crowd of supporters, the Michigan Democrat and only second Muslim woman elected to Congress said about Trump: “People love you and you win. And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Momma, look you won. Bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf***er.'”

This sort of vitriol is not an argument. It is not even sensical. In fact, statements like this are absolute rubbish and designed to lead our country deeper into the cesspool that is currently Washington. How can you call Donald Trump a bully (which I can actually agree with, Trump exhibits classic bullying behavior) and then use the exact same rhetoric? There is a word for this, it is hypocrite. In order to try to make a more salient case, Tlaib even wrote an article published in the Detroit Free Press titled, “Now is the time to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”

So, let us look at her statements and article. She stated that people love you and you win, and isn’t that what happened with President Trump? Virtually half the country voted for him. How is it that the Democrats, who are now taking over the United States House of Representatives, have any more right to their positions than he does? I do not love Tlaib. In fact, from what I have seen and read, she seems like a hideous human being. Clearly, she should not be able to wield any governmental power. In fact, if she is calling people motherf***er to her son, she shouldn’t even be a parent. Therefore, by the lefts own standards she should be removed from power because she is an illegitimately elected official who is herself causing a constitutional crisis.

Aside from that though, what are they going to impeach the president for? She lays out the case, kinda, in her article. My issue is that many citations posited by Tlaib are taken either out of context or are so far-reaching, they are irrelevant. Here are her arguments and my issues with them:

1. Obstructing justice: This case is still under investigation, supposedly, by the special counsel. However, I have neither seen nor heard of anything that shows a clear example of this claim. Is Trump a bully and loudmouth who wants to get his way? Absolutely. Yet there is a difference between that and actively trying to improperly influence an investigation.

2. Violating the emolument clause of the constitution: This one is equally dumb. Essentially it states that Trump’s corporations can not have business dealings with foreign dignitaries. Why is that dumb? For me it comes down to equal protection. There is so much smoke around the Clinton’s business dealings and accusations of pay-to-play that it is almost impossible to believe there is no fire there. If we are going to go after Trump, let’s have a completely open and independent investigation of the Clintons as well. In fact, let’s investigate the entire congress.

3. Abusing pardon power: I had to research this one because I could not remember Trump pardoning anyone that caused an uproar by the left. The reason is because they are concerned about who he may try to pardon. This is really about the threat of pardoning himself or being able to pardon his son or lawyer should they be convicted of some wrongdoing. While I can understand the concern of U.S. presidents being able to pardon themselves, I refuse to get wrapped up in things that may or could happen.

4. Directing law enforcement to prosecute political adversaries for improper purposes: I assume that this is about the investigation into Hillary Clinton that Trump had called for during the election and then on occasion since then. I can somewhat understand, except for one problem. There is substantial evidence to suggest that the Clintons have been profiting illegally and using their power to keep themselves from prosecution. I have written about this very issue before. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If we can start a multimillion-dollar investigation on the president on the basis of a made-up intelligence report, shouldn’t we do the same when there is actual evidence of criminal behavior and misconduct?

5. Advocating violence: Again, there is a tinge of truth in this statement. Trump has made off the cuff statements, in jest, that did advocate violence. However, they were always made in a snarky and sarcastic manner. Let us briefly look at the history of violence that is the left: Antifa, Black Lives Matter, California GOP congressional candidate Rudy Peters attacked with a knife, Representative Steve Scalise shot and almost killed. I, for one, am much more concerned about actions than speech.

6. Ordering the cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families at the southern border: Since when is it illegal to detain people for breaking the law? Out of all the stupid statements made, this is by far the least intelligent. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 codifies the act of illegal immigration. End of story.

7. Conspiring to illegally influence the 2016 election: I believe that in most circles this is called running a campaign. Where is the illegal act? If the Democratic Party can legally conspire to win through lies and deceit, then what did the Trump camp do that was illegal?

Let’s have spirited debate and argument. Let’s emphatically attack people’s premises and ideas. Let’s engage people with facts instead of feelings. Let us not turn to violence of action. The elections are over. Just like Obama stated, there are consequences to losing. The Democrats learned that with the presidential election. The right learned it with the House. Now it is time to stop the campaigning and do the work they were elected to do.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Matthew Wadler

Matthew Wadler is a U.S. Army veteran. Matt served in the Army for 20 years as both enlisted and officer before retiring. His service includes time as Military Police, Field Artillery, Adjutant General, and Recruiting. His deployments include Somalia and two tours to Afghanistan. His formal education includes a master’s degree in HR Management. He is a strong supporter of the constitution and advocate for the military and veteran communities. Follow Matthew on Twitter @MatthewWadler.

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