STAR LAKE — Republicans have insisted that the only reason Democrats have impeached President Donald Trump is our collective anger that he won the election in the first place.
They ignore the fact that since day one of the Trump presidency, the country has moved from one crisis to another under questionable circumstances. For a few days or perhaps a week, the news is saturated by a particularly egregious lie or executive order followed by the backlash from legal analysts and lawyers fighting to overturn the potential harm caused by a president with no political background and no desire to acquire any new knowledge. Within that maelstrom, the country is constantly in an uproar.
I admit that I have had an Impeach Trump bumper sticker on my car for quite some time. To me, the handwriting was on the wall as soon as he began to reverse all the environmental regulations that have been helping clean up the air and water.
Pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord made no sense. Global warming is an issue that affects the entire planet, and 197 countries agreed. It is now 196 after Trump withdrew.
But who can focus on environmental disasters when there’s ongoing controversy over North Korea, Syria, the weird affection for all things Russian and now, of course, Iran?
Meanwhile, Trump has alienated our longtime allies Canada, Britain, Germany and France. He has threatened to pull out of NATO, the most stabilizing force in the West since World War II.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States and other countries imposed sanctions against Russia. Trump has since lifted those sanctions even though the war against Ukraine continues. Now Trump has been caught withholding funds approved by Congress for Ukraine in exchange for assistance against a political rival.
Republicans have said that by impeaching Trump, we are somehow denying the rights of the 63 million people who voted for him. I say that he seems to have little or no respect for the rights of American citizens to be represented by someone who can and will rise to the dignity of the office.
Trump lies constantly. He is a bully and a name-caller. His attitude toward women is appalling. His former attorney, Michael Cohen, is in prison having been convicted of campaign finance violations and tax evasion. His current attorney Rudy Giuliani, may soon face similar consequences.
There are six members of Trump’s campaign and his administration who are in prison or awaiting sentencing. The Mueller Report produced 34 separate indictments.
Despite this, Trump would have you believe that he, personally, has done nothing wrong.
Apparently he is an innocent, incorruptible man surrounded by those who willingly break the law without his knowledge.
The instability of the administration is very concerning to me.
So far, there have been three chiefs of staff, three national security advisers, two secretaries of state and it’s real hard to count attorneys general. I get five when I include the title acting attorney general. Needless to say, the White House is chaotic and that’s not going to change.
Trump calls factual reports “fake news.” He vilifies the press, calling journalists “the enemy of the people.”
Freedom of speech is in the very first amendment. Even more important than the right to own a gun is the right to speak your mind. It is first because without a free and independent press, there can be no democracy.
This impeachment is about so much more than the election in 2016. I want my country back. I want a return to the rule of law. I want the United States to regain the respect of the world leaders with whom we share similar values.
I don’t want my country to be in new alliances with dictators. I want the United States to be the beacon of hope it has historically been for those who are oppressed.
As a resident of the Adirondacks, I am afraid that the removal of environmental regulations will mean a return of acid rain. Instead, I want my country to lead the world forward to cleaner, greener energy.
Only the most deluded among us can believe that Mr. Trump has never broken any laws. Now he has been caught.
The belief in truth and justice continues to be embraced by the American people. It needs to be restored in the White House.
The upcoming Senate trial must include witnesses. If Mr. Trump can defend his behavior, let him bring forth the testimony that will exonerate him. So far, all we have had is obstruction.
Skye Opel, formerly of Rochester, is retired and lives in Star Lake. She has worked as a blues singer, organic gardener, prep cook at a French restaurant, housecleaner, a very bad waitress, paralegal, registered nurse and an herbalist.