When you hear Senator Tim Scott’s bold and elegant talk about fairness in the impeachment process, you’ll understand why President Trump relied so much on his support. You’ll also understand why America so clearly needs to know there are greater things at stake than political takedowns. Right and wrong matter. Fairness matters.
America needs to hear Scott’s lecture.
President Trump gave Scott a shout-out at his televised post-acquittal gathering on Thursday. Trump said Scott “was the first one to call me” about impeachment and said that Scott never wavered in his support.
Why did he take solace in Scott’s support? It all came down to one thing: fairness, or the lack of it.
Leading to the vote that acquitted President Trump, Scott spoke for nine minutes about how fairness was completely lacking in the impeachment process and how crucial it is to our rule of law. If you closed your eyes for a second you might have thought Ward Cleaver was having a heart-to-heart with the Beaver upstairs in the bedroom.
The thing I kept writing down in my notes was fairness. Because here in America you are innocent until proven guilty.
As the president’s defense team noted, “at the foundation of those authentic forms of justice is fundamental fairness. It’s playing by the rules. It’s why we don’t allow deflated footballs or stealing signs from the field. Rules are rules. They’re there to be followed.”
You can create all the rhetorical imagery in the world, but without the facts to prove guilt, it doesn’t mean a thing. They can say the president cannot be trusted, but without proving why he can’t be trusted, their words are just empty political attacks. You can speak of David versus Goliath, but if you are the one trying to subvert the presumption of innocence, if you are the one trying to will facts into existence…you are not David. You have become the Goliath.
Scott’s nine-minute soliloquy (video below) was also a takedown of the “deception” House managers used in Trump “unfair” trial:
[W]hat I’ve learned from watching the House managers’ very convincing, very convincing they were for the first day, and after that, what we realized was some facts, mixed with a little fiction, led to 100% deception.
You cannot mix facts and fiction without having the premise of deceiving the American public, and that’s what we saw here in our chambers.
… This process has lacked fairness… Instead, they paint their efforts as fighting on behalf of democracy when, in fact, they are just working on behalf of Democrats. That’s not fair. It’s not what the American people deserve.
As the country gets further and further away from knowing about civics fundamentals – due process, civil rights, innocent until proven guilty – it’s good to have one go-to lecture about fundamental fairness.
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