It is interesting in the verbal exchanges surrounding the Senate’s impeachment trial, whatever claims and insinuations made by the Republican Defense Team, and the President, were the opposite of the truth.
It was not a perfect call. The “transcript” call summary did not exonerate the President. There was clearly a quid pro quo to extort a sham investigation of the Bidens by Ukraine. The President impeded witness testimony and withheld documents. If the President’s actions are not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable and this President is truly above the law.
The House rose to its Constitutional responsibility to hold the President accountable for his “high crimes and misdemeanors”. The Republican party engaged in a wholly partisan denial of these facts fearing losing their grip on power and reprisals from the Whitehouse. In a craven act of political irresponsibility, the Senate enabled the President’s actions. Worse misbehavior will surely follow.
I never thought that I would be admiring the political courage of Mitt Romney, who voted to convict on one of the articles of Impeachment. Romney was guided by the seriousness that he held his commitment to be a fair and impartial juror. He felt bound by his oath to do so. That he was the sole Senator who did was profoundly disturbing. He has my admiration.
Acquittal by the Senate was no surprise. Everyone saw it coming. I am saddened nonetheless. When facts are established, then ignored in such a spectacular fashion, then Presidential power reigns unchecked, I fear for the fate of our democracy.
Other than being frustrated and sad, what can I do?
Recently I have started writing my representatives and calling their offices in response to requests that appear in my e-mail. I do not know exactly why I was reluctant to do so previously. I felt that my voice would not make a difference. I justified inaction by claiming more pressing concerns. I am making this small change – even though it may be mostly for my sense that I am doing something rather than nothing. I want to extend my action to signing the petitions that also pop up in my inbox. I do sometimes, although so many of them seem more interested in soliciting contributions. I know that these changes of mine are not much. I will continue anyway.
Another avenue that I pursue to assuage my feeling of helplessness and despair is to seek out the company of family and friends. Being with those that I care about lifts my spirits. Sharing my frustrations and concerns, and listening to the concerns of others lets me feel that I am not alone.
Dark times are one possible future that I want to prevent. I cannot do it alone.
Coming together in community takes more effort for me when I am downhearted. I find that takes an extra effort to get out of the house. I never regret making the effort.
I want to encourage all of you to check out the NoVES meeting this Sunday when Louis Clark will present: Truth-Telling in the Trump Era: Harnessing the Power of Whistleblowing to Help Preserve Democracy. Community could lift your spirits and hearing his words could rekindle hope.
Yours in Ethical Community,
Randy Best, NoVES Leader