“Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.” With these words, Sen. Mitt Romney voted last week to convict Donald Trump of abuse of power. Romney was the only Republican senator to cast such a vote. His was the lone voice among the GOP senators who closed their eyes and ears to what was plainly put before them by the House impeachment managers.
Whether they shut out the evidence because of cowardice or party loyalty, those Republican senators refused to fulfill their constitutional obligation of impartial justice, and in doing so, willfully ignored the founding principle of this nation: the rule of law.
And so, we the voters must do our civic duty and help to hold Donald Trump and his enablers accountable at the ballot box. If we the people do not send a strong message to our elected officials that no person is above the law, and especially not the president, then we will have failed our forebears who fought for, and maintained, this core democratic principle over two centuries.
We also will have failed our children, to whom we say do what is right, even when it is difficult. We teach our children not to cheat or to lie, and to follow the rules. Truth matters. Right matters. Character counts. What does it say about our country that an elected official who is given immense authority under our constitutional system is held to lower standards than those we set for our children?
We the people still have the power to change this, and we must do so before it is too late. But it will take all of us who believe that the rule of law still matters to pitch in. Do not sit on the sidelines and expect that all will be well. It won’t be unless we work to make it right.