Democracy on trial

US Constitution

an existential concern…

A full and fair finding of all the facts (e.g., all relevant documents and pertinent witnesses) is the bare minimum-standard the president and Americans need from the recently convened Senate Impeachment Trial—the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.

This stress-test of democracy is not a partisan matter. We truly need 100 patriots standing-up, we don’t need any rank partisans right now. However, the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, and some senate members of both parties, have publicly declared their intention to be fully partisan (their minds are made up before hearing all the evidence). These outspoken senators (especially Leader McConnell) who’ve no intention of being impartial are very problematic. Frankly, refusal to hear relevant/pertinent evidence in any trial is unacceptable. How could one possibly justify any such cover-up attempt ?


Hear See Speak No Evil Image by Paul Brennan
Image by Paul Brennan || CC0

Further, after President Trump declined participation in the preliminary impeachment process in the House, and stonewalled on all requested documents/witnesses, the president and his defenders don’t now get to say that the Articles of Impeachment delivered to the Senate merit dismissal for incompleteness. As circular arguments fail by definition, the Senate is responsible for continuing a thorough fact-finding process to complete the record (to fullest possible degree) before asking senators to vote on removing, or acquitting, the POTUS. 

Our nation needs the truth

Bottom line, we need the impeachment trial to be full and fair

U.S. Senators need to fully engage their sworn responsibility of getting all the facts on the table (e.g., fidelity to oath: “impartial justice”). Once that’s done, then let each senator wrestle with their own conscience (and home district voters) about whether or not the truth merits the removal of President Trump from office. Anything short of a full and fair trial will rightly be called a cover-up and forever beg the question:

“What did President Trump (and Mitch McConnell) have to hide?”


Full and Fair meme 1


Rule of lawon trial

Present polarized (‘tribalized’) life conditions have placed not only the POTUS, but also U.S. Senators, each/every citizen, and even democracy itself, in the dock. Will the center hold (our ‘rule of law‘) in any functional sense? This Senate trial may be our last chance to regain enough common ground (e.g., the necessary shared understandings and norms) to preserve our democratic experiment. 

Even on January 16—the day that Chief Justice John Roberts, and then the senators, were sworn in for the Senate Impeachment Trial—I heard retired political leaders from both sides of the aisle claiming that, behind closed doors, present Republican leaders openly voice their grave concerns about President Donald J. Trump’s relentless assault on norms, social/political institutions, and the rule of law. Yet those Republican leaders on the record: crickets. I’ve argued that with a compassionate outlook we’re able to see that this silence is an epic tell on the abject failure of President Trump’s “no pressure” defense (see  “Perfect Call” Defense Fails).


trump Impeached meme 500


Significantly, in Gravesian developmental terms, in the U.S., fourth-level Blue [DQ] (order) values are facing an existential stress-test (see Pattern echo). We remember, “democracy” is indeed a product of Orange [ER] (Enlightenment) values, but is manifested through our Blue [DQ] (conventions) founding documents. In other words, our democracy is founded/grounded on the rule of law. It is Blue values that, through the Constitution, define the working structure for our democracy.


Double Helix Image by Darwin Laganzon
Image by Darwin Laganzon || CC0

Right now

The Senate Rules in Impeachment Trials provides a form for the special oath all senators swear for any impeachment. Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath for senators:



Senators have now been sworn to “…impartial justice…” in the pending matter of Donald John Trump, forty-fifth POTUS. Immediately after swearing their oaths, senators then signed the “oath book” to document for history their pledges of fidelity to the “…Constitution and laws…”.

When asked if the Senate is capable of conducting a fair trial in this hyper-polarized season, one senator basically responded that:

If the Senate cannot conduct a fair trial, then we can rightly entertain discussion regarding the end of our democracy.

Fair Trial meme

DQ stress-test

This stress-test of national Blue includes each/every one of us! Please contact your senators, encourage them to vote their conscience AFTER making sure all the pertinent documents have been seen and relevant witnesses have been heard. Both sides must have a full/fair opportunity to express their case and question the case of the other side—stonewalls must desist now. The rule of law, our sense of having a just common ground, and our very democracy all depend upon it. So, I repeat:


last chance meme-image-by-paul-brennan



promo for Jan 26

(Antidote for Orwellian divide)

Your thoughts?

I never know what I’ve said till I hear the response. What did you hear me say?



Hear See Speak No Evil Image by Paul Brennan



2 thoughts on “Democracy on trial

    1. David,

      Yep, for sure on that. As one who has worked most of their life to change this or that, I am gobsmacked that so much change has occurred in the past four years or so. So sad that the change has largely been regression.

      My hope is that if all the facts are allowed to be disclosed, then voters will be able to help senators clarify and discern their consciences.

      Thanks for writing!


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