1. Statement

Impeachment: Testing Democracy, Testing Moral Courage

By Diane Randall, February 7, 2020

The impeachment question before the Senate was a test of the power Congress and the American people are willing to give the president. The Senate’s vote to acquit Donald J. Trump of the impeachment charges cemented the reality of a profound partisan divide on this question. It sanctioned the president to use the power of the office to suit his needs, largely unchecked by Congress.

Democrats made the case for convicting the president of abusing the power of the office by withholding US military support from the Ukraine in exchange for help in his election bid.

Republicans, many who recognized that what the president did was wrong, did not accept his actions as violations of the Constitution. Rather, they affirmed their absolute loyalty to President Trump. With one exception: Mitt Romney, Republican senator of Utah, who voted for impeachment on the charge of abuse of power.

FCNL will continue to work with a fierce love of our neighbors, no matter who occupies the White House or who controls Congress. Our faith demands nothing less.

Senator Romney’s vote was an act of political courage grounded in his Mormon faith. Calling himself a deeply religious person, Mr. Romney characterized the president’s actions as “a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values.” Knowing that he would pay a price for breaking ranks with his party, his religious convictions superseded party loyalty. Since the vote, he has been viciously attacked by the president and his partisans.

The result of impeachment has left many people brokenhearted and dispirited. We yearn for a government and a country where civil discourse and civic engagement create the framework for addressing the injustices of our communities and our country, where all people can act on the courage of their convictions for equity and justice.

The failures of the Constitution and laws passed by Congress motivate us to right the wrongs. Throughout our nation’s history, we see that people who persist, who are driven by an inward Spirit greater than politics, have made the incremental steps to the world we seek.

By garnering the support of other people in community, we have taken steps toward racial justice, immigration justice, the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict, human rights, ending war, and reversing the crisis of climate change.

Every day we hear from people in the FCNL network about the steps of courage they take to use their political power by advocating with their congressional offices.

This November the president, the House, and 33 senators are up for election. We all should engage by working for candidates we support, by questioning the candidates running for office and by voting on November 3, and getting our friends to vote.

We are writing our history every day. How will we show courage? How will we persist in our quest for the world we seek?

FCNL will continue to work with a fierce love of our neighbors, no matter who occupies the White House or who controls Congress. Our faith demands nothing less.

Diane Randall

  • General Secretary

Diane Randall is the General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Diane leads FCNL’s staff to effectively educate and lobby for the policies and legislative priorities established by FCNL’s General Committee. A lifelong advocate for peace and social justice, Diane is a fierce proponent for citizen engagement that advances policies and practices to create a better society for all.