I am scared that the next election will not be the will of the people, but rather the will of Vladimir Putin. I am scared that President Donald Trump is doing everything he can to enlist the help of foreign leaders that he admires, who happen to be authoritarian leaders, to help him get elected again. I am very concerned about the public entreaties that the president has made to China and Russia and Ukraine to dig up “dirt” on his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden.
I have listened to the testimony of career diplomats about their concerns over the July 25 phone call between Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine and I read the conversation summary. It’s pretty obvious to me that Trump wanted personal gain in the form of a smear on Biden and his son in exchange for a meeting at the Oval Office and the $391 million of foreign aid to fight the Russians at the Ukrainian border. I have heard nothing from the president, his staff or any Republican Senator to dispute the call summary, or the testimony of career diplomatic service officers.
What strikes me as I converse with people whom I would typically describe as conservative is how concerned they are about the state of affairs in our country right now. Many of them tell me that they can hardly stop thinking about the president and his blatant refusal to comply with subpoenas and how they fear that the “Rule of Law” will no longer apply in this country going forward.
I have lived through two impeachment trials in my lifetime. I thoroughly understand the gravity of impeaching a president. Nixon deserved to be removed (even though he quit before he was impeached). He obstructed justice and sought to undermine an opponent in his re-election. Clinton – nope, he lied under oath about an affair (nothing to do with national security or re-election).
We often hear how the upcoming election is the “most important election of our lifetimes.” I take my vote very seriously in every election. What I want to say to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is that this upcoming vote in the Senate on impeachment of Trump is perhaps the most important vote of her lifetime. How will her vote be remembered when the very foundation of our democracy was up for a vote?