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An important takeaway from the Senate impeachment trial of the president should give all Americans, even the most ardent Trump supporters, a reason to fear for the future of our republic. The Senate Republicans violated their oath of office by voting against allowing testimony from first-hand witnesses like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney and refusing to subpoena relevant documents from the administration. Their kowtowing to Trump has weakened the Constitution, shifting the balance of power the framers built into that document in favor of the executive branch. When one branch of government shirks its responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution and the nation in favor of protecting one corrupt individual and allowing him to act as though he is above the law, it sets the nation on the road to a dictatorship. The glue that holds our republic together is that our form of government, set down in the Constitution by the framers, is based on the rule of law, not the rule of men. Dictatorships operate by the rule of men. In those, the law is whatever the leader says it is and can change from day to day depending on the whim of the leader. Trump has never had any respect for the law. All one has to do is look at how he has operated in his business dealings throughout his life. When his plans have bumped up against the law, his response has often been to break the law rather than change the plans. Trump erroneously thinks that Article II of the Constitution gives him the right to do whatever he wants. Now the sycophantic Republicans in the Senate have just told him: yes, you can do whatever you want. This is one of the arguments the House managers made during the trial: Once you have given one man ultimate power, what do you do when you realize your mistake? What do you do when you realize you have enabled a dictator? How do you take that power back? Answer: We must now see if the words “We the People” really mean anything.
RANDY VLACH, Casper