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Green: Our democracy is at stake

Becky Green
Valley Voices

This is not about me. This is not about you. This is not about the president. This is about the political system underlying our present, American reality.

Any government is merely an agreement, by all those under its umbrella, to act according to common rules and principles in good faith. It requires a statement: “As an individual, I will act according to these premises, in consideration of others who do the same.” No one knows if everyone else will maintain their end of the bargain; someone could forego their word and negate a promise.

Under some auspicious blessing, numerous generations of Americans have (arguably) acted in (relative) good faith of this agreement, handing it down to those forthcoming — a sufficiently intact political architecture with enough social cohesion for other endeavors to flourish: technology, science, art, literature, health care, education, human rights and philosophy. 

By no means, does this excuse the atrocities our country committed along the way: brutalizing Native Americans, slavery, biases both implicit and explicit, suppression and discrimination. America has blood on its hands. Progress has made a brutal and selfless pilgrimage through our moral ineptitude in an attempt to realize the honorable, yet empirically unfulfilled ideals of our constitution. 

It has been a staggered and non-linear process. We owe the extent of our current liberties to the collective efforts of those before us — those who fought to extend this political ideology to all of its rightful constituents: religious freedom was established, while natives were silenced; they still seek justice; slavery was outlawed, but equality struggled; our White House, for a moment, saw an inclusive spectrum, yet here we are, with shattered families at our borders. Here is the dangerous context of impeachment while those charged with balancing power protect it instead — disregarding the due process which sustains our republic and bestowing a fatal precedent on our future.

Given the human tendency of abusing power, recorded by millennia of international history, those imperfect founders gave us some unprecedented tools to limit and balance various powers: due process and impeachment to name a few.

The Senate is currently debating whether they will allow witnesses and subpoenaed evidence to inform the impeachment trial. By definition, a trial without complete evidence, without the pertinent witnesses and without court-ordered documentation, is categorically unjust. In the context of impeachment, it would forever ruin the protections created by our founders. An elected official will have been allowed to use power and evade due process. This is dangerous.

An incomplete trial invalidates everything we learned, and everything our children are learning, about our political system. It jeopardizes everything our veterans and military members fought so hard to protect. There is no American freedom without a foundation of checks and balances. There is no free country where power goes unchecked.

It is a harsh reality that those outside our borders depend on the well-being of these United States. Our continuation as a government founded on freedom and rights inalienable lends solidarity to our neighbors establishing their own. 

What is more, since the American president is arguably the most powerful individual in the world, with some of the most potentially consequential and devastating resources at his fingertips, we have a global responsibility to never let his power go unmonitored. If a complete trial is not performed, we endanger the safety of the world.

Call your senators. Demand transparency. Hold power accountable. Petition. Question. Promote civil discourse. Our democracy is at stake.

Becky Green is a data and research consultant for local and national companies. After living and studying in various cities and countries, she intends to stick around the Vail Valley, where she grew up. You can find a related petition here: https://www.change.org/p/we-oppose-a-fatalprecedent


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