As I stand here, in this forum amongst my peers, all of whom were selected by and have constitutional obligations to constituents, I am torn. And, more importantly, I am tired.
I am tired of this endless back and forth. I am tired of the zero sum game that we have created in order to satiate our constituents. I am tired of neglecting the oath we took to serve to focus on this when there are so many more important issues on which to focus.
Madam President, it is my belief, as it always has been, that we should always reflect on and appreciate the past, but our energy and actions should be focused on the future, and serving and providing value to the constituents we serve. This impeachment seems to me to be energy focused on an ineffective, unwise and otherwise divisive action that is backwards looking, and I feel we should turn the page and move forward as a body. The electorate has spoken through it vote, so why are we looking backward?
With that said, I must also reflect on the events of January 6, events that tragically resulted in lost lives of five fellow US citizens, people who had names and families and friends, and that curated a situation which, at least for a few hours, threatened many of us here in this hallowed ground. Thanks to the bravery and heroism of police and service members, we are all here today. I feel strongly that had the breach happened earlier or even slightly different, that it may not have been the case that we would all be here today.
I truly believe that history will remember January 6 as a day when a small part of the US electorate attempted to overthrow the Capitol. As more information continues to be ascertained, however, it becomes more clear that this was an organized and calculated effort, and at this moment, the threat remains around the country.
While it is difficult in my mind and the minds of my Republican colleagues to create causality between the actions of the people on that day to the words or actions of the President, which is the basis for this impeachment, I do feel that the words and actions of the president during and after that event are reprehensible. During that period, the President had the opportunity to quell the movement and put Americans at ease, but he failed to do so. More important, as reports and intelligence continue to be collected, it is clear that there is a clear and present danger that results from his inaction.
I do not believe this impeachment will stop or quell any further actions by extremists to cause havoc, chaos, and perhaps even further loss of life, as they have their own agenda and will never be beholden to others. History, however, will remember this impeachment as how we, the elected leaders and representatives for this great country, ruled on accountability for such actions.
I love America, and I believe America will heal, as we always have healed. In the end, when a new generation of legislators step forth to serve, there will be two sides to history upon which they will draw inspiration and courage. One of those sides says that we do not condone and will never condone violence, hate and purposeful divisiveness for political gain, and attempts at fomenting this, and more important the lack of effort and purpose to quell it, is unacceptable and cannot be shepherded without accountability.
I wish to be on that side of history.
Therefore, Madam President, I vote with my mind and heart, and with consideration of the minds and hearts of future generations, “yay” to this impeachment.
I reserve the balance of my time.