HAS ANYONE WONDERED what the political environment would be like today in Washington if we could roll back the calendar about 18 months and Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election?

Would there be talk of impeachment? Would there be calls for special prosecutors and special counsel investigations? Would investigators be pouring through the Clinton Foundation records and into the Clinton ties to foreign governments?

Does anyone believe the hostile environment in Washington would be any different now with Clinton in the White House? The Republican Party-controlled Congressional committees would be digging for dirt against the Democrats and candidates would be staking out positions for the 2018 midterm elections.

Many people are concerned that democracy is under attack here in America as a result of the discourse and animosity generated by the opposing parties

By definition, democracy is a system of government by the whole population typically through elected representation. That is made difficult when the population is divided in half. Neither side wants to concede control after an election that is decided by a vote of 50.5% to 49.5%.

A case can be made that the actions of both parties have eroded the norms of democracy. It is OK for the party out of power to oppose the party in power, but shouldn’t there be limits to what can be said and done in that opposition?

While giving the commencement address at Virginia Military Institute in May, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said a crisis in integrity and ethics among America’s leaders is putting the country’s freedom and democracy at risk. Every American citizen has a duty to seek the truth and hold leaders accountable.

Critics of President Donald Trump contend the president is morally unfit to serve in the Oval Office. They say it doesn’t matter that 63 million of their fellow Americans voted for him.

I’d assume most of those voters truly believed Trump was just what the country needed at this time in history to shake up the status quo in Washington. Another portion of those 63 million clearly believed, despite his flaws and crude behavior, he was still a better alternative than Clinton.

Most people would agree that Trump has been a failure when it comes to conforming to presidential standards of behavior. From a moral standpoint, it would be hard to tell our young people to embrace the demeanor and attributes of the president.

At the same time, how can anyone defend the antics of the liberal left when they resort to hate speech, name calling, anger, rage and divisiveness when they accuse all Trump supporters of hating Muslims, women and gay people?

How is it not an attack on democracy when opponents of Trump and the Republican Party are on a mission to undermine the federal government and a duly-elected president? Politics has become a theater of the absurd.

Neither political party should be happy with the witch hunt mentality prevalent in Washington. “Gotcha politics” is being used to disrupt and sabotage every presidential administration. It is a plague on American democracy.

How can so many patriotic American citizens actively hope the president fails at home and abroad? The blatant bias of MSNBC, CNN and Fox News allows partisan hacks to pander to their tribes and spin the news without impunity.

Opponents of Trump began a sabotage campaign the day following the 2016 election. Disgruntled Democrats immediately called for his impeachment and searched for ways to overturn the results of the election. Is that how democracy should work?

“Is it unreasonable to ask whether this assault might be as much a threat to American democracy as anything Trump has said or done?” wrote Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn recently.

For those who think Trump should be impeached, the Constitution is pretty vague, according to Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School and Joshua Matz, a constitutional law expert.

They point out that a president can be impeached for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Tribe and Matz said a president is unlikely to be removed from office for incompetence and stupidity.

If that was the case, political opponents would try to make just about any disagreement with a president a high crime. If the people are unhappy with a president, they can simply vote them out of office at the next election and avoid a constitutional crisis.

Experts say our sense of the truth is determined by how our brains are wired. We all see, hear and process information differently. It’s called sensory illusion.

Recently, there was media attention given to a short audio clip of a computer-generated voice. People were asked if they heard Yanny or Laurel. Some people swear they heard the voice say Yanny, but most heard Laurel.

I may be the only one, but for several years, HomeAdvisor, a home-improvement website, has run a TV commercial and a chorus would sing “HomeAdvisor.” I swear they say “Call Elijah.” In my mind, there is no way they say HomeAdvisor.