Alexander Hamilton warned: “The honor of a nation is its life. Deliberately to abandon it is to commit an act of political suicide.”

Honor cannot be seized from a nation, it can only be abandoned, and once abandoned that nation is doomed to decline.

Before the 2016 presidential nominations, Republican religious and political leaders daily decried Donald J. Trump’s dishonesty, debauchery and disloyalty. Today, they deferentially defend the very same despicable behavior. Pretenders all!

As apostasy rises and America declines, panicked Republican evangelicals tragically abandoned their honor to make a Faustian bargain. They conspired and crowned Trump as their new Cyrus. To justify the unjustifiable, they heretically claimed he is saved in Christ. In exchange, he wields the power of the presidency, including recruiting new judges, against their perceived enemies.

Quisling Republicans, clinging to their “precious” power and prestige, submissively surrender their honor and heretofore inviolable conservative values of family, fiscal restraint, free-trade, fidelity to alliances and respect for military service, excusing Trump to exploit it all for his personal political and financial aggrandizement.

While Republicans turn a blind eye on their watch, the once grand party of Lincoln is becoming a faint figure of itself, increasingly unattractive and unwanted but to a pack of populist bamboozlers and wannabe strongmen, leaving America dishonored and devoid of a virtuous and viable Republican Party.

Except for the “Never Trump” Republicans, who Trump recently called “human scum,” Republicans have become corrupted collaborators, not too dissimilar from the cast of colluding characters who dragged the Roman Republic into the greatest depths of dishonor, destroying it from within.

Cassius was right about Caesar’s corruption: “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves.” Romans, seduced by his promises to make Rome great again, were blinded to the reality that Caesar’s grifting power grab would first dishonor and then inevitably doom their republic.

Like the Roman Republic, the American Republic can never be made great again until it becomes good again and it can only become good again when it picks a principled president again. As with the ancient Romans, that reality is disregarded by far too many today at the detriment and further decline of the American Republic.

Republicans, disoriented and disabled by their self-inflicted wounds of dishonor, lack the rectitude to revive America alone. Democrats rush to administer the aid that paradoxically helps Republicans rescue their party and the nation from the Trumpian death-grip. Democrats will impeach Trump. They must, to affirm that no one in America is above the law.

Republican senators should solemnly support Trump’s impeachment, not to convict him, but to censure him. American history will mark who Trump truly is and what he did to the nation. But, the American people must mark the ballot whether to end the disgraceful days of dishonor or demonstrate that America deserved Trump all along.

Hamilton reminded Americans of his day: “The Nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a Master and deserves one.”

Likewise, when the people prefer to abandon honor to further indulge a dishonest president, as Hamilton warned, it will inevitably result in the political death of the American Republic.

In 2020, the American Republic will hang in the balance. Perhaps, more than any single year throughout American history does so much depend on the people to decide whether a revival is ushered in or the fatal fall of the American Republic begins. It is altogether fitting for the people alone to freely choose whether they intend to keep their republic.

Stuart Reid

Stuart C. Reid, Ogden, former Utah state senator, Army chaplain, and one of the Republicans denounced by Trump as “human scum.”