Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will begin on Tuesday. Currently, it does not appear that the requisite 2/3 supermajority will vote to convict Trump, despite overwhelming evidence that he inspired and incited the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. If this be the case, if he is acquitted and therefore allowed to run for office again, then justice will not have been served. More importantly, it would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents and at some point, perhaps sooner than later, the people of the United States will lose their freedoms to a power-hungry dictator.
It was with this dark thought in mind that I composed the following letter to the Republican senator from my state, Rob Portman. I know that a single letter from me will not change his mind, but I’m hoping he hears many voices telling him to please vote to convict, and that at the end of the day, he will follow his conscience. Feel free to copy, alter, and use this letter if you feel so inclined.
Dear Senator Portman,
I write to you today regarding the upcoming impeachment trial of Donald Trump. You are one of 100 people who will decide the ultimate fate of this nation, and I want to be sure you understand the seriousness of your role next week.
While I have not seen the evidence that will be presented to the full Senate next week, I have read enough to know that there is sufficient evidence that many of Donald Trump’s actions over the two months after the November 6th election were the run-up, setting the stage for what happened on January 6th. He claimed voter fraud before the first vote was cast, he filed hundreds of lawsuits sans evidence, he riled his base with claims that he “won bigly” and that there was “massive voter fraud”. When lawsuits were thrown out of court, recounts taken, and the election certified for Joe Biden, he claimed the election had been ‘stolen’ from him.
I know, and you know, that Joe Biden is the rightful President of the United States. While Trump received more votes than I would have expected, 81 million of us rejected his erratic, inept, and incompetent ‘leadership’, especially in light of his bungling response to the pandemic that has taken so many lives of our loved ones. More to the point, there is sufficient evidence that he replaced Pentagon personnel in order to slow the response to the attack on the Capitol that he knew was coming, for he had incited it. He called on his followers to ‘fight’, and then watched from the safety of the White House, with a grin on his face and his son’s girlfriend dancing in the background, as our voices were very nearly snuffed out.
The events of January 6th were not only an attack on you, Senator, and on all your fellow members of Congress, but on We the People, the voters, the citizens, the taxpayers who support your policies and pay your salaries.
I realize you will not run for re-election in 2022, so perhaps the fate of the nation does not matter much to you. But for ten years now, we have paid your salary out of our own hard-earned income, and in return, we ask that you support those things that are in our best interest, such as ensuring that no future president can ever act as unconscionably as Donald Trump has and expect to go unpunished.
Although I often disagree with your views, I know that you are a decent man with a conscience. You have two choices … you can follow your conscience and vote to convict Donald Trump on the charge of inciting a coup to overthrow a fair and honest election, or you can play to the party line, even though in your heart you know it is wrong. Which will it be, Senator? Will you do the right thing and sleep with a clear conscience at night, or will you put the Republican Party’s interests above those of the people you represent?
If you and your fellow senators vote to acquit Donald Trump, he will have the opportunity to rise from the ashes and destroy this nation as we know it. He is not a president, never was, and is not a believer in democratic principles, but rather would install himself as king given the chance. If that happens, the responsibility will fall squarely on your shoulders and those of your fellow senators. The choice is yours, Senator Portman … please think long and hard, and choose wisely.
Jill Dennison, citizen, independent voter, taxpayer