Commentary: We can almost hear the fabric of our democracy shredding

Members of Congress must stand up to Trump

In this July 16, 20198, photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. Trump has asked national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington in the fall. That's the latest update Thursday from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders following Trump's meeting with Putin earlier this week in Finland. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Dear Members of Congress:

Watching the Helsinki Summit in real time, our hearts broke. Our president deferred to Russian President Vladimir Putin whose record on human rights, political strong-arming, and election meddling in more countries than just ours is egregious. We call on you to take action to safeguard our democracy and values.

President Trump had been briefed by his advisors with over 100 pages of information and counsel before that meeting. He ignored both the facts and their diplomatic advice. He did not support and sustain our country or our Constitution. His peculiar phrasing and obfuscating answers ended up denigrating every U.S. intelligence bureau, revealing his own wound-licking over the old news of the 2016 election statistics, and buttering up the leader of a longtime hostile country. His recent awkward and disingenuous walk back of wording changed nothing.

This weak behavior came on the heels of his diplomatically embarrassing NATO comportment. He insulted our allies. When asked who he considers our country’s foes, he inexplicably said the European Union. By the time he got to mentioning Russia, he had softened the term “foe” into the word “competitor.” While it is noble to want healthy, communicative and peaceful relations with Russia and all other countries, his response displayed a vacuum of diplomatic decorum if not outright pandering to a nation that has never had America’s best interests in mind. Russia is a hostile nation which willfully and maliciously interfered with elections for its own purposes and in an effort to damage our democracy.

When Trump sides with Russia over our own country, we can almost hear the fabric of our democracy shredding. It makes no difference if the economy seems stable or unemployment is low if the principles of our nation are decaying underneath.

Trump is not a king or dictator. The powers of the executive branch only go so far. The legislative branch must, as the play “Hamilton” lyrically insists, “Rise Up!” Which is more important to you – your party or your country? The rescue of our country – and its international as well as domestic reputation – is at stake. Ironically, the slogan “Make America Great Again” is a legitimate plea now as this president blatantly devalues the principles of ethics and integrity upon which our nation was built.

Here are some suggestions of ways you as legislators can act on behalf of our nation rather than at the behest of a president whose diplomatic flaws and personal challenges have put so much in jeopardy:

1. Hold hearings.

2. Issue subpoenas.

3. Extend sanctions.

4. Pass resolutions of censure.

5. Guarantee the integrity of Robert Mueller’s investigation.

6. Condemn the past Russian election interferenc.

7. Shore up protections against the next assault.

8. Work across the aisle with your Democratic colleagues toward worthy national goals.

9. Defend our country with your voice, votes and actions.

Which of these actions will you implement, and how? There is no time to waste.


Linda Kimball

Sharlee Mullins Glenn

Diana Bate Hardy

Melissa Dalton-Bradford

founders of Mormon Women for Ethical Government

Mormon Women for Ethical Government is a nonpartisan group dedicated to the ideals of decency, honor, accountability, transparency and justice in governing. MWEG is not formally affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We do, however, fully sustain the leaders and doctrines of the church.