Twisted Words

The eighth commandment, narrowly put, urges us not to bear false witness against a neighbor. Its concern is with being truthful, trustworthy, using words honestly.

So it is with horror and incredulity that I hear, over and over, Republican leaders repeating over and over the claim that Democrats are “trying to overturn the results of a democratic election and thwart the will of the people.”

This is an illogical claim.

In the unlikely event that the Senate removes the President from office, Mike Pence will become President. The Constitutional process of succession will be followed. We will not go back three years and “undo” the election. Ms. Clinton will not become President. We will not have to vote again the ballot from 2016.

What is happening is that Congress is working to determine whether the President’s behavior has broken the trust of his office and is a danger to the integrity of the rule of law. This is a necessary process to hold people in power accountable for their actions.

The words these Republican leaders are using are twisted. They seem to believe that if they say them enough they can convince people that the Democrats are trying to undermine our government and destroy democracy itself. By their logic, the President could commit any crime with impunity and an attempt to hold him accountable would be unpatriotic.

That’s ridiculous.

I am not in a position to judge whether the President’s actions qualify for removal from office. That is the responsibility of Congress. However, I would appreciate it very much if people would be honest in the language they use and to stop framing their arguments in such exaggerated terms.

Being honest and straightforward is a sign of maturity and spiritual humility. We could use a lot more of that these days.

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