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It is Up to Us

The Senate voted to acquit President Trump of the articles of impeachment that were brought against him by the Nancy Pelosi led US House of Representatives. As required by the Constitution, the Senate held a trial on the two articles of impeachment presented by the House. This was only the third US President to be impeached, one per century.

North Carolina’s own Andrew Johnson was the first. He succeeded Abraham Lincoln on his death and is often mentioned as one of the worst Presidents we have ever had. Though he was impeached by the House, he was not convicted by the Senate and served the remainder of his term. President Nixon resigned before he could be impeached. He “read the writing on the wall” and knew he could not survive the overwhelming evidence against him. He did the only honorable thing he could and left the Whitehouse in the hands of Vice President Gerald R. Ford who was not elected although he pardoned Nixon. The next was Bill Clinton and his sordid affair with Monica Lowenski. It was a deep personal failure and not the behavior we expected of a president. It was embarrassing for him and the country but again the Senate allowed him to serve the rest of his term. Then came Trump.

The conversation he had with the President of Ukraine is well known and has been reviewed many times. Ukraine was known for its corruption and it can be no doubt that Hunter Biden capitalized on his name and the fact that his father was Vice President of the United States to get money for his worth that he would not be able to get otherwise. But there is no evidence to suggest that Joe Biden did anything but advance US policy in his dealings with the country’s leadership. I am not sure the same can be said for President Trump.

Ukraine is at war with Russia. As the U.S.S.R. was dismantled, Ukraine decided it could do better independently. This did not go well with Russian leadership, particularly Valerie Putin, and the northern province was invaded. Ukraine, with US help, fought back. The aid provided by the Congress was sorely needed to keep up this fight against powerful Russia. It was also important that Ukraine had agreed to give up substantial nuclear capability in order to exist independently and get US aid. The US Congress agreed and included $391 million to help. For Trump money is power.

Donald Trump has a massive ego. He actually believes that the country would be better if everyone was like him. He does not see himself as a lying bully but as the savior of the American way of life. Does everyone inherit a fortune from their father? Is everyone white? Is everyone able to afford a lawyer to get them out of trouble? Does everyone think they are smarter and better than everyone else at EVERYTHING? I hope not.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is our President. Though not favored by the majority of voters, he dominated in the Electoral College. He came to power as a change agent vowing to “

clean the swamp” and to “make America great again”. His supporters should have added the famous words attributed to Malcomb X “By any means necessary”. Laws have no meaning. Neither do precedent or protocol. What matters most are the results achieved.

What the whistleblower reported and those who are clear thinking witnessed in the conversation with the Ukraine President was a person who was willing to go too far. He was willing to put personal interest above country. This is something a President should never do. Maybe as Allen Dershewitz said in the trial he thought his interests were the same as the American interest. Nothing could be further from the truth. The interest of the country should be paramount. Asking that the investigation of Hunter Biden include illegal actions by Joe Biden clearly served his interest in the coming campaign and he was willing to not provide money authorized by Congress to ensure he got cooperation. Sounds like a quid pro quo to me.

The House got no cooperation from the Trump Administration. Trump forbade it. He did not provide either witnesses or documents even when requested or supenoed by the House. Some were brave enough to testify anyway and it became clear what was going on was illegal. After significant deliberation, the House leadership determined that they had no choice but to proceed with impeachment. Two articles were returned.

Though the House managers, led by Chairmen Schief and Adler, did a great job, the Senate did not support calling additional witnesses or requiring the administration to turn over the documents. They may have though it would only offer more proof to Trump’s guilt. Eventually only one republican senator, Mitt Romney, voted to find Donald Trump guilty though the evidence was compelling. Going against Trump if you are a Republican evidently requires great courage.

So we enter election season with a President who is determined to win reelection. He has already shown he is willing to call people out of their names and elicit help from anybody who’s willing, foreign or domestic. We just have to decide if this is the kind of president, or even more importantly, is this the kind of country we want? The majority of American voters have decided but they did not represent the electoral majority. Maybe we got the President we deserved. His supporters think he’s great!

This November we have the opportunity to have our wishes known. We will not have the benefit of the House committees to decide on the information. We will not have the Senate to determine the form of the trial or if other witnesses are needed. We will not have and administration to obstruct our access to documents. We will be alone in the voting booth. The choice you make will be yours alone.

It will be up to you!

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