Trump is a danger to our electoral process, just as James Madison feared.

James Madison

James Madison

James Madison is correctly referred to as the most influential Founder in regards to the creation of the U.S. Constitution. His ideas brought life to the Constitution as well as his contributions to the Federalist Papers. Without a doubt, Madison’s thoughts were, and are, critical to the current debate on Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Below is a quote from James Madison (found in the National Archives, Madison Papers, 20 July 1787) that addresses impeachment. Note his reasoning on why impeachment is proper even with a presidential election looming…that is what he meant about the limitation of the president’s term is not “sufficient security”.

Mr. Madison thought it indispensable that some provision should be made for defending the Community agst the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate. The limitation of the period of his service, was not a sufficient security. He might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers.
— James Madison, The Madison Papers, 20 July 1787

Madison hit the nail on the head with this statement in that long-ago July. How can we wait when Trump is shaking down a foreign power to influence the 2020 election by discrediting his most likely rival?

Just in the last week (Sept 29-Oct 5 2019), Trump asked Ukraine and China, at a press conference no less, to investigate a political rival for the 2020 election. The 25 July White House call summary as well as the State Department’s text messages all reveal Trump also did this in secrecy to browbeat Zelenskyy (Ukraine’s new president) into investigating Biden. Both U.S. military aid and a working visit to the White House were withheld until the Ukraine gave a press conference accusing Biden of crimes. The Ukraine had no desire to do this and Zelenskyy texted the U.S. senior Ukrainian diplomate that he did not want to be involved in U.S. domestic politics. The White House visit has yet to happen despite Trump’s promises and U.S. military aid was finally released months later because the U.S. Senate forced Trump to do so.

James Madison and the other framers were deathly concerned that foreign powers would interfere in the Great American experiment of creating a democratic republic. As seen above, Madison clearly thought a president who was betraying his trust to a foreign power needed to be impeached immediately. Waiting for the next election is too late, according to Madison, especially if the president asked a foreign power to help him get elected.

Donald Trump’s actions degrade our electoral process and corrupts the up-coming presidential election. In doing so, he cannot be trusted to allow free and fair elections in the U.S. in his ruthless pursuit of power. He must be impeached. Now.

Eric Keller1 Comment