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When the impeachment of President Clinton ended with a party-line vote, the conclusion seemed inevitable that there was something fundamentally wrong with the political class. Once a politician is elected and belongs inside a (major) political party, ethics seem to vanish. At least one party member should have found the conscience to vote against the party line!

This conformity suggested a “swamp” of immoral people at the federal level. The political parties had abandoned morality for more material reasons — re-election, party support, financial backing, weak conformity, and so on. To many, it came as no surprise when millions of voters chose an outlier, someone with a mind of his own as president — Donald Trump.

What has happened is that we voters have — wittingly or unwittingly — chosen to throw out the baby with the bath water. The mind of the man we elected demands the destruction of democratic governing. Our democracy, with its ability to compromise and respect for opposition, is being dismantled by President Trump. He intends replacing our history from Washington to Obama with instinctive “strong” man governing — without moral principles, intellectual humility or respect for humanity.

Whether it is education, environment, arts, or the welcoming incised on our symbol of justice in New York harbor — justice for the poor, for people of color, for veterans, for farmers — alliances and cooperation with fellow nations and neighbor — we voters are currently supporting destruction of these, the essence of our country. No words can change that direction — only voting can.

Joris Heise, Bloomington

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