Updated: Dec 21, 2019
By Ashlie Castaldo
No matter what side of the political aisle you find yourself on, this week was a truly momentous time in our nations’ legacy. The reverberations of the tone, tenor and actions taken will ripple throughout history books for generations to come. It is up to us as readers and citizens to decide if the outcome of this country, however, will be negative or positive. I would like to present two opposing views of this weeks’ events. Then, it is up to the reader to consider potential warnings or points of celebration.
If you are of the left side of the spectrum, as I am, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement of formal impeachment proceedings was a highly patriotic moment: it was a reminder of our country standing for justice, and ensuring a nation of equality, that no one is above reproach. Chairman Adam Schiff gave me goosebumps as he summed up our purpose in working together to fight for a unified country and an electoral process that serves all. Chairman Nadler put action to lofty goals by presenting the two Articles of Impeachment: abuse of power and Obstruction of Congress. However, the new IG report does provide cause for concern. More than a dozen omissions and inaccuracies were part of the FISA reports on Carter Page, leading to the initial stages of the Rusia, and in turn, impeachment investigation. That creates a troubling precedent, especially with progressive individuals. This play worked in our favor right now since we are dealing with an Executive Branch that is aggressive towards the intelligence community. The intelligence sector generally sways towards more conservatism, and these sort of tactics can be used to fluff up requests to investigate further left individuals and causes. If we are fighting for a return to law and constitutional duties, then we must assuredly fight to protect the right to the First Amendment across the entire legal spectrum. We cannot be investigated solely as the result of political opinions and alliances.
The conservative wing faces a daunting dilemma. Their arguments during the hearings has largely been deflecting that the process is wrong or built upon an improper predicate. The goal post has slowly moved from Russia not being asked to interfere, to then being asked for help but not doing anything illegal, and finally to Trump broke the law but it was for the greater good. Republicans do not look good and they are selling the American spirit and way of life for a short term win at the election booth. It comes across as highly sycophantic. The party of small government and individual rights is ceding all of its control solely to the Executive Branch. They can either perish solely to give Trump life, or they can use this as an opportunity. They could utilize this moment in history to create vast reaching security measures and protections against international interference. We could finally have a national election counting/voting standard. The GOP has already shown they can win with wide reaching security measures via The Patriot Act, they just have to sell it the right way. The flaws in the IG Report also are a source for short and long term gains for the party. For cynical reasons, but also for potentially positive ones, such as an avenue to rehabilitate the intelligence communities and sequester corruption that may be turned on citizens. They can reclaim the mantle of looking out for the little guys’ rights. Regardless of where you sit on the aisle, it is imperative that we unite to fight any obstacle in the way of our freedoms and that we do the hard work to keep the Constitution a living document, even when it hurts. This is not just about fighting to protect America and keep it strong, but to also make it clear that truth exists.