Standing on the Right Side of History
Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Today is the third time in my lifetime a President faces impeachment.
Nixon, Clinton, and now Trump.
I was a child when Nixon chose to resign instead of having the label stamped on his legacy. But I remember a country horrified by his breach of public trust. I was in grad school when Clinton was impeached and while the disingenuous GOP outrage over his actions was galling, Clinton perjured himself and rightly faced consequences for that action.
But this thing with Trump feels like it is in a whole other league. His crimes are ongoing, rotting the roots of our democracy. Those people best situated to place his actions in context, historians, spoke out en masse on December 16, 2019.
In a letter published on Medium, the historians placed the case for Trump’s impeachment in the context of Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers and concluded:
“President Trump’s actions committed both before and during the House investigations fit Hamilton’s description and manifest utter and deliberate scorn for the rule of law and ‘repeated injuries’ to constitutional democracy. That disregard continues and it constitutes a clear and present danger to the Constitution. We therefore strongly urge the House of Representatives to impeach the President.“
As of this writing, over fifteen hundred historians have signed the letter. Included in their individual signatures are their name, title and their affiliated institution. While taking this stand and publicly stating their support for impeachment may expose them to GOP vitriol, the signatories, with their inherent respect and love of history, want it clear which side they stand on.
At this point it is not clear that taking such a stand will move anyone who is not already in support of, or against, the evidence, the process, or the Constitution. But these historians are taking a public nonviolent stand in an effort to communicate with a wider audience in the hopes that it might.
Here’s hoping that in the weeks ahead four GOP senators will look to, and consider, these historians public statement and act in the interests of our country and our republic.
 NVA #4: Signed public statements
 NVA #2: Letters of opposition or support and NVA #6: Group or Mass Petitions