Thursday, February 6, 2020

And Now, The Encore

The third presidential impeachment trial in the history of the United States is complete and the President remains president. The final outcome was almost never in doubt due to the insightful requirements in the Constitution that two-thirds of the Senators must vote for conviction. 

It was a strictly partisan result, with only Republicans voting to acquit. Interestingly, democrats, independents, and one republican voted to convict on the first article of impeachment. 

I was extremely distressed by the playground mentality demonstrated by some republicans who immediately vilified the lone party dissenter. Here is a headline from The Guardian:

Donald Trump Jr calls for Mitt Romney to be expelled from Republican party

That is an example of playground mentality and is the antithesis of the American Way as defined the Constitution. 

That comment supports a headline I read in the New York Times:

We are not a country founded upon groupthink and fear. We are a country founded upon dissenters and leaders! In my humble opinion anyone espousing removing the lone dissenter from the party is un-American! There I wrote it! Vilifying him is an example of the "thuggishness" that is taking over our country.  When people are not allowed to vote their conscience we have lost one of the very basic premises upon which our Republic was founded. 

I listened to Romney's speech detailing the reasons for his vote. They were personal and compelling. He also fully recognized the personal toll his vote would cost. Yet, he voted for what he believed.

The electorate has the right to agree or disagree with his decision during election season.  That is the premise upon which our country is founded. But for now--he did what he was elected to do--vote his conscience in a reasoned and thoughtful manner. 

Now that the second act is complete and we thought that the curtain had fallen upon the impeachment play, the audience must hold its applause as because there is an encore. Today, we deal with the aftermath. Will we see leaders that attempt to repair that which was broken during the past few months, or will we see partisan politicians throwing gasoline upon the raging fires and inciting vengeance and retribution? 

The answer will soon be known.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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