The Impeachment

The elephant in the room here is that Trump got impeached. I was wrong, underestimating the ruthlessness and partisanship of the dems. I was not the only one who was wrong, but so was James Altucher, who, like myself, holds the distinction of being possibly one of a handful of people who timed the post-2009 recessions and bull market perfectly, and to the best of my knowledge is still bullish on stocks an the US economy. His case for why Trump would not be impeached seemed solid, and I had reason to believe him given his track record. Our mistake was trying to look at this from a rational and strategic perspective. But the dems didn’t care if there were possible extenuating circumstances. They just wanted Trump to be impeached even if the case was flimsy or it would die in the Senate, and that is what they delivered on. All it took was a vote. Like James, I contemplated betting against impeachment on PreditIt, but the $800 betting limit didn’t make it worth the hassle given that, at most, I stood to make only a few hundred dollars.

A question/concern that has come up is if impeachment will lead to political instability. Anyone who reads this blog will know, the US has defied all predictions of such instability even as the political climate feels more partisan and divisive than ever. All this anger and division online has manifested itself very little offline. With the exception of the occasional protest or antifa scuffle, things seem to be very civil, and economically and socially things have not collapsed by any stretch, but are thriving. More or less, people are getting along. Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton’s various scandals were worse than anything Trump allegedly has done. Unlike the Iran Contra scandal or Watergate, the Trump presidency is in no way in jeopardy, or at worst only only minimally culpable.

It’s a foregone conclusion it will die in the Senate, and that will be the end of it, unlike Watergate. This is why even among the left there is tepid enthusiasm, because it won’t help achieve the let’s main objective: getting Trump out of office, and it may even backfire. I am not too worried and I don’t think things will get worse. It may set a precedent for more impeachments of future presidents and create a more divided political climate, but it does not really threaten society or the economy that much.

The major test for the left is if Trump’s approval ratings will decline in the aftermath. The left invested significant political and capital into this. If Trump’s approval ratings rise, then impeachment will be deemed a strategic mistake.The best thing that can happen is Trump sees a surge in popularity if impeached, not because I am pro-Trump, but because it will demonstrate that these tactics will not work, and thus dissuade either party from doing it. And seeing the monster the left created turn on its creators, will be fun too.

The Z Man weighs in, arguing that the impeachment is demonstrative of the failure of representative democracy:

One thing we are learning about modern democracy is that it is a myth. The people are not in charge. They get to vote on things and select representatives, but those representative don’t actually represent the interests of the people, who voted them into their positions. The office holders in a modern democracy represent the interests of the money-men who sponsored them. Politicians in a democracy are like prize fighters, in that they are controlled by a management team.

Hmmm…if America were not a representative democracy, Hillary, who got more votes than Trump, would be president. Direct democracy may give more power to individuals, but possibly also produces worse-off outcomes, too, in terms of worse candidates and even more corruption. Moreover, if the public rather than the Senate were to decide the fate of Trump, likely given large populations of non-white, anti-Trump people, Trump would be convicted, and not to mention, masses of immigrants would vote themselves even more benefits than they have already. One can see how such a system could spiral out of control.