In plain sight and in plain English, both the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution declare we are a nation of people under the rule of law, and our Constitution spells out what those laws are and how they are to be applied.

One of these laws specifies that a president may be impeached and removed from office if on fair trial by the Senate he or she is found guilty of “high crimes or misdemeanors” committed against the laws and people of the United States.

Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and the rest published and approved a document still marveled at by the rest of this planet. Now, my morning paper and evening TV news tell me a majority of the Senate is without conscience, no matter the sworn testimony of citizen diplomats, confirmed by records made at the time.

A misdemeanor is hardly in the same cell block as an act of treason. But we must make every effort to hold the men and women we elect to national office to the highest standards of action and conduct in their service on our behalf. Today we  see and hear the standards upheld by so many for so long crashing all around us. The evidence shows that our current president has failed to abide by our laws; that he fails to listen to any advice not consistent with his own opinion, no matter the source; and that he prefers to create and work in chaos, rather than deliberate on any basis of law or reason.

Welcome to the political world created by the verdict in Citizens United, a verdict that loosened many purse strings, forgetting that a corporation is designed first to earn money for its owners — and that cash by itself has no conscience but is always convenient for buying some.

 

John Holt Willey

Waterville


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