The way forward
The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion. Tired at length of anarchy, or want of government, they may take shelter in the arms of monarchy for repose and security.
Those then, who resist a confirmation of public order, are the true Artificers of monarchy—not that this is the intention of the generality of them. Yet it would not be difficult to lay the finger upon some of their party who may justly be suspected.
This is the transcript of the speech given on Dec. 18, 2019 by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer prior to the impeachment vote.
Madam Speaker, I have had the honor of serving in this house for over 38 years. I’ve served during six presidencies.
I’ve been here through moments of tremendous progress and terrible tragedy. I have seen periods of rank partisanship and patriotic bipartisanship. I’ve seen our two-party system work. And I’ve seen it break down. Never in all my years of serving in this great institution that I love and the people of my district did I ever expect to encounter such an obvious wrongdoing by a president of the United States.
Nor did I expect to witness such a craven rationalization of presidential actions that should put our national security at risk, undermine the integrity of our elections, and defied the constitutional authority of the Congress to conduct oversight.
We’ve heard from Republicans that this impeachment really has to do with policy differences though on how we feel personally about the president, about his temperament or that we simply dislike him. Throughout the Trump presidency, Democrats have resisted pursuing impeachment even as we watched with dismay and disgust at a pattern of wrongdoing.
That pattern included ordering federal agencies to lie to the public firing the FBI director for refusing to end investigations of his campaign. Siding with Vladimir Putin against our intelligence agencies. Taking funding away from the military to put towards an ineffective border wall. And setting policies that have led to the separation of families and caging of children.
Donald Trump is an out-of-control dumpster fire. No one with any sense at all would dispute that. But so what?
We can’t solve America’s problems with clever posts on Facebook or twitter. Buttons and bumper stickers won’t make America safe for Democracy again.
We must lead the way by living our values, no matter the personal risk in doing so. Our founders pledged their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor to make this nation possible. They risked everything.
The least we can do is open our eyes fully, see what needs to be done, and accept the challenge of being citizens. Risk being a leader. Often, that means doing things that are hard. It may mean doing things that make us uncomfortable. It may even mean opening our wallets to support the people and causes we believe in.