American democracy has reached a sad state of affairs. Partisanship and allegiance to one’s political party is currently considered by many politicians to be more important than patriotism and concern for the nation. The United States has elected a president around whom questions swirl, regarding his and his surrogates’ association with Russia prior to his assuming the presidency, and whether there was Russian interference in the electoral process.

Depending on what the answers to these questions are, it is possible that the president may have been guilty of treason, possibly a lesser crime, or possibly nothing at all. But in America in times past, both political parties would be anxious to learn the answers to the questions about Trump and his surrogates’ communications with Russian agents, how they affected the election, and what they portend for the future relationship of America and Russia.

Nixon’s crimes involved nefarious actions to aid his election campaign and then covering up and lying about these actions. But they all occurred within the confines of the country and did not involve any contact with a foreign nation to help him or damage his opponent. Yet Republicans, members of his own party, as well as the Democrats, wanted to know what he had done and whether it contravened the laws of the nation. A select committee was formed by the Senate in a unanimous vote to investigate Nixon’s conduct and open hearings were held and televised by the major networks to allow the public access to the information that was being uncovered.

Here, with Trump and his surrogates, there is possibly a more serious crime if he colluded with the Russians to aid him in his election bid, or made some sort of agreement with them prior to becoming president. One would think that Senators and members of Congress from both political parties would be screaming for an investigation to be held and to be done quickly. If there was some sort of agreement with the Russians or illegal contact, should Trump be sitting in the White House conducting the nation’s foreign policy? On the other hand, if nothing illegal occurred, shouldn’t we all be privy to that information, secure in the knowledge that there are no secret agreements with the Russians and that they did not play an active role in Trump’s election.

In addition to learning about all the contact between Trump’s surrogates and the Russians and what their objectives were, the investigators should probe the Wikileaks leaks and where their information came from. Who hacked the DNC computers and who hacked Podesta’s emails? How was their release decided so it would affect the election? There is no question that foreign players attempted to damage Hillary. If it was not the Russians, who was it, and why? How can we keep our electoral process safe in the future, so that outsiders cannot influence the results? And Trump’s outrageous statements about Obama tapping his phones at Trump Tower without any proof can also be investigated.

There are a lot of important questions that need to be answered about the last election. Why aren’t both parties up in arms about interference in our electoral process and demanding an investigation of every unanswered question? Why isn’t there a special commission already investigating these questions? The GOP is putting party before country in its unwillingness to back an open special investigating commission.

Resurrecting Democracy

www.robertlevinebooks.com

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ROBERT A. LEVINE, TMV Columnist
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