This is an urgent appeal. As the only Republican senator with the moral fortitude to speak the truth during this unprecedented political crisis, your bold leadership is essential if we’re to preserve our republic.
As a first step, I implore you to honor your oath of office by voting to require a fair and impartial Senate trial including witness testimony. Polls show 71% of Americans, including 64% of Republicans, want witness testimony. Further, I urge you to convince your GOP colleagues to uphold justice and do likewise. McConnell’s unethical obstruction is undermining our democracy.
Clearly, there is far more at stake than Donald Trump’s illegal attempt to coerce Ukraine to find political dirt on Joe Biden and Trump’s ongoing obstruction of Congress.
As a nation, we are at a crucial choice point. Will our democracy survive and will our highest principles of justice prevail, or will we succumb to the authoritarian rule of a corrupt, self-serving, would-be dictator supported by the blind allegiance of an equally corrupt Republican Party?
Will national and foreign policy be based on comprehensive analysis of facts, options and long-term consequences, or will we suffer from impulsive, reckless actions — such as the justified but unwise killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani — that threaten war and endangers our nation?
Threats to our republic include:
• Lawlessness and treason. Trump violates our Constitution repeatedly and continues to act with impunity. He does not understand right from wrong. Despite 10 instances of obstruction of justice in the Mueller Report, Trump continues to obstruct Congress, solicit Russian and foreign interference in our elections, and more. Trump attacks our intelligence community while supporting Russia in expanding its global influence. To aid Russia, he has weakened our support for Ukraine, abandoned the Kurds, alienated our allies and disparaged NATO.
Overwhelming evidence proves Trump has no intention of obeying our laws. He is oblivious to his treason. Despite impeachment, Trump will continue to undermine our Constitution and threaten national and world security unless he is removed from office. Recent polls show a majority of Americans support impeachment and removal from office.
By enabling Trump, instead of providing checks and balances, your GOP colleagues support his lawlessness and treason. They violate their oath of office without conscience.
• Deception. Congress and our nation are struggling to decide if policy and justice will be based on truth and facts, or lies and deception. The prevalence of “fake news,” the assaults on journalists and the free press, Russian cyber attacks and the profusion of lies by Trump and your Republican colleagues is a fascist strategy that is undermining our democracy.
Since taking office, Trump has lied and made misleading statements more than 15,000 times. Likewise, many of your GOP colleagues lie brazenly, even supporting Russian propaganda as they did during the impeachment hearings. They have abandoned patriotism and critical thinking.
• Trump’s deteriorating mental health. This is the elephant in the room that Congress is not openly acknowledging and deserves urgent action.
In December 2017, Dr. Bandy Lee, a renowned forensic psychiatrist briefed members of Congress, warning that as job pressures increased, Trump’s psychosis would lead to increasing irrational, incoherent and dangerous behavior. Her findings were corroborated by several mental health experts. Congress ignored their warnings. Meanwhile, Trump’s mental decline intensifies.
Last November, Lee warned that, because Trump’s worsening condition includes “signs of impulsivity, recklessness and erratic decision making,” he is a threat to our nation and the world. (Example: On a whim, Trump allowed Turkey to massacre our Kurdish allies.)
In December, a petition signed by 800 mental health professionals was delivered to the House Judiciary Committee warning that Trump’s mental unravelling “could lead to catastrophic outcomes” (like war with Iran). Allowing a mentally ill president, with access to our nuclear arsenal, to remain in office is the ultimate dereliction of duty.
To preserve our republic, our Constitution and national/world security, Trump must be removed from office. I implore you to stand strong for justice, convince your Republican colleagues to break from their blind allegiance, acknowledge reality and take immediate action to remove Trump from office.
Now is the time to demonstrate courage and leadership, senator, and respond to the highest calling of our great nation.
Andrew Kramer, Ivins, is a Vietnam veteran and retired architect who managed large projects with firms in Boston and Denver.