Thoughts on Impeachment and on Our Republic



I listened to the Senate impeachment trial. I heard the summations from those representing the President, and those summations represent the facts I have heard presented, facts suppressed in the House impeachment in what may have been the most unjust and unfounded proceeding in congressional history.

The only actual fact witness, Sondland, to testify in the House impeachment was finally forced to admit that the only statement he heard directly from the President was that the President wanted “nothing, no quid pro quo,” and that all of his, Sondland’s, additional testimony was based solely on his, Sondland’s, presumptions.

Today, I listened to summations from those defending the President in the Senate trial and from those managers who represented the House. Each of the Democrats offered ‘urgent’ pleas and ‘strong’ arguments that our nation is doomed if we do not remove Donald Trump from office. Finally, I listened to the summation of Adam Schiff.

Had I not known the facts, the lack of factual evidence of any legal wrongdoing on the part of the President (I actually watched the impeachment proceedings in the House; I did not get my opinions from our biased media), I might have been persuaded by Mr. Schiff’s impassioned speech. As I listened, I was reminded of Saul Alinsky’s most famous book, the 1971 “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals,” which “includes a dedication to ‘the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.'” One of the primary tactics of those who would destroy personal freedom is to accuse opponents of doing the very things they themselves are doing.

Adam Schiff’s closing argument presented every accusation the Democrats made against Donald Trump, as if each charge had been fully proven and was undisputed fact. Nothing could be less true. Sadly, many Americans, who have not heard the actual testimony and know only what has been offered as factual by the “mainstream media” will likely believe that our President is guilty of “heinous” wrongdoing. That Adam Schiff could lie so fluently and passionately, even eloquently, did not surprise me; I had heard him do it before. But his words made clear the danger our nation faces as the Democrats move farther and farther to the “radical left” of political thought.

As an aside to that concern for truth, and because it seems to have become a universal failing among our government representatives and in our news media, I am concerned and appalled by the constant and seemingly universal failure to understand that we are a republic, not a democracy.  The fact that we are a republic and not a democracy is critical to our freedoms.   Our founders feared a democracy as “mob rule.” The two words are not synonymous; the terms are far from interchangeable, and the failure to understand the difference, as well as the indifference to the reality of that difference between a democracy and a republic, nurtures the seeds of destruction to our freedoms. It may seem to be “nitpicking” to desire accuracy in our language, but “words have meanings” and meanings have consequences. Clarity is important, in our language and in our perceptions. Historical awareness may determine how we respond to the dangers to our way of life.  So, it grieves me to hear our leaders (in truth, they are not our leaders; they are our representatives, answerable to us) so constantly describe our nation as a democracy, whether they be Democrat or Republican, rather than as a republic. Preserving our Republic is essential to preserving our liberty . . .

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when Benjamin Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention, an anecdote reads:  “A lady asked: ‘Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy?’ ‘A republic,’ replied the Doctor, ‘if you can keep it.'”  To be able to keep our republic, we must know what it is, and we must know why it is worth fighting for.

(Note for those of you who might have been lost deep in an underground cavern and just now reached fresh air and blue skies:  The House of Representatives impeached the President; following the Senate trial, he was acquitted!)

Robert M. Starr

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