To the editor: For the sake of argument, I suggest we begin with just this simple, nonpartisan premise: The basis for our democracy and the very essence of our republic is the ability and right of citizens, and us alone, to be able to determine the form our government will take through the free, fair, open and transparent election of those who would represent us. (“Senate votes against calling witnesses in Trump impeachment trial,” Jan. 31)
The evidence presented in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial clearly showed that the president is using the vast power of his office to further his own political ambitions. Strip away all the verbosity, spin and deflection, and we are left with an existential threat to our democracy through the manipulation of our electoral process.
The breadth and depth of the president’s scheme has not been fully exposed. Some said we should wait for the 2020 election to remove Trump from office, but the 2020 election will not protect the nation if the results cannot be trusted. Congress has a clear obligation to protect and defend the Constitution and, by extension, the 2020 election. This is not a partisan issue.
Rationalizations, flimsy excuses and contorted legalese will not protect the senators who saved Trump. They will be remembered for where they stood on this.
Earle Hartling, Culver City
To the editor: The Republicans by and large voted against allowing witness testimony, setting the stage for his acquittal, not because it’s the right thing to do but because Trump has threatened them. The GOP is so afraid of what this president might say in a tweet that Republicans will do anything he says, right or wrong.
Trump is extremely weak and nonconfrontational, mostly hiding behind his Twitter account or his lawyers. He can’t even fire some people in person, and yet the GOP is afraid of him.
Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist, is not afraid to stand up to him, but the grown men and women of the U.S. Senate are. We desperately need more adults in Congress.
Ron Diton, Upland
To the editor: Help me understand: Have an affair in the White House, lie under oath, and you are impeached.
But take an oath to protect the Constitution, lie repeatedly, threaten to withhold aid from a foreign government if it does not investigate your political opponent, and the Republicans think this should not warrant removal?
Senate Republicans have just torn up Article II of the Constitution and allowed a bullying dictator to take control. They have thrown us under the bus.
I weep for what was once our democracy.
Eileen M. Elvins, Dana Point
To the editor: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now the de facto president. Trump can do anything he wants because he has McConnell covering his back.
Whenever the majority leader gives a news conference he has his “Greek chorus” behind him. You’ve seen them — Republican Sens. John Barrasso, John Thune, Ron Johnson and John Cornyn all staring intently at McConnell as if they were listening to the word of God.
Well, I guess in their minds, there is no difference. With McConnell they keep the other GOP stalwarts in line. One misstep by anyone, and they know they will be out of office by the next primary season.
Someone once said that fear is a great motivator.
Robert G. Brewer, Sherman Oaks