You are on page 1of 6

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House of Representatives


Longworth House Office Building
15 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

Full disclosure: I am a US Air Force veteran. I am an African American and Democrat,


just like those that came out in Alabama to elect Doug Jones to the Senate. I vote in every
election and like to think helped deliver the Speaker’s gavel back to you, and the House
flipped in the midterms of 2018.

In a one-on-one interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, President Donald


Trump admitted he would accept help from a foreign actor if they “had dirt”1 on his
opponent: this is no longer about this president. It’s about the next president and if we’re
truly lucky or blessed to still BE a republic, the next president after her or him.

The norms initially were broken after the Kerner Commission found we were “two
nations, one black, one white; separate and unequal.” After this admission, the United
States of America did nothing.2

Richard Milhouse Nixon took advantage of that “nothing” – nature abhors a vacuum –
running on a platform of “law and order” and white southern rage at the gains by my
parents with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act, and 1968 Fair Housing
Act. The Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party for the waiting arms of the Republican Party,
abandoning its previous Lincoln-inspired stance supporting Civil Rights. The refrain
repeated and made popular by Ronald Reagan: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the
Democratic Party left me.” As a member of the African American community, we
interpreted that glib statement as a cover; the genteel “wink and nod” that started Ronald
Reagan’s ascension to the presidency on the graves of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner
(murdered in 1964) Reagan winking and nodding to the Dixiecrats at the Neshoba County
Fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi:

Page 1|6
"I still believe the answer to any problem lies with the people. I believe in states'
rights. I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the
community level and the private level, and I believe we've distorted the balance
of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the
Constitution to that federal establishment." Ronald Reagan3

1964...the year the Civil Rights Act passed. Followed by 1965...the year, the Voting Rights
Act passed. Three years later, we lost Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy
as the Fair Housing Act passed. It was also the year. Finally, Richard M. Nixon after
Lyndon B. Johnson refused to run for reelection - was elected "law and order" president,
running and winning on The Southern Strategy born of racist fear.

“Political analyst and Nixon campaigner Kevin Phillips, analyzing 1948-1968 voting
trends, viewed these rebellious Southern voters as ripe for Republican picking. In ‘The
Emerging Republican Majority’ (Arlington House, 1969), he correctly predicted that the
Republican party would shift its national base to the South by appealing to whites'
disaffection with liberal democratic racial and welfare policies. President Nixon shrewdly
played this "Southern strategy" by promoting affirmative action in employment, a
"wedge" issue that later Republicans would exploit to split the Democratic coalition of the
white working class and black voters. (See John Skrentny, The Ironies of Affirmative
Action (U Chicago Press, 1996)). This strategy soon produced the racial party alignments
that prevail today.”4

The “norms” were broken not by the election of the first and only African American
president in (at that time, 2008) 232 years of the republic. The “norms” were broken by
the oppositions’ outright, racist defiance of his agenda, or anything he did: healthcare,
Grey Poupon Mustard, Tan Suits, addressing children going to school (as many presidents
prior to him did); his golf outings dwarfed by the loafer-in-chief grifting at his own failing
properties; exploiting “executive time” on steroids!

It was not “normal” when Mitch McConnell vowed Barack Obama would be a “one-term
president,” nor was it “normal” for him to deny Merrick Garland a hearing to fulfill his
Constitutional duty as leader of the Senate to “advise and consent”5 his judicial nominees.
The same Senate leader scoffed recently saying if an opening happened on the Supreme
Court (likely, Ruth Bader Ginsberg) in hypocritical defiance and abject hubris, he “would
fill it,”6 without a hint of shame.

Page 2|6
It was not normal when Senator McConnell defied President Obama, stating he would
criticize his notifying this nation we were UNDER ATTACK 7 by a foreign power – Russia
– in our electoral process, again covered by The Constitution, our unique ability as an
electorate to select our leaders. The same “not normal” Senate Majority Leader is blocking
any efforts to protect the electoral process in the 2020 election. 8 And if Lindsey Graham
is John McCain’s “best friend,” I’d hate to see his worst!9

Climate change – debated and argued by expert and layperson – has a tipping point,10 a
place in the future where there will be nothing we can do to recover. It is a concern
routinely brought up by the Democratic Party and ignored by the well-bribed minions of
the Republican Party. It is an existential, extinction-level event.

One of our fundamental rights as a federal republic is the ability to elect our leaders, albeit
in an imperfect machination of the antebellum known as the Electoral College. 11 We’re the
only democracy that has one. No one has imitated it. Generally, after hurt feelings are
over, we trust the outcome of the results and move on with our lives.

We haven’t been able to do that, lately: tweets, bombast and outrageous statements, such
as accepting foreign assistance (even from a hostile power) if it helped this president get
reelected. For any other president (and I’m tired of saying that), this would be
impeachable if these were not normal times.

This precedent of help by a hostile power can be the excuse of the next democratic or
republican president that sees nothing wrong about violating The Emoluments Clause, or
Free Speech or any other part of our founding documents they may find (in the words of
former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales) “quaint and inconvenient.”

Article 1, Section 1:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States,
which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Article 2, Section 4:

Page 3|6
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed
from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high
Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Some caveats and perspective: Secretary Clinton in a Washington Post op-ed cautioned a
rush to impeachment. The historical memory in this country is deliberately brief, as
history nor civics is in secondary education. There were Watergate hearings on ABC, CBS,
and NBC. There was daily education on a president that had just won landslide reelection
- 49 out of 50 states - that didn't need burglary or "plumbers" committing. Congress and
the media made their case to the American people over 28 months, and even after the
tapes became public, he STILL had a 24% approval rating among his ardent supporters
when it was evident, he was going to get impeached in the House and convicted in the
Senate by members of his party. Watergate was the foundation for Roger Ailes to form
what would become Fox Propaganda.

Impeachment isn't about conviction: it’s about The Constitution.

We’re either “a nation of laws, and not of men,” or we’re a nation of ONE man.

Either “no one is above the law,” (as Robert Mueller said in his report, that I read), or
every elected official can “shoot someone on 5th Avenue” and get away with it.

Impeachment isn't about this president: it’s about the NEXT president.

If THIS one gets away with his clear crimes, every nation can pass information to the
candidate they would desire for president as a matter of "diplomacy." No president will
ever have to divest from their business if they have one. Jimmy Carter gave up his peanut
farm, so he would not violate The Emoluments Clause. No presidential candidate will
EVER again show their taxes, and thus open to bribes and manipulation by distant actors.
Government "of the people, by the people and for the people" will go from Russian
handler to Russian roulette.

We either do this, or we’re not a country: we're a kleptocracy.

Page 4|6
Either we're a Constitutional, Federal Republic...or, whatever emerges after this Caligula
will not resemble our best self-mythology. It will be too stark, too dark: too dystopian.

For I and my wife’s recently-born granddaughter, I must fight until my last breath for her
future – because it is hers.

Our republic – “for which it stands,” history and civilization itself awaits your decision on
the appropriate constitutional actions addressing the blatant malfeasance you and we all
are seeing every day.

I pray neither judges you harshly for lack of leadership or apathy.

Sincerely,

Reginald L. Goodwin

Page 5|6
References:

1. Bruggeman, L. 'I think I’d take it': In exclusive interview, Trump says he would
listen if foreigners offered dirt on opponents. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/id-
exclusive-interview-trump-listen-foreigners-offered-dirt/story?id=63669304 (accessed
12 June 2019).
2. George, A. The 1968 Kerner Commission Got It Right, But Nobody Listened.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/1968-kerner-commission-
got-it-right-nobody-listened-180968318/ (accessed 12 June 2019).
3. Wikipedia Reagan's Neshoba County Fair "states' rights" speech.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan%27s_Neshoba_County_Fair_"states%27_rights
"_speech (accessed 12 June 2019).
4. Anderson, E.; Jones, J. George Wallace and electoral opposition to civil rights,
1968. http://umich.edu/~lawrace/votetour10.htm (accessed 12 June 2019).
5. Kelly, A. McConnell: Blocking Supreme Court Nomination 'About A Principle,
Not A Person'. https://www.npr.org/2016/03/16/470664561/mcconnell-blocking-
supreme-court-nomination-about-a-principle-not-a-person (accessed 12 June 2019).
6. Hulse, C. The Shifting Standards of Mitch McConnell.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/us/politics/mitch-mcconnell-supreme-court-
trump.html (accessed 12 June 2019).
7. Editorials Mitch McConnell should explain why he obscured Russian interference
in our election. https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/editorials/article120718538.html
(accessed 12 June 2019).
8. LeTourneau, N. Mitch McConnell Poses a Threat to Democracy.
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/06/11/mitch-mcconnell-poses-a-threat-to-
democracy/ (accessed 12 June 2019).
9. Nguyen, T. Lindsey Graham Comes Clean About His Cringey Devotion to Trump.
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/lindsey-graham-comes-clean-about-his-
cringey-devotion-to-trump (accessed 12 June 2019).
10. Hahn, J. Climate Could Hit a Tipping Point Sooner Than You Think.
https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/climate-could-hit-tipping-point-sooner-you-think
(accessed 12 June 2019).
11. Kelkar, K. Electoral College is ‘vestige’ of slavery, say some Constitutional
scholars. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/electoral-college-slavery-constitution
(accessed 12 June 2019).

Page 6|6