“What if we refuse to listen?” In Plato’s Republic, a gang delivering a compulsory dinner invitation to Socrates says this in rebuttal to Socrates’ suggestion that he might persuade his captors to let him go. Socrates laughs it off and goes to dinner, but this interplay foreshadows the argument to come: justice is the interest of the stronger.
The central theme of the Republic is the condemnation of “what if we refuse to listen,” that is, the struggle between the argument for tyranny—that justice is the interest of the stronger—and the argument for freedom, which turns out to be primarily psychological, the ordering of the psyche, or soul, with reason, or deliberative thought, at the top ordering our actions.
At the end of the president’s State of the Union Speech, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in dramatic fashion, tore up her copy of the president’s speech. This was her statement that she “refuses to listen,” and it is a theatrical depiction of who Pelosi really is: a tyrant.
Last December, when Pelosi stood at the rostrum in the well of the House during the vote on impeachment, she silenced the jubilation of her own caucus with glares and frantic hand gestures. It was a moment, a vicious and cantankerous sorceress casting spells from her castle high, that could have been scripted by Trey Parker for South Park. But it wasn’t funny, because it was true.
Pelosi began the impeachment inquiry without a vote of the House, arrogating to herself the full power of the House, and in the process undermining the subpoena power of her chamber.
Pelosi assigned Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to conduct the inquiry. Schiff, an inveterate—and thoroughly exposed—liar, conducted his inquiry in secret in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF (also known as the Capitol basement), abusing every prudent rule of process and precedent along the way.
The defective articles of impeachment created through this abortion of process will fail today. Democrats, with talking points handed to them from Pelosi’s office, can be counted on to condemn the Senate which, as we heard from them, was also on trial.
Pelosi repeatedly has said she does not care what Republicans have to say. She will not argue, discuss, debate, or parley.
Republican government is a deliberative form of government. The liberties a nation enjoys under the republican form flow from the habit of every citizen to open their ears to their fellow citizens and listen, within the confines of sound procedure, and to decide together what to do. It is a psychological phenomenon as much as a physical absence of undue or arbitrary restraint.
Pelosi has rejected this, thoroughly. She will fail.
Sic semper tyrannis.