Many people, including our whopping mistake of a president, characterize the investigation and the impeachment of Donald Trump as a “witch hunt.”
They refer to history, or rather what they think is history.
Originally, a witch hunt was just what it sounds like.
Your infant daughter died and, even though most of your children died in infancy, back there in the year 1240, you were crazy with grief, and you began to be suspicious of the mumbling, unpleasant, toothless hag next door. Those were hard years. She was 45, by the way. Well, actually, she was 45, but she looked 80. Or at least you thought she looked 80, because no one in your village ever lived to be 80.
And the old lady had a cat. A black cat. She wandered all day through the village, talking to herself, making evil faces. She was, of course, just sliding into a kind of dementia brought on by bad food, bad water and losing nine of the 14 children she’d birthed. The evil faces were the result of the pain caused by rotting teeth.
“Witch!” you hollered.
The other villagers, weak-minded from hunger and homebrewed beer, agreed with you, and then there was a trial before some red-capped, louse-infested ecclesiastic who let you burn the semi-old lady to death.
Having found one witch, you figured there were more. After all, who ever had just one rat in his hut?
You hunted witches, and you found them everywhere. Weird old John who talked to his grapevine. That nutcase Geofric who couldn’t get a wife and babbled incessantly about the Devil.
You burned them all. It made the village smell pretty bad, but you were a zero-tolerance zone where witches were concerned.
And this, they say, is what the liberals did to Trump.
Trouble is, there never were any witches in your village. Witches don’t exist.
“There’s no such thing,” as my parents used to tell 5-year-old me about ghosts and goblins.
There are no witches, no witchcraft, no wizards and no sorcerers.
The problem with calling Trump’s legal troubles a “witch hunt” is that no one is accusing him of something that doesn’t exist.
He did not bring a murrain upon the crops, though he’s put numerous farmers out of business. He did not cause your infant child to die, not unless you are an illegal immigrant and your kid died in a dog kennel down in Texas. He most certainly did not use the black arts to construct a magical wall along the Mexican border.
See, the guy is completely clean of committing crimes that do not exist, or at least they don’t exist as the result of witchery.
There is such a thing as treason. There is such a thing as obstruction of justice. There is such a thing as inviting a foreign government to help you fix an American election.
Those things are as real as a convenience store owner’s identification of the man who robbed his cash register at gunpoint. Of course, if the convenience store owner isn’t allowed to testify, his identification isn’t gonna count for much.
So don’t call Trump’s legal troubles a “witch hunt.” His crimes can be seen and touched. They exist.
— Marc Dion is a retired columnist at the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News and author of Devil’s Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America, a collection of his recent columns. Contact hin at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter: @MARCMDION. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.