“Concentration of executive power, unless it's very temporary and for specific circumstances, let's say fighting World War Two, it's an assault on democracy.”

Norm Chomsky

Perhaps the most disturbing statement to come out of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump was made by the aging Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz who has clearly forgotten or dismissed both the history of our nation’s founding and the Constitution.

On national TV and standing in the well of Senate, Dershowitz proclaimed, “Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest. … And if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”

In a nutshell, he justified a president taking whatever unilateral actions they deem in their personal and/or perceived public best interest, irrespective as to whether they are in the nation’s best interest or permitted under Article II of the Constitution.

Dershowitz seems to be trying to defend Trump’s false claim, “I have an Article II, where I have to the right to do whatever I want as president,” a statement one might expect to  hear from a king or one of any number of modern-day Russian, Chinese or other autocrats he so admires.

Our nation fought a bloody revolution to escape the tyranny of an absolute monarch!

A new Constitution was then conceived and ratified, dividing governmental powers among three equal branches, enumerated the limited authority of each, and specifically included a system of checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judiciary to safeguard the people from any future tyranny.

James Madison in Federalist No. 51 in defense of such checks and balances wrote, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judicial in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self–appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

A number of Republican Senators, who hold the power to remove Trump from office, have publicly voiced concerns about the president’s actions.  

Yet they were unwilling to hear material witnesses or examine documents … many becoming public since the House’s Impeachment vote … which could exonerate the president and support his claim of no wrong doing or add weight to the case his actions did fall within the Constitutional definition justifying Impeachment and removal from office.

As the showdown vote looms, it appears Senator Rubio’s opinion, "Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office.” and therefore, “I will not vote to remove the President because doing so would inflict extraordinary and potentially irreparable damage to our already divided nation”, is sadly shared by many GOP Senators.

To the contrary, their sacred oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; [and] bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” demands they put political and party partisanship aside. 

Whatever the final vote, our nation’s deep political divide will remain unabated.  

If acquitted, some will also argue, the dangerous precedent set by failing to remove or reign in Donald Trump whose life-long autocratic instincts will do “irreparable damage” to our republic and our democracy.

Politics aside, it is hard to conceive most Americans really wanting any president to have unfettered and unchecked power!