Dateline Feb. 3, 2020
Having listened to well over 40 hours of Donald Trump’s impeachment that led to the Senate voting against reviewing more witnesses which will eventually lead to his acquittal, I have to say it’s a sad day for America.
Either of my loyal readers may recall that I felt that the case had evolved into a "so what" defense. Most of the members concurred that the House had proven their case but the majority decided that it wasn’t that big of a deal. I not only disagree but am fearful of how it will affect our future in the sense that it seems to me that the Senate has now decided that a president cannot be held liable for any of his or her actions.
As you may recall President Trump promised to "drain the swamp" once he was elected, and it’s my considered opinion that he and his people have succeeded in draining the swamp of what was left of its integrity.
Integrity requires one to show consistent and uncompromising honesty when it comes defending the truth. Integrity isn’t a law or rule, rather it’s an ethic. Ethics is concerned with distinguishing between good and evil in the world, between right and wrong human actions, and between virtuous and non-virtuous characteristics of people.
If you are virtuous then you strive to do what is right and moral. Being moral is not just thinking that what you are doing is right, it’s truly believing what you’re doing is right.
Each of us has our own sense of what’s right and what’s wrong; in addition most of us know when we violate those senses because it usually manifests itself by experiencing at least a twinge of guilt.
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I think it would be safe to say that all of us have violated our integrity and done stuff that we have regretted doing. Also, most of us who’ve done so have tried our best to avoid repeating such actions.
Violating one’s ethical integrity only affects the violator unless there are others involved (think lying). Therefore when we the people elect officeholders, we expect them to have integrity.
In every office I’ve held I had to take an oath of office by swearing to uphold our state and national constitutions, in essence I swore to tell the truth and maintain the virtues of those who elected me. Given the recent impeachment, I’m left to wonder what virtues our representatives uphold because they sure aren’t close to mine.
Back to the "so what" defense. Each member of Congress pledges to uphold our constitution. Seeking foreign influence in our elections has been determined to be unconstitutional. In essence Russia interfering in our electoral process would normally be considered an act of war, but not in this new swamp that we’re in.
Rather we’ve just wagged our finger at Russia and told them that we’ll really be pissed if they do it again.
Then we discover that President Trump tried to bribe Ukraine into helping him in the upcoming election, and my integrity is wondering what is the difference between the two actions (seems to me Trump and Putin did the same thing)?
There is no question about Russia’s interference or Trump’s, and although the evidence is rather overwhelming, our Congressional delegation has adopted the "so what" defense and it hopes that you and I won’t notice.
They have not only violated their integrity but more importantly they have put our president above the law.
There’s something deeply wrong here, and if it’s not corrected I not only fear for our rule of law but the future of our republic. We should not go easily into the night on this issue.
Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.