Letters, Feb. 11
Senate trial implications
The president’s acquittal on the basis of his lawyers’ flawed arguments has terrible implications. It has been declared that the president of the United States can do no wrong so long as he believes he is right and has not committed a statutorily criminal offense.
Furthermore, Trump has declared himself and his staff to be immune from congressional oversight and the Senate has concurred. Even Romney, who was daring enough to vote to convict on the basis of Article I, did not do so for stonewalling the investigation (Article II).
For the first time in our history, Trump did so blatantly and in direct contravention of the powers bestowed on the House of Representatives by the Constitution. One can argue that Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine did not warrant impeachment, but his declaration of blanket immunity and its sanction by Republicans has set a terrifying precedent.
Trump has not learned any lessons. Instead, he is declaring total vindication, unleashing vengeance against his long “black list”, including our Institutions, in a manner unheard of since the McCarthy era. Indeed, Welche’s words to McCarthy resonate: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
The calculus of cowardice
When I was 12 or 13 and first learned about the Nazi Holocaust in Europe, I was horrified by the evil humans are capable of. But I had to ask myself, what would I have done? Would I have been a good German and stood by while people were rounded up and sent to concentration camps?
I was forced to realize that I might not have had the courage to protest, given that opposition to the regime would have meant certain punishment and possibly death. I felt ashamed
This question troubled my peace for years as I grew into adulthood. Only after further examination of my conscience was I able to be sure that what is most important is to be true to the God within, the voice that speaks only love and bids us to do justice. Then I knew that if such a choice ever occurred in my life, I would be able to stand on the side of truth, whatever the consequences.
It is good to have prepared oneself for such a time. The United States Senate was just given such an awful choice, and they were morally unprepared. Faced with the terrible dilemma of being damned and certainly persecuted by Trump for disloyalty, or being damned in their own souls before God, they made the cowardly choice, and fell in line with the tyranny that he insists upon. Despite the desperate exhortations of wiser voices, they made the calculus that their temporal comfort was more important than being able to know they had stood up to evil.
We may now mourn the fate of those senators who sold their souls in this instance. It is still possible that in quiet moments they will listen to that voice within, that their hearts will be awakened to what is required of them. May we all pray that they will soberly regret their prior actions, and make the wiser choice for truth. May God be with our country.