Last October, as the US House of Representatives was in the early stages of its bid to impeach President Donald Trump, a young man who is a regular viewer of my Fox News TV show The Next Revolution came up to me at Newark airport and asked a question that has stayed with me ever since.
‘Are they going to impeach us?’ Not ‘the President’. Or ‘Trump’. But ‘us’. Are they going to impeach us?
Like so many Trump supporters, he understood that what happened in 2016 was a massive rebuke to the establishment that had held power in the US for decades, regardless of who won actual elections.
Let’s be clear: the reason that President Trump is being impeached is that he had the effrontery to win an election that the establishment thought was theirs. They really are impeaching Trump voters as much as they’re impeaching the President himself
Democrat or Republican, it felt to most working Americans that it made very little difference.
You got the same policies (economic globalisation, uncontrolled immigration, government centralisation) and the same results: boom times for the centres of the new ‘knowledge economy’ – places like Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles; a slow collapse in America’s ‘heartland’ with jobs disappearing, wages stagnating and communities dying.
Literally dying, by the way, as an unprecedented opioid epidemic – pushed by pharmaceutical companies that use settlements as bribes and exacerbated by lax border controls that allowed drugs like fentanyl to pour into the country from China via Mexico – killed Americans at a greater rate than the Vietnam War.
By voting for Trump – much like voting for Brexit a few months before – people who had been ignored and let down were demanding to be listened to and lifted up. And the elites hated it.
Steve Hilton, former Director of Strategy at No10, is pictured above with former Prime Minister David Cameron. Trump will be acquitted and will emerge strengthened from the whole episode, bolstered by indisputable evidence of a successful presidency
In Britain, of course, they tried every trick in the book to overturn the Brexit vote, even resorting to the disgusting ploy of calculating the rate at which Brexit voters needed to ‘die off’ to make sure a second referendum delivered a Remain result.
Those who voted to leave the EU, in the condescending eyes of the arrogant and affluent metropolitan establishment, were old, stupid and racist – exactly how their elite counterparts in America viewed the voters backing Donald Trump. In a word: deplorable.
And it was the moment I became certain she would lose. No one who has such haughty contempt for their fellow citizens will be elected to lead them.
And yet neither she, nor the Democrats, nor the political, media, tech and business establishment in their comfortable bastions on the East and West coasts seem to have learned anything from Hillary’s ‘deplorables’ disaster.
Instead of asking how someone like Trump – in their view so spectacularly disqualified for the presidency with his simplistic promises like ‘build the wall’ and ‘drain the swamp’, and his vulgar personal style (even including boasts of sexual impropriety) – could possibly have defeated a candidate who was the embodiment of all that the ‘woke’ ruling class held dear, they simply ignored the result and set about overturning it.
By voting for Trump – much like voting for Brexit a few months before – people who had been ignored and let down were demanding to be listened to and lifted up. And the elites hated it
First, it was the claim that Trump didn’t ‘really’ win because Hillary won the popular vote – regardless of the fact that such a claim is unconstitutional.
The US Constitution specifies that a finely balanced Electoral College determines the presidential winner, in order to avoid dominance by the most populous states.
An attempt to mobilise so-called ‘faithless electors’ – those who don’t vote for the presidential candidate for whom they have pledged to vote – to oppose Trump in the Electoral College went nowhere, and so the establishment moved on to their next gambit: branding Trump an ‘illegitimate’ President because ‘the Russians’ swung the result in his favour.
It started with the Clinton campaign paying a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to produce a dossier of claims about Trump’s ties to the Russians – regarded by Trump supporters as fabricated, but defended by Steele as based on accurate raw intelligence.
This was leaked to the press before the election, and used by Clinton allies in the Obama administration to spy on the Trump campaign – an unprecedented breach of democratic norms.
After these misinformation efforts failed to stop Trump being elected, the establishment set about trying to remove him from office through impeachment.
Anyone who doubts this was the intention from the get-go simply needs to read a headline in the Washington Post: ‘The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.’
The date of that story? January 20, 2017, literally the day Trump was inaugurated as President.
Those who voted to leave the EU, in the condescending eyes of the arrogant and affluent metropolitan establishment, were old, stupid and racist – exactly how their elite counterparts in America viewed the voters backing Donald Trump. In a word: deplorable
Within months, there were demands for the President’s impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives, and a full-blown effort to derail and curtail his administration through a seemingly endless series of investigations into alleged collusion with Russia.
But four separate investigations – by the FBI, the House Intelligence Committee, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee and then the big one, the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller which dragged on for years – all came up empty-handed.
The wind finally seemed to have come out of the establishment’s sails on July 24 last year, with Robert Mueller’s own testimony to Congress. His lame, halting performance led most observers to conclude that the prospects for impeachment were dead.
But they never give up!
Days after the collapse of the ‘Russia-gate’ conspiracy theory, by an astonishing coincidence up pops a civil service ‘whistleblower’ (who turned out to have been an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden) with wild allegations of President Trump behaving inappropriately with a foreign leader.
And that, of course, led us to the moment we have reached today – President Trump’s