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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: The founders did not foresee a party that would protect a demagogue

Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell
President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell at a campaign rally in Richmond, Ky., on Oct. 13, 2018.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: Historian Eli Merritt’s careful reading of the debates and conversations that took place at the time of the creation of the U.S. Constitution defines a time in American history when our founding fathers were legitimately concerned that someone like President Trump could threaten our institutions.

This led to the adoption of the impeachment clause of Article One of the Constitution.

The founders assumed that Congress would be jealous of its unique powers in the American system and not act as a lackey for the executive. Political parties did not exist in 1789 and therefore were not a concern for the framers of the Constitution.

They could not have foreseen a faction that would so blatantly ignore their oath to protect and defend the Constitution in order to protect their own Republican Party. But this is where we are in 2019.

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Bob Teigan, Santa Susana

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To the editor: Merritt describes impeachment as the founders’ ultimate corrective against demagogues — politicians “who obtain power through emotional appeals to prejudice, distrust and fear.”

I doubt any of the founders would be pleased to behold the demagogue currently occupying the White House. Surely they hoped that future Americans would know better, or would at least have the capacity to learn from a mistake.

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Do we have that capacity? Two of the demagogue’s top three challengers appeal to prejudice, distrust and fear with the same gusto the president exhibits. The only difference is their choice of villains.

Michael Smith, Georgetown, Ky.


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