Veronika Tait: What did you do in the great impeachment, Grandma?

When I picture my life 50 years from now, I picture a dusty basement, filled with clues as to my values, actions, and priorities. My grandchildren will run their fingers along the piles of books and mementos, trying to piece together who I was when I was younger.

Perhaps they’ll ask about a delicate yellow, red and green pin I received at a rally to show my support for our abandoned Kurdish allies. Maybe they’ll wonder at my violet-colored shirt which states, “We will not be complicit by being complacent,” worn at a vigil to help reunite families separated at the border. They may gingerly hold my well-used baseball cap which states in big white letters, “Make America Ethical Again,” worn while registering young people to vote.

I hope the legacy of my life reveals in no uncertain terms where I stood on the presidency of Donald Trump. I hope my grandchildren know that I was appalled at his treatment toward women. I hope they grasp the magnitude of sadness I felt for young migrant children ripped from their mother’s arms, after sacrificing everything for a better life. I hope they understand my alarm in Donald Trump’s lawless actions and self-interest.

If my grandchildren look closely, they’ll see I used to be a member of the Republican party. I formerly touted hopeful messages of family values and fiscal responsibility. But something shifted after 2016. The party I was once a part of suddenly made me feel like an outsider. Rather than ensuring our leader represents us, I felt as if the goal was to justify Trump’s every action and to demonstration our superiority over the Democrat Party.

Republicans’ hesitation to call out unethical acts from the president indicates just how difficult it is to break from party lines. There is a concern that doing so will make them unelectable. However, people like me are looking for strong voices to stand with principles over party. If Trump is the Republican elected official, Republicans should be the most vocal about whether he acts in accordance to his constituents.

I’m grateful to my own congressman, Ben McAdams, for speaking up in support of the impeachment inquiry. With the political climate becoming increasingly polarized, I’m thankful for his courage to take a side.

As he stated on Oct. 4, “The president’s refusal to further cooperate with congressional oversight without an impeachment inquiry is regrettable. Throughout this process, I have been and remain concerned about the perception that Congress has prejudged the outcome of the process — but an inquiry is necessary to get all the facts on the table.”

As McAdams’ constituent, I take joy in his commitment to get all the answers about Trump’s conflicts of interests, shifting loyalties and failure to cooperate in investigations. I thank him, and I assure him that my posterity will thank him.

As my future grandchildren explore what life was like in 2019, they may wonder, What was grandma doing when Robert Mueller reported on Trump’s obstruction of justice? Or when U.S. diplomat William Taylor gave evidence of Trump abusing his presidential power for his own gain?

I do not doubt that if future generations study my life, they will find mistakes. At times I’ve been wrong, but I have no hesitation in saying that supporting the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump is the right thing to do. It will signal to future voters that we prioritize ethics, we uphold the rule of law, and we hold the executive office sacred.

So, what was Grandma doing back in 2019? She was writing an op-ed.

Veronika Tait

Veronika Tait, Saratoga Springs, is a social psychologist who works as an adjunct professor at two universities.