Dec. 15, 2019
This week you will face the most momentous vote of your time in Congress: whether or not to impeach President Donald J. Trump.
Only you know the full events of your past but I do not think I’m exaggerating if I say that this may be the single most important decision of your life. Previously your decisions affected you, your family, your business and your employees. As a member of Congress you have voted before to chart the course of the United States. However, this vote, more than any other, will determine the future of all the people of the United States, and indeed the people of the entire world and the planet on which we all live.
I also know from your statements that you fully appreciate the gravity and momentousness of this matter as well as its burden and responsibility and the magnitude of its implications.
I will not go over the evidence and arguments that have already been made. You have been far closer and better informed about this matter than any of us outside government could ever be.
But as a constituent and a citizen and American who still has and cherishes the fundamental right to speak freely and petition government for a redress of grievances, I would like to address larger issues.
When the founders of this nation met to draft the Constitution they had to deal with the ultimate fundamentals: How do people behave? What is government? What is fairness? What is justice? What is effective? What is right? What is wrong?
We have not had to think of these things in the last 240-plus years because they got it so right. We’ve very successfully lived within the framework and rules they created. By doing so, generations of Americans built the richest and most powerful nation humanity has ever seen and spread its best ideals and values around the world.
But now we have to address those fundamentals again. It is extraordinary that a single man has in less than three years so challenged centuries of precedent, experience and institutional strength to the point where the foundation of this society and civilization is at risk. But here we are.
You, more than most, know the full scope and sweep of American power and influence. Having served as an ambassador representing the United States abroad, you also have a broader perspective than many of your colleagues in Congress. You have worked shoulder to shoulder with the men and women of the US diplomatic corps and you know first-hand their intelligence, their commitment and their patriotism. These are the people under relentless attack by this president.
You know the subtleties of policy and how decisions made in the US capital can ripple outward and either erode or nourish foreign shores. You, more than most, can appreciate the full dangers of a president using the vast power of the United States for petty, personal ends—and I believe that you have a full appreciation of the scope of that economic, military and political power.
As an advocate of Kurdish independence you appreciate more than most the disaster this president’s casual betrayal of the Kurds caused and the genocide he unleashed.
You have very reasonably and responsibly said that you will keep an open mind about the evidence in this case and its implications. For that you’ve been attacked by the people who were your political base before that moment. You have quite rightly said that “impeachment is such a grave matter that it demands that a strong and clear case be made” and those who pursue it should “assure that no stone is left unturned.”
But who is the person who has ensured that those stones remain unturned? Who has built a virtual stone wall around the White House and Oval Office to ensure that Congress did not get the facts and testimony it legitimately sought and to which it is legally entitled?
Very much to your credit you urged the administration to cooperate and fulfill its constitutional duties. You specifically called on Energy Secretary Rick Perry and other top officials to testify.
You and I come from very different ideological perspectives and there is much about which we disagree. But I can say without fear or favor that in these matters you’ve behaved with probity and responsibility. Your observations have been insightful and your actions prudent. Your statements have been well-reasoned and logical.
However, when it comes to this president, White House and administration, your “repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury,” as the founders put it in the Declaration of Independence.
And so we come to the current pass and this week’s vote.
When you vote this week, you’ll be voting on more than just two articles of impeachment. As the founders did, you’ll be addressing fundamentals. You’ll be voting on whether the entire structure of this government will remain standing, whether this Constitution will stay in force, whether the experiment begun by the founders to have a government that rests on reason and compromise and the popular will rather than the whims of a single individual will survive. In short, you’ll be voting on whether “government of the people, by the people, for the people” shall or shall not perish from the earth.
As an American, as a constituent, as a citizen, as the grandchild of immigrants, let me issue this appeal: For the sake of ourselves, our families, our grandchildren and their grandchildren; for the sake of all Americans; for the sake of every person everywhere who has aspired to American dreams and ideals; for the sake of huddled masses yearning to breathe free; for the sake of equal justice under law; for the sake of fighters against tyranny everywhere; for the sake of the founders; for the sake of the Constitution; for the sake of democracy; for the sake of liberty; for the sake of freedom; for the sake of independence; for the sake of your honor; for the sake of your courage; for the sake of your place in history; for the sake of your conscience; and for the sake of your country, the last best place on earth, please, please, please
VOTE TO IMPEACH.
The Paradise Progressive
Liberty lives in light
© 2019 by David Silverberg