Caston George is a 10-year veteran political professional and former politician, accomplished writer, researcher, author, and archivist.
Why Impeachment Does Not Matter, And Is Not At All Important But There Is A Crisis In Seattle More Worthy Of Your Attention
Originally published during the Trump impeachment proceedings.
Let us prologue herein for the ideologues amongst the readership: I do not vote, I do not donate, I have absolutely no preferences, either publicly or privately, in the American presidential sweepstakes.
That’s what I call it because that’s what it is.
I am completely and utterly impartial to the contest, and indifferent to the result.
Being in America, but not part of it, I have no skin in the political game, and ergo, am empowered with a unique perspective and equally am so empowered to, among other things, view your system from all sides, and, without contamination of bias, or the shortsighted myopia of being involved, call it how I see it, and speak truth to stupid.
What I have to say may be uncomfortable for many to read, and even difficult, perhaps, for many to understand; I urge you to read this article in its entirety, and considering the whole of it, before casting an opinion as something written here may in fact surprise you.
To my knowledge, this is the only article written thus far with this message; it is not a carbon copied ideological piece with oft’ repeated talking points.
Impeachment Does Not Matter
The undeniable truth — which is true, and shall remain true regardless of your approval or disapproval of it — is this: These impeachment proceedings against the American president don’t matter.
That’s right, you read that correctly, they don’t matter.
Not even a little bit.
But the good news is that I am here to tell you is what truly matters, and really IS important, and I shall later give you an Imperative, and I shall ask you to remember what your priorities ought to be.
I pride myself on being, as best as I can, a Kingly fellow, you could say.
Tonight, I write and speak on behalf of my people; and all Kings have people, after all, from Henry V to Doctor Martin Luther King.
Let me tell you about mine. But let’s do this properly.
First, it must be said and understood, in truth, that these impeachment procedures do not matter because the outcome is already known: everyone knows how it’s going to go down, and it’s not going to result in the removal of Mr Donald J Trump from his elected office as premier of the United States of America.
I write this before the lower house in its legislature votes on the matter, which is widely expected to be a vote for impeachment.
It shall then be put to it’s upper house, where Mr Trump is expected to be acquitted, and for the moment we shall set aside all questions regarding that process (questions such as, how can a group of persons with ambitions of election to said office vote for the removal of a competitor and incumbent? How can a group of politicians be considered fair and impartial judges without taint or bias? How is any of this in any way legally ethical, or the result enforceable? And, are you serious, who designed this absurd system, and why hasn’t it been replaced yet?) for another writer and another article to answer, because they are not relevant to the reasoning and rationale behind the piece you are presently considering.
This isn’t a legal proceeding, its politics; a campaign, by any other name, would reek just the same.
And so this campaign reeks, even if a “campaign” it is not called.
One must remember that justice is far more likely to be found in courts, whether Royal or legal, than it is at the ballot box or on a campaign trail.
As was once aptly noted by Harold Macmillan, Earl of Stockton and former Prime Minister from the Conservative Party, who rose from within the ranks of the Churchill Ministry: “there is no justice in politics.”
And the Earl of Stockton was absolutely correct, there is no justice in politics; he said so in 1957, as the Tories were readying to pressure Sir Antony Eden, the Earl of Avon and then-Prime Minister to submit his resignation to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, rather than face the utter disgrace of losing the confidence vote from his own government and party following the crisis of the Suez Canal.
To prioritise his health and family life, Sir Antony submitted his resignation to the Queen, and Her Majesty appointed Macmillan as his replacement shortly thereafter.
The background here is important to consider, as is the process; though as ambitious as the American legislators who vote later today on impeachment of Mr Trump from his office, his health and his fear of dishonour and disgrace was what many scholars and historians believe led to Sir Antony submitting his resignation to Queen Elizabeth.
The difference, in the view of this non-participant observing the impeachment proceedings in real time, is that the brazenness of the ambitions of all sides far outweighs any sense of honour or fear of disgrace any of them may have.
The impeachment process of Mr Trump is all grandstanding and political theatre, and that’s it.
It is hyped up by politicians and subsequently lapped up ravenously by all outlets of the American news media, and skewed through the lenses of the respective ideological slants each of those outlets quite obviously possess, yet spend a great deal of time repeating to their viewers that their particular outlet is the only one that isn’t biased.
It is used by Trump’s GOP Party as red meat to his political base, for they get to tell their voters that the “other guys did what we all knew they were going to do!” and use that line to fund-raise for GOP candidates.
It is being used equally so by the opposition, the Democrat Party, as “we are sending them a message, because the other guys did what we all knew they were going to do!” and trying to weaken Mr Trump’s position in future elections (still too long from now to be considered as “this” election in the present tense).
Yet, it is universally agreed that the Senate will acquit Mr Trump of his accused criminal charges and/or actual criminal offences.
We do not know which betwixt those two is actually the case, because legislative politicians are not judges nor investigators, and there is not one to be found among them who would be considered to be a fair or impartial judge or juryman: how could there be? They’re politicians.
Once all of the tinsel is stripped away and the coatings of sugar removed, and the razzle dazzle of the star-spangled ad campaigns unwrapped, and the hyperbolic language about ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ jettisoned, all you are left with is a simple popularity contest, held amongst a populace with short attention spans, below average-levels of informedness amongst electors (whom have no qualifications to present except age and citizenship), who are easily led to believe just about anything with the right ad campaign, and who can’t find the willpower to put down their cell phones or find their “off” switches.
The nature of a popularity contest is always petty; to win one, one must lie by default, or at least, make an opponent appear awful, even if they aren’t awful in actuality.
It is nothing more than a higher stakes form of a contest amongst teenagers to determine a prom queen, except for the presidential sweepstakes, far more money is spent on the sleeze than is spent in the typical contest to be the most popular girl in school: and in the United States of America, a nuclear power, to the winner of such a sleazefest, the reins of its governance.
And, also, apparently, judicial power — who said anything about the Goddess of Justice holding untipped scales in her Divine balance, again?
She must be pre-weighting one scale over the other, as the outcome of the investigation and “trial” on the part of American Senators has been decided before it has even begun, because of the political affiliation of the “judges” (legislators, in other words; in truth, nothing close to what a sensible man would call a real judge, mind you).
Impeachment has a good use for these politicians, in that most of them have ambitions for Senator, Governor, etc, and if they can use this spotlight upon them to sneak in a ten second draft slogan on Fox, MSNBC, CNN or Cspan that their voters might remember and correctly associate that quote with the person who said it might remember that politician in a future election.
Until then, voters are — of bloody course — encouraged to “vote right now, today, with their wallets” and cough up with money to give to this already well-funded lot as they watch the impeachment proceedings unfold on their television sets in real time.
Just like you are encouraged to text your favourite contender on Britain’s Got Talent during the performance broadcast.
Thus we have discovered the true purpose for these proceedings, and they have absolutelty nothing to do with law and justice — for were it to be about law and justice, it would be held in an actual courtroom presided over by a singular independent judge, unelected, and unappointed by anyone presently in American government.
So impeachment is not only making a complete farce of the American legal and criminal justice system, to say nothing of its political system, and a mockery of the concepts of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, or ‘equal justice under the law’, but it’s true purpose is no better than a talent show telethon.
But Do You Know What Does Matter?
These proceedings are actually rather expensive, and this is an appropriate time to add another stream of consideration to juxtapose against the until-now-unquestioned “importance” of the “impeachment”, of Mr Trump; something that’s actually important.
As expensive as these precedings are, do you know what’s also expensive?
Housing in Seattle, Washington.
Some of you who read this piece are politicians or staffers thereof — without naming anyone specifically, I am honoured that at least three members of the United States House of Representatives and more than a half dozen congressional staffers, whom I happen to know personally, are reading this very article — your continued readership is humbling and appreciated.
So, aware that this article may have some influence upon government, and, with any luck, will, I must point out that some of you are actively trying to make Mr Trump ‘homeless’, or trying keep him in ‘his’ ‘home’ (the White House), depending upon your political persuasion, or for the majority of readers, rooting for those who are attempting to do one or the other.
However, there are a few thousand people I can think of who have been trying to get their government to pay attention to their homelessness, for a few years now, and, sorry, but, to the back of the line you go, Donald.
It is true that impeachment is meaningless and empty, and the outcome predetermined, and known in advance.
As it shall not result in the removal of Mr Trump from the White House, regardless of what evidence is found or presented, because of politics and the political affiliations amongst those who make up what we shall laughably refer to as a “judiciary” amongst Senators, in short, it is not important.
…but what IS important is that in Seattle, every year, at least 1,500 people die because of exposure to the elements.
That is to say, there are a minimum of, at the very least, over one thousand and five hundred Seattleites that die annually who otherwise did not have to.
And they die deaths that are completely and wholly preventable.
Why don’t they go inside? It’s hard to afford a place to live in Seattle, WA.
There’s no rent control, and the housing market in tech-centre Seattle has jumped unsustainably high for this very middle-class city; the infrastructure was not ready to withstand it, and neither were the people of the city, whom the city was formed and its government instituted to serve and protect.
It’s amazing to me when I consider that when I first moved to Seattle, every friend that I made — every one of them — had a home; and I made lots of friends, despite the infamous ‘Seattle Freeze’ (you may look this up on your own), given my position in the tourism industry that I held for the first three years of my residency.
That was six years ago.
Today, I can think of only two friends amongst all of the people I have met in this city since then that aren’t homeless.
All of the friends that had homes when I got here no longer do.
Most do not live on the street; the vast majority of them engage in something called couchsurfing, in which they stay with friends that do have homes, either semi-permanently, on a rotating or semi-regular basis, or, whenever they can find someone with a free sofa space for a night or two.
Only a few short months ago, I had more than two friends with apartments, a fair number higher than that, actually.
The housing market had a hiccup again, and shakeups and closures at the local housing authorities and affordable housing organisations have resulted in a forced exodus to the couchsurfing world of bartering, trading, paying, begging, and pleading for a place to stay among friends, strangers, visitors, whomever may be willing to receive them.
These impeachment proceedings represent the true absurdity of American governance, but the brutal and nightmarish reality of the American lives that that government was formed to safeguard the general welfare thereof show the consequences of that absurdity, as well as of the selfishness of its politicians, of every party and ideology, who are focused on this Impeachment-That-Won’t-Result-In-An-Impeachment (making a statement for the sake of making a statement, might be a better way to describe it), instead of, for example, certain things which those politicians have yet to address to any effective or even appreciable degree that have required their attention for quite a while now.
Such as, for example, the extreme and grave crisis of the second great depression of the United States of America, exemplified by present-day Seattle, Washington.
Do pardon me, I know to refer to it as such might make you uncomfortable, but you’ll forgive me if I disregard the pleasantries for the rest of this article, and just call a spade a spade.
‘Gay For A Place To Stay’
This impeachment won’t impeach, and much like erectile dysfunction, will not do what you hope it will, even if you really, really want it to.
The list of reasons why the impeachment procedings are a waste of time and completely unimportant by every measure and standard are as innumerable as is the list of things that deserve your attention far more than the impeachment hearings do.
So while you’re watching these impeachment proceedings (that you know in advance of their even occurring how they are going to roll) and pretending as hard as you can that it’s important, there are STRAIGHT men in Seattle on Grindr, right now, as I type these very words, pretending as hard as they can to be gay, because it might get them a safe place to sleep tonight that’s indoors.
And maybe dinner, too, if he’s nice.
Some of these men pretend to be gay just for an evening. Others, longer.
Some have girlfriends, or wives, and some even have children.
One such man, whom I know personally, and shall refer to as “Bob”, has a child who not only does not know that her father is homeless — a fact that he keeps from her with absolute secrecy — he says that she “will never know” that Bob has pretended to be a gay man, in order to be able to keep his possessions and stay several nights per week with a man who believes Bob to be his steady boyfriend.
Bob works two jobs, and still cannot afford a place of his own.
He regrets lying to the man he stays with. “It will break his heart into pieces [when he finds out], but I have to do what I have to do,” Bob said, and when I asked him how he thinks that conversation will go, he replied, “I will tell him the truth, he deserves that. I hope he can forgive me. I hope he can understand.”
When I asked Bob if he had any feelings for him, he said, “I do. I really wish it were platonic, but, part of me has come to love him, appreciate him. I hope he still wants to be in my life when I…”
“When you tell him the truth of how and why you came to be with him?” I ask.
Bob nods. “It’s messy and it’s complicated. It’s f***ed up, I know. But what else can we do?”
What else can we do, indeed.
(“Bob” gave me explicit permission to include his experiences in this article during an in-person interview; “Bob” is not his real name, and his identity will not be revealed by me to anyone, either directly or indirectly, anywhere, at any time, for any reason.)
Having sex with the gender you’re in no-way attracted to, and even dating them, even without that other person knowing anything is amiss, “is a small price to pay when you’ve got nowhere else to go, no other choice,” Bob says.
Two Anglicans Admiring A Group of Secret Agent Catholic Nuns
Social justice advocacy groups equate such circumstances as those that Bob lives with every night and every day with sex trafficking and survival-based prostitution, and are asking for greater recognition of the practice.
One sex-workers rights’ activist whom I attend church with who actively tries to help her “sisters on Aurora” [Aurora Blvd in Seattle has a reputation for being frequented by men looking to pay for sexual experiences] leave their pimps and what she rather politely calls, “the life”.
Wendy, 54, routinely puts herself in harm’s way, often at great personal risk, to persuade or even outright rescue, women (and some men) away from “the life”, and in particular, those “who are doing it because they have to or because they’re forced to, or because they don’t have any way out.”
This invariably includes sex-workers who are only in “the life” for lack of housing.
I meet Wendy in the tranquil gardens on the spacious grounds outside of the church we both share, and we sit in a beautiful gazebo space filled with the scent of fresh, crisp winter aires, watching the sun set behind Mount Olympus and Washington’s Pacific Penninsula behind the colossal majesty of Saint Mark’s Cathedral.
Wendy is active in the Episcopal Church, and has worked with an Order of Nuns from the Roman Catholic Church, (which operates with understandable secrecy, and so, shall not be named in this article so as not to jeopardise their mission), the Sisters of which dress as prostitutes and infiltrate sex-trafficking rings in certain major cities, in order to liberate the women who are captive to them.
Wendy refers to these Catholic Nuns as being heroes. “They are beautiful, buxom, bold, and brave, committed to God, and to their mission,” Wendy says, noting that they often pose as their characters for weeks, even months at a time.
Nuns take chastity vows in the Catholic Church, but the Mother Superior of this particular Order has given Holy Dispensation for the Sisters who undertake these dangerous missions to “do whatever they must do” to remain undetected and “save as many women as they can.”
The Nuns that undertake their characters know and understand that, if detected, they could be brutalised, tortured, maimed, sold to other rings, or even killed, by the pimps and their enforcers, whose prostitutes they liberate.
Yet, Wendy says, each of them is a volunteer for the assignment, and willing to die for their cause, and maintain secrecy, even under pain of torture or death.
“That’s why they are heroes,” Wendy says with pride, and wiping tears from her eyes.
The United States Episcopal Church, to which Wendy and I both belong, cannot confirm nor deny that it has any Order or organisation under its auspices or in its affiliation undertaking covert missions of any sort, according to a local representative.
The Roman Catholic Church, understandably, offered no comment on the Order when I reached out to them locally, other than acknowledging that an Order by its name exists, adding, that “they pray more fervently for those Sisters,” but declined to say why.
The Human Cost Of Punishing A Man For Poverty
You’re watching with baited breath that which you can predict like clockwork, and as politicians bravely take a stand by saying words pre-tested for them by focus groups so that maybe you’ll remember them when they run for Senate in a few years.
But while they do that, and you watch, there are people who, without much help or thanks are volunteering at needle exchanges and risking arrest to make sure that those needles are distributed, helping people use safely, doing God’s work on earth, breaking laws, and saving lives.
Speaking of God, even He is cool with pewsurfing at his house: there are churches opening their doors and they’re at capacity.
The dignity of the American presidency has been tarnished you say.
But I say that there are a thousand little indignities that you will never experience unless you’ve been homeless yourself, being suffered by people who have no other fault other than they need help getting back to stability.
The House will vote to impeach, but it’s a house that some of the people I know would do about anything to be able to have, as they look up at the condos where once stood their affordable $900/mo apartment buildings, before being reconstructed into $4000/mo single bedrooms, which have sat vacant and empty, some for years, alas too expensive for the tech market, and unfortunately their former residents are cold, far too cold, for their former apartments to just sit empty.
Politics might seem like life or death, but it really is life-or-death when you’re homeless, I have said goodbye to too many friends, and I haven’t lived here that long.
I went to three funerals in the past year.
Gay twenty somethings haven’t been dropping like this since their of the dying years of the 1980s.
And people are not meant, not in what is quite literally the richest nation in the history of human civilisation, to live in such a constant state of survival and want, and with the only support seemingly accessible being a pittance, a trifle, something of a Band-Aid not even close to being adequate to cover even a corner of the injury and handicap they start everyday with..
You’ve got to get thousands of dollars together, but, mountains of forms, a litany of places to go and people to be scrutinised by, demanding proof of your poverty, digging through your expenditures, from condoms to cell phone bills, and telling you how it’s your fault your poor, and after you have sufficiently been made to beg and understand how you are what’s wrong with the world, they then and only then will give you, maybe, $50 of rental assistance.
But only for three months.
The average studio apartment costs $1650.
But it’s not all traumatizingly bad news look at the bright side, you can get a voucher for a state ID if you need one!
…a $5 voucher you have to be interviewed for first, and interrogated about how you’re failing at life.
Oh, and you better have that $5, too, because a free ID is a bridge to far, and would in the words of a man at Catholic Social Services “would fail to teach a lesson.”
The lesson being that nothing comes for free.
Just the cost of your dignity, self respect, and $5 if you have it. And an address to receive it at… like, a home…
The remarkable dignity of the poor.
The shame that comes from the undignified and innumerable hoops there are to jump through before one receives that pittance public support is an exercise in humiliation as one is no longer seen as a man, but rather as a pest, vermin, in the same league as rats and cockroaches, by people just like yourself, and it is more scarring and traumatic and embarrassing than anything *any* American president has *ever* said or did.
And it is far more worthy of your time and attention than the impeachment process is.
It is not in Washington DC where the highest crime in government took place, it’s in Washington state, and that crime is and continues to be the neglect and sadistic maleficence in the treatment of the homeless on the part of their own government ministers and social service providers.
People talk about impeachment being for the public welfare, well, I can tell you how difficult it is to even try to get on welfare, to say nothing of staying on it for very long. Yet even more undigified hoops await you to jump through them, now with increasingly difficult bars to clear in order to maintain it.
Believe me when I say that you will work and put in the time and effort to earn the right to have that snap food benefits cold chicken tenders (precooked chicken is of course considered a luxury if its warm and is ineligible for purchase, and must be chilled before you can use your food stamp card on it).
The homeless pay their dues, and in more ways than you can imagine.
What so many refuse to lose is their dignity.
And that takes one’s breath away to see them hold their heads high, unbothered and undaunted as they are made to beg for scraps, or a token amount of rental help.
It’s awe-inspiring, and reminds one precisely why Jesus said, “blessed are the poor.”
They have a lot of suffering to endure and most of them for no fault of their own, and those who maintain their dignity are resplendant in their simple grandeur; giants with enduring and resilient souls, walking in shoes with worn out soles.
It’s a lot of work and effort for so little. It’s actually very expensive to be poor, and its exhausting work getting welfare when you’re unemployed or under-employed.
It’s actually worse when you’re under-employed because then you have to juggle your actual job schedule with all of their requirements of places you go and things you attend, and all of that simply so you can eat.
And sometimes you have to choose between having a job that doesn’t pay the bills and sacrificing that job so that you can maintain the benefits that also don’t on their own pay the bills without the job, because it turns out you can’t do both.
In the richest country in the world.
Many of you talk about impeachment when they say Trump should have his smartphone taken away from him, and that he Tweets his own shame.
Tell Tweet this, baby: here in Seattle, just because everyone has a smart phone does not mean that they are not in abject, unconscionable poverty.
You don’t even know what shame is.
You talk about impeaching Trump as though it would be a great moment for gay rights, but what good are those rights when there are men who aren’t even gay having sex with other men, or spending their last few dollars on a cheap bathhouse closet of room, because it means they’re not going to be sleeping on the streets in the rain, in the winter.
And the bathhouse doors have lock/unlock settings
May I remind you first that you already know how the impeachment vote is going to go.
Second, I hope that you now see that impeachment truly, veritably, demonstrably is unimportant, is more entertainment and a gold mine for your political donations and, I assure you, nothing more than that.
Except perhaps an exercise in self-importance and the inflation thereof for all involved.
But, if while you’re spending all these resources and all this effort on something that does not matter… perhaps you will find time to contact your representative about doing their jobs.
Not for their careers, but for my people, who are dying.
Maybe instead of taking a stand for saying a message that they already know will fall on deaf ears, just to make sure that everyone will remember that they said it on election night, they can actually do their jobs as government ministers, to these homeless men and women, of every colour and creed, missuses and misters, young and old, whom they are charged to protect.
They are failing to protect them.
Among politicians, I wonder how many among them aren’t thinking of any of this tonight, but are only thinking of their re-election campaigns, as they think about constantly nowadays, because every year is an election year somewhere, you know.
And among the homeless gay men, my friends, my people, I wonder how many among them are not thinking about impeachment tonight, but are only thinking about whether or not they’re going to live through the winter, as they think about constantly nowadays, because it rains here you know.
So, shall we reprioritise?
My people — and they are MY people — deserve more respect, far more dignity.
They deserve the attention that the govrnment is spending on Impeachment. They deserve that spotlight. They deserve that level of focus.
My declared intention is this: Everyone gets saved. Nobody gets left behind. Nobody.
Most important of all of this, meaningful and more dynamic, actionable plans implemented by their government and social services structure, on all levels, and got money not spent on overhead recruitment, retention, or administrative costs, but intended for and actually spent directly on services and casework.
We need fewer politicians’ speeches at rallies, protests and demonstrations, and directed collective action, which is approach that has been tried, yet changes very few laws and alters few social realities.
Considering how frequently we see these events, perhaps a reprioritisation away from clenched fists raised high in the air, and more to but sitting down at tables and talking, planning, deal-making, negotiating, and, God willing, a handshake when actions are no longer just pipe dreams, but engaged, initiated and committed ongoing projects, fully staffed, fully funded, no roadblocks.
As for why I have not taken a position on Mr Trump and the impeachment process politics, why I don’t vote, why I do not donate, why I am impartial to the election and indifferent to the result?
I am a Monarchist. I am above left and right: and the gravest of issues require those of us who are, to address them from above the political rubbish pit. That is what my God commands me to do.
Whether you are in Seattle or Beyond Seattle, please consider a donation to one of these extraordinary organisations.
Real Change News
Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission
The People’s Harm Reduction Alliance
Catholic Housing Services Seattle
The Episcopal Dioecese of Olympia
Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish at the Space Needle
Casey Evans is a journalist with Crown and Country Magazine and a researcher with the British Monarchist Society. He is an ordained Acolyte in the Anglican Communion and Vicar in the Universal Life Church. He is based in Seattle, Washington.