LONSBERRY: WHAT I WROTE 3 YEARS AGO TODAY


If you destroy Trump, you destroy the presidency. And if you destroy the presidency, you destroy the Republic.

That's where we are now.

The slow-motion coup has devolved into a low-grade civil war, and hatred has become the coin of the political realm. Once we took up our politics because of our love for our country, now we do it because of our hatred for our opponents.

It is that way for both sides, and the foundations of the nation are washing away in the rising tide of incivility. It is beginning to look like the French revolution. People have sincere worries about civil disorder and the ability of our system to survive this storm.

And it all centers around Trump.

Because of his miscues, and because of an unrelenting attempt to push him from office and nullify the 2016 election.

There is a clear and undeniable coordinated effort to take him down, to drive him from the presidency. It has trickled down from its organizers to become a moblike frenzy in the hearts of the people and the streets of the country.

And it may succeed. The Trump presidency may become unsustainable.

What a tragedy that would be for the nation. Not because of Trump. He -- like all presidents -- is temporary and interchangeable. But because of the precedent it would set and the instability it would introduce.

Driving Trump from office would make every future presidential election illegitimate, and would destroy the function of the presidency in our Republic.

How so?

By showing the shrillest partisans that they no longer had to accept the outcome of elections. By demonstrating that the constitutional manner of presidential election by the people did not have to be respected.

Every political operative would know that if it worked once, it might work again, and the morning after every election, the losing side would begin its effort to take the winner down. That is an undeniable truth. The lust for political blood is the driving power of our two parties. They have no off season, they only have anger and avarice, and those two passions will be given free rein, as they have been since the Trump election.

For some 225 years we accepted the outcome of elections, and we accepted the presidencies of the winners of those elections. That gave us a continuity and stability -- even under weak or unpopular presidents -- that were essential to our national survival. And now we are endangering that outcome by rejecting that tradition.

If you push out Trump, the losing party and its followers will never again accept a presidential election. That means America will never again truly have a president. That's not good.

Chaos is not a healthy state, it is not a desirable end. Yet it is the focus and purpose of the current beseiging of Trump and his presidency. He may be the target, but the country may end up being the collateral damage. Those who truly love the country, and are truly working for what they believe is its best interest, may do well to weigh the impact of an unpopular or inept president against the destruction of the institution he represents.

It ends up not being about Trump, it ends up being about America. And do we select our leaders by voting, or by demonstrating in the streets?

If you destroy Trump, you destroy the presidency. And if you destroy the presidency, you destroy the Republic.

But then, that might be what this is all about anyway.

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