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David Wallace: Is it fair?

Other Voices
David Wallace

It’s not unusual to ask, “Is it fair?” When it comes to the recent spectacle “Impeachment of President Trump,” it came up for many of us. It takes 67 votes from 100 senators to find the president guilty.

I suggest two preliminary questions to ask. First, “Is it legal?” The Constitution is our main guide in this case. If you tuned in to C-Span you saw the arguments. Two teams of lawyers did battle. Guilty, or innocent? The lawyers strike, duck and weave with the truth; playing a rough game. Winning seemed their only goal.

The senators, the jury in this trial, could have asked for witnesses and documents. But by majority vote, they didn’t need to see evidence for what they had heard. A total of 46 of our senators are themselves lawyers. Of these 27, more than half found the president guilty.

If you do not see this as fair, remember that we can amend our Constitution again to improve elections. We can support those with a broader sense of responsibility in law, social programs and administration of justice.

Get involved. Demand evidence and think critically.

But not everything that is legal is right. For example, slavery was legal. So, a second question is, “Is it right?” We answer this from our values or faith. For Christians, the guide is the Bible plus various traditions and teachings. On C-Span you saw the contrast between self-interest and how we treat a neighbor. You saw deception, coercion and domination; often the values of power and wealth. Our senators looked to their values. We will always remember what Senator Romney did. Of the senators who are Christians (63), most found the president innocent (52).

If you do not see this as fair, consider the growing movement toward progressive faith. Join those who have a broader notion of who their neighbors are and how to treat them. Join those who support and work in sustainable enterprises that advance the common good.

Two sides fighting on our behalf whether they are lawyers or political parties will not produce either justice or good government. “Is it fair?” is best answered in the same way that we make it fair.

Get involved. Demand evidence and think critically.

David Wallace lives in Nevada City.


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