Our democracy is in peril. This is not an alarmist’s siren, but an echo of caution and truth. President Donald Trump’s call on July 2019 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requesting his government to investigate his political rival is not common practice in collecting opposition research. It is an abrasive violation of our democratic norms and institutions.  

As the House of Representatives launches a formal impeachment inquiry on this grave and deeply troubling matter, congressional Republicans fall silent or stand complicit with the President’s abhorrent behavior. Allies of the President can’t spin this scandal away. The White House has admitted this unethical overreach of executive power by releasing a transcript of the call in question. It is black and white. Our president said clearly, “I would like you to do us a favor…” His impoundment of vital military assistance to the Ukrainian military directly establishes a quid pro quo. The facts are indisputable. The real question is whether congressional Republicans will choose country over party. 

At the start of each congress, senators and members of congress swear that they will “support and defend the Constitution.” It is their solemn obligation as delegates of we the people to exercise their oversight function as a co-equal branch of government. The President of the United States directly invited a foreign government to intervene in our free and fair elections. This is morally repugnant to all American ideals of freedom and democracy. Political interference of a democratic electoral process is the work of a banana republic or despotic authoritarian regime, not the shining city on the hill.   

The Republican Party has abdicated its constitutional duty of holding this president to account in favor of securing political expediency for their self-serving pursuit of power. Where are the Margaret Chase Smiths or John McCains of today’s conservative movement? These defenders of institutions are no more. Remaining are only spineless politicians, not devoted statesmen.  This vacuum of strong Republican leadership must be filled in order to allow our nation to renew the cornerstone of a government that works on behalf of its people.    

It is the civic responsibility of all who cherish the rule of law and this grand experiment of self-governance to demand the party of Lincoln to choose the interests of all than their own. A house divided against itself cannot stand.   

Stone is a freshman secondary education: social studies major. He is also the secretary of the Secondary Education/Foundations of Education Club and the chairman of the Springfield Township Planning Commission.