Thank you, Al.
Good Evening Everyone! Let me start by saying that I see you – You are important to me – I value you. This is my acknowledgement of our shared humanity – an open connection between us. Together we make up this wonderful community, part of this remarkable country – a nation with fraught history, yes, but still big enough for all of us and full of resources to sustain all of us. It is now we who must tend it for a time, before we also pass on into history.
Today, inside both the great corridors and small cloakrooms of Washington DC, where power is brokered and self-interest is plotted, you and I are not so acknowledged – nor accepted. Many politicians exhale breath “on behalf of the American people.” When I hear that, I tune-in a little more closely, because what I often hear is that we people are being unfairly maligned, impugned and judged. From cable news channels shoveling GOP propaganda to toxic, far-right Social Media outlets come variations on: “Democrats have been trying to overturn the results of President Trump’s election and delegitimize his presidency for three years.” Actually, that is a verbatim quote from the junior Senator from Kansas, Jerry Moran, put up on Twitter last Friday and how his weekly official Senate newsletter began yesterday.
Friends, I did not start off on a determined, wild chase three years ago to impeach the president. Did you? No! We sought and continue to seek to hold all elected officials to account and, to be clear, we have arrived at this moment in history because Donald J. Trump has never, and cannot now, control himself or his impulses.
In July, Mr. Trump said that the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want.” My fellow citizens, those are the words of a despot, not of an American patriot… much less a President.
PROTECTING OUR DEMOCRACY IS OUR ELECTED LEADERS’
MOST IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY
whether it is President Trump, our Senators, my friend Al Frisby here on the Merriam City Council or any civil servant who takes an oath to the Constitution.
The facts are clear: this president has failed in his first priority to protect the nation. He has threatened the heart of our democracy by demanding foreign interference in our elections for his own electoral benefit. He engendered others to obtain that foreign assistance and then set about obstructing Congressional efforts to investigate. That, folks, is illegal.
‘We the people,’ there ennobled in the Preamble to the Constitution, we the people must trust that our vote matters — that it cannot be bought or stolen. Every member of Congress, in both chambers, has sworn an oath to protect and defend that Constitution. Those folks are your voice in the great corridors and small cloakrooms and tomorrow you will be heard. Members will fulfill their solemn duty, which I believe sadly will be impeachment,
BECAUSE NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.
The rule of law is the bedrock of American democracy, the principle that protects every American from the abuse of monarchs, despots and tyrants. Every American should demand – must demand – that our leaders put the rule of law above politics.
So, let me close with this question: Are you ready to empower your own values? At every Indivisible KC gathering we end with a Call-To-Actio.
I am asking you to contact your Congressional offices tomorrow – and the next day and the day after that. Write the local and regional newspapers. Call in to radio talk shows. Navigate Social Media cautiously, but do not shy away from - respectfully - challenging conversations at your holiday celebrations. Engage and flex your civic muscles.
Volunteer for IndivisibleKC and MoveOn and League of Women Voters and your kids’ schools and any organization that seeks to knit the fabric of our community back together.
Come 2020 be ready to engage everyone you meet with this question:
Are you registered to vote?
Remind everyone by your own example that they too can empower their values!
Show them that you see them. Be visible so that they can see you.
THIS IS OUR HISTORY. THIS IS OUR TIME. THIS IS UP TO US!