I think Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the Republican Party and to President Trump for showing us so clearly how fragile democracy is.

With regard to the impeachment trial and his tenure in office, the president and the party have systematically and consistently flouted the Constitution and the laws of the land, bending and interpreting them to their needs or ignoring them altogether. An impeachment trial that does not allow witnesses to be present and testify is a sham, a sad bit of political theater. If the president is innocent, as he insists, there should be no fear of what any witness would say. Ironically, an open trial with witnesses, the very thing that could remove any doubt of his guilt, has been denied at the insistence of his own party and himself.

Since witnesses could also prove his guilt, not allowing them to appear certainly presents the appearance of fear of exposure, so this action will continue to cast doubt on the outcome.

To our elected representatives of both parties: You were elected to serve the country and its people, not your party or your ambition. Power is an addiction that is difficult to break, and power concentrated in the few is the antithesis of democracy.

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