As a child growing up in Chicago, I saw first-hand how then Mayor Richard J. Daley and the Democratic Machine abused their power to influence the outcome of elections in Chicago and maintain their stronghold on the City. That abuse continues to have ramifications for government and political corruption in Chicago still today – decades later.

It was that abuse of power and corruption that led me, in 6th grade, to walk into the local Republican headquarters and volunteer. For decades to follow, I rang doorbells, stood at train stations, gave speeches for, contributed financially to, and worked for dozens of honorable Republican candidates at every level of government. Today, a man who has absconded with the mantle of the Republican Party, who sadly serves under the label of a Republican President, who inexplicably has the support of the GOP was impeached. I can think of no more righteous a vote the U. S. House of Representatives could take than to impeach this president. Sadly, the vote was along party lines as the Republican Party has abandoned their Constitutional and moral obligation by supporting this criminal in the White House.

No one takes pleasure in impeaching a president, but this was legally, ethically, morally and politically the right thing to do. It was done after extensive investigation and with a careful weighing of the Constitution, the law and the facts. Having majored in political science with a focus on the American presidency and Constitutional Law, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the president has violated the laws of this country in numerous ways and in ways serious enough to require his impeachment and removal from office.

The fact is that he invited foreign countries to interfere in our electoral process.  He did it with Russia before he was president – on national television in front of all of us. He did it again with Ukraine – admitting to it in his version of the summary of his call, and bragging about it to us directly on television and through his chief of staff, his personal attorney and others. He did it again with the media cameras running when he invited China to do the same. While some may say “so what,” those who do clearly have not taken the time to consider the serious nature of this action, the impact it could have on our electoral process and the danger it presents to our democracy. A president indebted to a foreign power – whether it be Russia, China, Ukraine or others – is not serving the interests of the United States. A president who takes illegal steps to stay in office is a despot.

Furthermore, whether you think the attempt to use American resources and foreign policy to force foreign governments to interfere in our elections isn’t worthy of impeachment (and if you don’t, I can’t imagine what you think is), the second charge – that he abused power and obstructed Congress and justice – is also without question. No president has ever refused so completely to respond to an impeachment inquiry by blocking those around him from responding to a Congressional subpoena and refusing to provide requested documents. Every one of us knows that we would go to jail for comparable actions. This type of behavior must not be tolerated in a president. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. No one. Certainly not the president.

What saddens me most today though is that the once proud Republican Party has become the tool of an incompetent, unqualified, criminal who has zero regard for our Constitution, our morals, our norms – in fact, our country. Their continued outright lies, misrepresentations and distortion of the facts are designed to mislead Americans and obscure the truth. Their refusal to acknowledge the truth, defend and protect our Constitution, and vote to impeach and remove this president is contrary to every principle on which the Republican party was founded and is unconscionable.

This whole situation makes me sad. Even more so, these events make me angry. Furious actually. I am a patriot who believes in this country and our Constitution. The abdication of responsibility by the Republicans is the most horrific political act I have ever seen. Their failure to uphold their oath of office and protect and defend our Constitution and our country and is abhorrent. I will ring doorbells, provide financial support, and do everything I can to make certain that this president, and every single Representative and Senator who supports him, is defeated in 2020 or whenever they are next up for election. I hope you will do the same.