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She Didn't Hesitate. I Did.
Author: Raine    Date: 02/06/2020 12:33:05

"When civil servants in the current administration saw senior officials taking actions they considered deeply wrong in regard to the nation of Ukraine, they refused to take part. When Congress asked us to testify about those activities, my colleagues and I did not hesitate, even in the face of administration efforts to silence us."

"We did this because it is the American way to speak up about wrongdoing. I have seen dictatorships around the world, where blind obedience is the norm and truth-tellers are threatened with punishment or death. We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act. It has been shocking to experience the storm of criticism, lies and malicious conspiracies that have preceded and followed my public testimony, but I have no regrets. I did — we did — what our conscience called us to do. We did what the gift of U.S. citizenship requires us to do."

"Unfortunately, the last year has shown that we need to fight for our democracy. 'Freedom is not free' is a pithy phrase that usually refers to the sacrifices of our military against external threats. It turns out that same slogan can be applied to challenges which are closer to home. We need to stand up for our values, defend our institutions, participate in civil society and support a free press. Every citizen doesn’t need to do everything, but each one of us can do one thing. And every day, I see American citizens around me doing just that: reanimating the Constitution and the values it represents. We do this even when the odds seem against us, even when wrongdoers seem to be rewarded, because it is the right thing to do."

These are but 3 paragraphs from Marie Yovanovitch's opinion article published this morning in the Washington Post. It gave me pause as I mourn the sad state of our Union. It gave me hope as well.

Sometimes, it is good to be reminded that we are not alone. There are more Americans willing to stand for a more perfect union than not. Each one of us can do one thing. Historian Andrew Gawthorpe writes impeachment was a health-check for American democracy. It is not well
The slow creep of authoritarian rule need not be dramatic. It can even, as impeachment seemed at times, be rather boring. Democracy can die by inches, with precedents being established and barriers swept away so gradually that we don’t see what is happening until it is too late. Historians may look back on the past few years as just such a time, with today’s acquittal bringing to maturity a process from which American democracy may take a long time to recover.


They have acted like the totalitarian functionaries who Hannah Arendt said view the difference between truth and falsehood as something which “depends entirely on the power of the man who can fabricate it”. And while they may have the power to fabricate “truth” for those living in the rightwing media bubble, to everyone else – including the 71% of the public who wanted the Senate to call witnesses – their disconnect from reality has been cringeworthy.


A theory of executive supremacy, a supine legislature and a credulous, adoring segment of the population – which does not need to be a majority – are the ingredients that authoritarianism is made of. Because he certainly isn’t restrained by principle, the fate of American democracy now rests on the question of whether Trump knows the right way to mix the ingredients together.

By far the greatest risk will come in November.


None of this means that impeachment was a mistake. Like acquittal, a failure to impeach at all would have sent the same signal: that there are no limits on Trump’s actions. Impeachment at least kept the torch of the truth and the law alive. But now we must be very careful. They are about to – they must – come to try to extinguish that torch. Only an electoral repudiation so vast that it cannot be questioned can prevent them, and it must be won at a time when their power has never been less restrained by law or principle. The fate of democracy in America depends on it.

"Every citizen doesn’t need to do everything, but each one of us can do one thing."

Vote. I will vote because I feel it is my way to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I'm inclined to agree with Ambassador Yovanovitch when she says, "we will endure, we will persist and we will prevail."

We are the jury now.





14 comments (Latest Comment: 02/07/2020 01:32:48 by Raine)
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