These constant investigations, targeting a sitting president with little or no basis, hiding exculpatory evidence, spewing false information to take down political opponents, are noxious. They are not the behavior of a “loyal opposition,” operating within clear constitutional limits. They are the behavior of malignant politicians, journalists, and broadcasters who see their political competitors as enemies. Their actions, combined with the collapse of public trust in our institutions, endangers our constitutional order.
President Trump is doing the exact same thing now. His backers say, “They did it to us, and we need to fight back just as hard.” This “eye for an eye” is blinding our democracy.
It’s fruitless to direct blame at one party. Both have wrongly claimed the winner is illegitimate. We need to restore a bipartisan sense that our leaders hold office rightfully, thanks to free and fair elections.
That restoration should begin with a bipartisan effort to ensure future elections are honest, especially if they involve large-scale mail-in voting. Second, politicians and their ardent supporters need to stop promoting unproven claims of fraud and criminality. Third, leaders from both parties, including the outgoing president, need to affirm America’s constitutional stability by standing together as the new president is sworn in. Trump will have to grit his teeth, but his appearance on stage with Joe Biden will show the world our democracy endures.