Virtually everyone not living in a cave in Afghanistan knows there is a giant disconnect between Washington D.C.’s inside the beltway political elite and real America. In can be persuasively argued that this disconnect finally reached critical mass in 2016 resulting in the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency.
The early days of 2020 show that as the President systematically accomplishes his populist agenda that gulf is widening. This as the twin political dramas of an impeachment trial in the senate and voting in the 2020 Presidential primaries and caucuses take the spotlight.
It is important to not to think of the beltway mentality geographically. Clearly President Trump, who currently resides there, does not suffer from that worldview. The current messengers of the Left are out stumping on the presidential campaign trail taking them far away from the banks of the Potomac.
The nation’s capital is transfixed by the impeachment of Donald Trump so much so those residing there actually think it matters. They make sonorous pronouncements about the seriousness of the matter, how history weighs heavily on the proceedings. They solemnly parade through the capitol rotunda carrying their precious articles of impeachment like a graven idol to be placed upon an altar for worship.
Meanwhile, outside of the beltway, real America has tired of the charade. Polls show voter support for impeachment falling, while President Trump’s approval ratings move ever upward. In several key battleground states, late year polling showed the President moving ahead of his potential Democratic rivals even as the House of Representative cast its votes to impeach him.
Despite this and despite the frivolity of the charges, the United States Senate is bound by the Constitution to perform its due diligence and sit as a jury to determine whether or not to remove the president from office. A two-thirds vote is required for that to happen, so it will not. Although we will be subjected to several more weeks of this drama we all know how the story ends.
As congress wallows in its impeachment fantasy the nation moves on with serious business. In just one week President Trump concluded months of talks with China and signed Phase I of a new trade agreement. While much work remains to be done, and additional agreements will be forthcoming, inking of the deal was a landmark achievement.
And then there is the U.S./Mexico/Canada free trade agreement. A final accord was reached months ago, but the agreement languished in the House of Representatives while Nancy Pelosi and her minions focused on impeachment. The House finally approved the plan, and a large bi-partisan Senate vote quickly followed. The president then triumphantly signed the accord.
Like the president, the nation has continued to move forward while the impeachment saga unfolds. The equity markets are notoriously skittish. The slightest bit of negative news can spark huge drops in the markets. Markets, as does business in general, especially hate uncertainty. You would think nothing would inject more uncertainty into the economy than the possible removal of a president from office via the impeachment process. Yet as the House moved its two articles of impeachment and the Senate trial got underway the markets hit new all-time highs.
Job creators also appear to be unaffected. The nation’s economy continues to add new jobs at a brisk pace while unemployment hovers at or near historic lows. Groups that have traditionally suffered the highest unemployment rates have especially benefitted from the robust jobs climate
Clearly the movers and shakers of the U.S. economy are not taking impeachment seriously. President Trump is going about doing his job continuing to post wins in trade and other policy objectives. And voters appear ready to move on to the legitimate electoral process about to unfold.
The world of beltway insiders once again bears no semblance to the outside world. That the nation has moved on to great accomplishments while insiders have been distracted by impeachment not only proves the disconnect is real and growing, but that the elites who think so much of themselves are in fact largely irrelevant.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is [email protected].)
Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.